"Coding"? When did that happen?

If I can ask a more silly questions …

I know I’ve been out of the game for a while, but when did it become “coding”? It used to b programming? I actually had someone that was confused when I said I was getting back into computer programming. They looked puzzled for a moment and then asked, “Oh, you mean coding?”

When did this transition take place?


It was always both. I think it just went through a phase where the cool kids called it “programming” and only old fogeys called it “coding”. Now the cool kids are calling it “coding” again and only old fogeys still call it “programming”.

Language is a fascinating thing.


Lately when I tell people I’ve been coding they’re like ‘huh?? coding??’ then i say programming and they understand

I don’t know, when I studied and worked as a programmer in the 90s, if I’d told someone I was “coding” they would have thought I was doing cryptography. Now the term seems to be overwhelmingly ubiquitous. And like I said, now I encounter people that are confused by the word “programmer”.


“Coding” and “Programming” mean the same thing, and are used by developers interchangeably.


Haha… And just how long were you out

Since the 90s, basically.

Yeah, I get that they have the same meaning, I’m talking about usage.

The article makes the point that “coding” has a less intimidating connotation. I’ve noticed that a lot of the kids I teach (I teach private guitar lessons as my day job) have “coding” classes, usually Python or something like that. They are the ones that most don’t seem to know what “programming” means. Maybe “coding” makes it sound like a game whereas “programming” sounds like work and is intimidating.

In any case, it seems to be the trend. Whereas when I was doing it in the 90s, “code” was sometimes used to describe a program, but I don’t remember anyone talking about “coders” or “coding”. Now it seems to be shifting in the opposite direction.

I guess “hacker chic” also has something to do with it. “Programmer” has a connotation of someone in a short-sleeve dress shirt, tie, hornrimmed glasses, and sporting a pocket protector. But “coding” sounds like you’re being sneaky, like you’re hacking. In the 90s, hacking was still thought of as losers in their mom’s basement. Now, hacking is semi-cool and mainstream. “Programming” sounds old fashioned but “coding” sounds cool. “Coding” is more marketable. Maybe.

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In this infographic, you can clearly understand the difference between them. I think there is some difference between them.


Just because it’s an infographic doesn’t make it authoritative. Coding is writing code. Sometimes my programming job involves other things than that. That’s the only distinction I make.

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It seems an…um… cooler word. Whereas programming seems quite staid. How much of it is to do with films like Hackers in the early 90s, and then the Matrix et al in the late 90s/early 2000s? And gamer culture maybe (coding mods etc)?

Which is funny, because I still remember the derogatory terms “code grinder” and “code monkey”. Everything goes in cycles I suppose.