Programmer vs. Coder: Which Is For You?

Software, web, and application development is a long journey. The people who play the essential role are programmers and coders.

Although they both aim to solve the same job, these two professions have specific differences. If you are interested in this field and want to learn the difference between the two professions, this article is for you.

Programmer and coder, which is best for you? Let’s find the answer with a variety of information below.

Who is a Programmer?

Programmers are knowledgeable about programming languages, website building tools, and software. They will use their knowledge to develop computer-grade programs.

But a programmer’s job is not simply to create software. They also plan and design the program to produce products that match the user’s requirements. Programmers also often write code, compiling code to synchronize input and output information.


Who is a Coder?

A coder can translate human instructions into coding language that a computer can understand.

Specifically, computers can only understand machine language or binary code. Meanwhile, humans have difficulty working with this language. And the coder will use the high-level language to code.

The coder needs to know at least one code and programming language. Beginner or intermediate coders will only need to master how to write pre-designed code. After a while, you will need to learn more about algorithms to continue to advance your career.

Today, not many people choose coding as a long-term career path because every student studying information technology can convert human commands into computer language.


Key Differences

Both coders and programmers are people who work with coding, playing an essential role in building software. In some cases, the two concepts are even interchangeable. However, these two professions have quite a few differences:

1. Education

Most employers today require candidates applying for these two positions to have a formal education degree.

You need a bachelor’s degree in computer science. In addition, your competitive advantage will be pretty significant if you have a master’s degree in computer science and engineering.

You can also self-educate and start your career without a formal degree. To succeed with this option, you will need to learn popular programming languages ​​like Python, C++, and JavaScript.

2. Job opportunities

In the United States, the average salary for a beginner coder/programmer will be around $50,000 a year. Depending on your work experience and location, you can even further increase your average income.

3. Skills

The essential skills of a coder are programming languages, syntaxes, and commands. Coders with many years of experience will not only rely on existing algorithms but also need to create algorithms and design new solutions.

The coder needs to hone the ability to process data and analyze complex programs. Finally, people working in this field also need to be able to manage projects to be able to complete complex programs.

Programmers don’t just need to master a programming language. They need to know how to use many tools such as code generators and modeling programs.

In addition, the programmer’s job characteristics involve a lot of code checking and debugging, so those who do this need to know how to use analysis tools and testing frameworks.

4. Job prospects

Not many people with a background in the IT industry stick around for a long time as a coder. Because after a while, the coder will develop his skills to become a programmer and project manager.

A coder is just a short-term job. People who do this job mostly work remotely as freelance coders for companies that need the service.

Meanwhile, programmers are often full-time employees of companies. This profession has good growth prospects as you can take on many different roles.

Some of the roles of programmers in the company can be:

  • Computer programmers: In the company, people who do this job will be responsible for writing and compiling code. In case something goes wrong during coding, they will be the ones to test, solve, and debug.

Depending on the customer’s requirements, the computer programmer will directly instruct the user on how to use the software.

  • Web developers: People who do this work will work with websites. Its mission is to design and optimize the website, ensuring the best user experience.

In addition, they are also the ones who perform testing, maintenance, and troubleshooting work on the websites.

  • Software developers: Software developers plan, build, and design computer software. To succeed in this field, software developers need to have a deep understanding of many different types of coding languages.
  • Mobile App Developers: Unlike software developers, the end product of mobile app developers should work well on handheld devices.

Developing applications for tablets and mobile phones are still relatively new compared to the series of positions above. However, this industry is rather attractive and is constantly evolving.

5. Job roles

The main task of a coder is to write code. In some cases, they also need to do debugging work. The coder’s job is more concerned with detail than method.

Meanwhile, the programmer will have much heavier duties. People who do this job both have to write the code and be responsible for testing with a trial and error approach.

They also have to debug programs and fix problems with the code. In addition, they must also work with customers to resolve questions or conduct marketing and support.

EducationBachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and EngineeringBachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering
Job opportunitiesOpen job opportunities, high salaryOpen opportunities
SkillsProgramming language
Check the code and fix errors
Code generator, modeling program
Programming language, syntax, commands
Job prospectsFull-time employeeContracted teleworker
Job rolesCode, create programs, testCoding

Which Is For You?

You will be under less pressure as a coder than a programmer because this job does not require you to manage projects or produce application designs.

All you need to do is understand and navigate programming languages. If you are a beginner in computer science, working as a coder would be the wisest choice.

However, the field is quite competitive. So to continue to grow, you will have to learn more about algorithms, the ability to translate logic into code, and many other soft skills.

Meanwhile, programmers not only understand programming languages ​​but also need to be familiar with tools and software that support software development.

At the same time, you should only become a programmer if you have an understanding and experience in design, web development, desktop software, or mobile applications.

Like coders, to be successful in this field and constantly learning new knowledge, you will need to have many years of experience.


Coder is concerned with writing code and translating machine language so humans can communicate with machines. Meanwhile, a programmer is a person who develops websites, computer programs, and mobile applications.

The above differences are enough to answer your question. If you are still hesitant about these two professions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article!