ROGRAMMER vs CODER | How I became a programmer

It is pretty much hard to say because these two titles are actually understood differently by a different group of people. Some people consider them to essentially be different terms for the same position. That might be true depending on which angle you stand, the vast majority of people see a very clear difference between a coder and a programmer which is pretty much what I think is important for you to know in your journey of hiring someone who calls himself a programmer.

Who is a coder

First of all, let’s see who a coder is and how you can easily identify one before you hire the wrong person. Anyone who can write a code can be termed a coder. I believe on technical people without any doubt refer to all techies as coders. I think that is all we can say a coder is.

In the early days when I started learning some coding, it was a dream come through displaying my first “hello world” in the browser. I just learn some syntax and that was all, “Boom” I am a programmer that was what I called myself then. I went on to create my first HTML and CSS-only webpage, which was one of the happiest days of my life. Was I a programmer then? I don’t think so. In programming, you cant know everything which is a fact whether you are a programmer or a coder. I was struggling with simple syntax errors. I was just enjoying writing some HTML and CSS codes. I will see some webpage which I would like to clone, straight forward I will jump to my vs-code “paw paw paw” banging the keyboard. I think I was more or less a chef trying to cook a recipe from a recipe book. The food will end up either half-cooked or with excess sal

I am not saying this because the code I was writing was just some HTML and CSS. Then I realize how deceptive I was to myself of being a programmer when I started learning some JAVASCRIPT. Oh my God.

If this description seems to be describing a person with pretty basic knowledge, it’s because it is. But once a coder learns how to do a little more and understand how certain things works, they become a computer programmer.

Who then is a Programmer

While a coder is someone who follows a recipe book blindly to prepare a basic meal, a programmer takes the recipe reads it carefully, and understands why certain ingredients were chosen for that meal. After reading the recipe book, they will sit back and decide what taste and aroma they want the meal to have and put the ingredients together.

Programming involves just more than banging the keyboard “paw paw paw”.

Being a programmer means actively thinking about abstract solutions to a problem before you even touching coder or opening your favorite code edit by `Jonah Bitautas`

I have developed some real-world applications without any preparation for how I want the whole project to be structured. I will be on my code-editor thinking and writing code. This made me waste more time than expected. I would code feature of a project then later I will realize I did it the wrong way or the tool I thought will help achieve that feature is rather not. The time spent is wasted.

Then, the switch to being a programmer came when I started learning some best practices in tackling projects, and also I started learning some deep concepts of the programming languages I use for developing, for me to understand why they behave the way they behave. I then started writing more maintainable code for my projects. With my choice of being a full-stack software engineer. I started talking to stakeholders, architecting the application, deploying it, fixing Bugs, and iterating based on feedback from the project conception to its completion.

Who are you then

What position do you fall in then, Are you a coder or a programmer. If you find cooking some meal but you don’t know how it will taste until you finish then you are coder, but you find yourself cooking some amazing delicious mean which is carefully planned and you can taste without it touching your tongue then your a programmer.



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Rashad Muntar

Rashad Muntar

Full-Stack Engineer JavaScript, Ruby, C++, Node.js, Rails and React. In love with pair-programming and remote work