The Role of Coding in Computing: Explained

Curious about coding in computing? This article is a great place to start. Learn about the role of coding and how it impacts the technology we use every day.

Coding is one of those terms that everyone has heard of, but it can be hard to understand how it works and what it’s used for. But what does it actually mean? While you may not be familiar with what coding is exactly, you definitely interact with code in your daily life more often than you know.

Code has become the backbone of modern technology, from the apps on our phones to the software that powers our fridges, air conditioners, cars, and more. In this article, we’ll explore the basics of coding and its importance in the world of computing.

What is coding?
What is the difference between coding and programming?
Different coding languages and their uses
What is the difference between code and a markup language?
The importance of coding in computing
The future of coding and its potential for shaping our world

What is coding

Coding, also known as programming, is the process of creating instructions that a computer can understand and execute. These instructions are written in a programming language, which is a set of rules and symbols that programmers use to communicate with computers. This set of instructions is known as code.

Once you learn how to communicate with the computer through code, the computer is then able to read, understand, and execute your code to complete tasks on technology ranging from websites to robots. There are many programming languages with different uses and it’s common for programmers to learn more than one programming language. This happens because there are many programming projects out there that require several different languages at once. In addition, learning more programming languages can prove to be beneficial, not only career-wise, but because this also makes it progressively easier to understand overlapping concepts.

What is the difference between coding and programming

So, this is a question that comes up a lot! In computing, coding is the process of creating instructions that a computer can understand and execute. It involves writing code in a specific programming language to create software, websites, and other digital applications.

Coding is a crucial part of programming, but it is just one aspect of the larger process. While coding is the specific task of writing code, programming encompasses a broader range of activities, including designing, testing, and maintaining software systems. Programming includes designing, planning, and implementing a software solution, while coding is simply the act of translating that plan into a language the computer can understand. It’s important to understand the difference between the two terms to effectively communicate the development of computer programs.

coding vs programming

Source: Goodcore

Different coding languages and their uses

There are hundreds of coding languages available, each with their own syntax and purpose. Syntax refers to the rules that control a coding language’s structures, symbols, and punctuation – much like there are rules in the way human languages are spoken as well. Some of the most popular coding languages include JavaScript, Python, C++, and Java:


JavaScript is essential for creating interactive websites and web applications. It’s the most widely used language when it comes to building websites, as it’s highly functional in both frontend and backend web development.

Frontend vs Backend Development

Frontend development refers to the aspects of a website that users directly interact with – everything you can click, the colours you can see, the animations that may happen, the things that pop up when you hover over a button. Backend refers to the collection of information and functionalities that actually make a website work, and how the site works.

For example, when you log into your email, the front end is covered by the layout and designs on the page. Your ability to type in an email and password, and the short-term function of what happens when you click on a button is also dictated by the frontend. All of the information related to your account is stored on the backend, and the retrieval of this information once you click “Log In” also takes place partly on the backend. The combination of both the backend & frontend life cycles is known as Full stack development – which is why developers that can carry out both are called Full Stack Developers.


Python is often used for Data Analysis and Machine Learning. It’s also popularly used to build the backend of websites and apps. It’s a fairly easy language to learn and is widely used among different fields due to its flexibility. For this reason, it’s used by many scientists and accountants for tasks like tracking statistics and budgeting.


C++ is a powerful language used for developing operating systems and video games. While it is considered a challenging language to learn, it was developed as an easier version of the similar coding language known simply as C. Like Python, it is extremely popular in Machine Learning, as well as robotics and scientific computing.


Java is commonly used for developing websites, mobile apps, and software for businesses. Unlike its almost-namesake JavaScript, Java is only used for backend development. It can be used to develop apps for various environments, like mobile phones, laptops, supercomputers, game consoles, and more.

At CodeOp, our Full Stack Development bootcamp focuses mainly on JavaScript, including some of the frameworks that enable it to work on both the front & backend, while our Data Science bootcamp focuses on Python.

Understanding the specialties of each language can help developers choose the right tool for the job. For example, if you’re creating a multifunctional website with a database and many visual components, you might want to consider JavaScript. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an efficient, functional way to represent data trends on a page, Python might be a better fit.

What is the difference between code and a markup language?

We’ve touched on the fact that coding in computing refers to the process of creating instructions for a computer to follow in order to perform a specific task. There are often other frameworks or tools that make coding languages work the way we want them to, and a markup language is one of them.

When we create websites and webpages, coding often involves using markup languages to create and format text and content for display on the web. A markup language is a set of rules and instructions that dictate how a web page should look and function. The difference between a coding language and a markup language is that a markup language is easily readable by both humans and computers.

One popular markup language is HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is used to create and structure content on the internet, such as web pages and online documents.

XML is another markup language mainly used to define and describe data in a way that is both human-readable and machine-readable. It’s commonly used for web development, data exchange, and other applications where data readable by both humans & computers is needed.

While markup languages like HTML and XML are also used in web development, they’re not considered coding languages as they do not involve creating algorithms or logical instructions for the computer to follow.


Source: Hackr.io

The importance of coding in computing

Coding is essential to computing because it allows us to create the software and applications that power our digital world. Without coding, we wouldn’t have the websites, apps, and programs that we rely on every day. Coding also plays a crucial role in innovation and technological advancement, as new software and applications are constantly being developed to improve our lives and solve complex problems. There are many differences between the first ever computer built in the early 1900s to the devices we use nowadays – and it’s in many parts thanks to coding and the nearly endless possibilities it allows.

When you tell a computer to upload an image on the screen, you’re writing code. Watching videos, changing font sizes, and opening your email all require coding. But when you perform these tasks, it isn’t code that you see. It’s only the words and images that the programmers have asked the computer to display.

Coding also runs cities. Computers operate traffic signals that have been programmed to perform certain operations. Next time you’re crossing the street, think about how it was made possible with code! While some traffic lights are based on sensors, many work with timers. The timing commands for lights changing colours can be written into code, then uploaded from a computer onto a programmable circuit board. This circuit board is mounted somewhere near the traffic lights, and subsequently controls its function, similar to the image below.

Source: ResearchGate

How coding impacts technology and innovation

Every single day, we experience how essential coding is to computing and the world we live in. It has allowed developers to create new and innovative products that improve our lives and make tasks easier. From the actions we can accomplish through speaking into a device to the websites that can bring hot food to our doorsteps, coding’s impact on technology and innovation has been grand. Some of these innovations have become so embedded in the way we currently function that it is hard to imagine a time without them.

Virtual Assistants

Coding has led to the development of virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, which can help us with tasks like controlling lighting or heating and locating lost devices. Additionally, coding is essential for the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which have the potential to revolutionise industries like healthcare and our understanding of the climate crisis. Companies with sales teams are even using such assistants to extract and recite analytics relating to business performance.


We can also appreciate the many tasks that have been made wildly uncomplicated through the use of websites and the evolution of their functions. Remember when we had to leave our homes to go grocery shopping? Coding has brought just about the entire experience to our fingertips. Amazon Fresh recently launched a “Just Walk Out” experience enabling shoppers to pick up groceries and walk out of the store, with items being tracked and paid for on their virtual cart.

Hiring Practices

Gone are the days of printing CVs and walking around, sometimes having to return to establishments with completed paper applications. With code, we can now go through the entire application process far away from the job location. Recruiters are increasingly employing an application tracking system software to streamline the recruitment process. This software scans resumes and applications for keywords, and even ranks candidates based on findings.

Government Services

Websites have evolved to give people ways to access essential social services that in the past required lining up or spending hours on the phone. Student loan applications, vaccine registrations, filing taxes, income assistance, and many more services have been made easier by interfaces that are the product of code. Facial recognition is being increasingly used when scanning passports in international airports, which has helped in making the verification process 90% faster.

Coding has been integral to many technological advancements and its trajectory in this manner will only continue. It has also given developers the ability to turn their ideas into reality and create solutions to problems in their community and beyond.
Coding makes innovation possible, and technological innovation is impossible without code.

Being able to have fun with code

Besides all the life-changing and world-changing stuff that code is responsible for, there’s also a lot of equally impressive, fun, less essential things it could do.

One example is the iconic 2010 meme Nyan Cat. No one knows what prompted the existence of the pixelated cat with a pop tart body and a rainbow tail floating in space, but it has brought joy to a ton of people. The adorable game Flappy Bird is another great example. Why did someone make this? Not sure. Did it have 50 million downloads within the first 6 months of release? Absolutely – and rightfully so.

Is coding hard to learn?

While it may seem daunting at first, coding is actually quite accessible and there are many resources available for learning. With the rise of coding bootcamps and online tutorials, it’s easier than ever to learn how to code. However, it is a skill that definitely requires consistency and perseverance. Most people can become proficient in a programming language within three to six months with dedicated practice and study.

“I’m amazed with how much I learned in my 11 weeks with the full time full stack bootcamp. Before starting I had only done free basic javascript courses online, and my classmates had a wide range of experience. By the end of the class we were all able to create multiple full stack apps.”

-Maya Tripathy, a CodeOp Full Stack Development graduate

Learning to code not only teaches you how to create software and applications, but also helps to develop your maths and problem-solving skills. Although maths expertise is by no means necessary to succeed as a coder, it is very likely for post-bootcampers to feel more comfortable with maths concepts after working with code. By breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, coding can help you to think logically and systematically.

The future of coding and its potential for shaping our world

Without coding, modern technology would not exist. And as technology continues to advance, the role of coding will become even more important in shaping our world.

Artificial Intelligence

With the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning, coding will be essential for creating and improving these technologies. ChatGPT, a popular AI interface has risen in fame recently due to its versatile nature. From quirky conversations to resume and even code writing, interfaces like these could change the way people work.

Climate Change

Coding will continue to play a crucial role in developing new technologies that can address global challenges like climate change. Carbon emissions data is often stored and sorted manually, which can be taxing due to its magnitude. The automation of this can increase data accuracy which would also improve the resolutions that can come from this.

Healthcare Advancements

The Biotech industry is leaning more and more on code as time passes. The development of the COVID-19 vaccine, fastest in history, was made possible by AI, bioinformatics, and data analysis. In addition, patient management systems like Jane make it easier for healthcare providers to be found by patients and maintain clinic operations. Healthcare information management also used to require shocking amounts of paperwork, but those days are no more, now that information about medical visits can be easily encoded and stored in patient databases.

As such, learning to code will become an increasingly valuable skill if you’re looking to make an impact in these fields.


Without coding, the digital world as we know it would not exist.

With the increasing reliance on technology in today’s society, coding has become a highly sought-after skill that can lead to numerous career opportunities, job stability and higher earning potential. Knowing how to code can also allow individuals opportunities to shape the future for the better.

Learning to code can be a fun and empowering experience, as it allows you the satisfaction of building an entire project based on what was once just an idea. It can open the doors to a whole new community and network of like-minded individuals who share your passion for technology. Many coders find the experience addictive and rewarding, as they are constantly learning and improving their skills.

“Before the bootcamp, I would start a lot of different projects that would not go far at all as I couldn’t even do basic CSS. I managed to complete the bootcamp with loads of theoretical knowledge but also with three good projects that I continued to work on afterwards and which helped me to get a job as a developer.”

-Lina, a CodeOp Full Stack Development graduate

Coding can put a whole lot of unimaginable creations at your fingertips.


1. What is meant by coding in computing?
Answer: Coding is essentially our human language translated into a language that the computer can understand and then take action on. Coding is essential to the world of computing, as it has made a lot of the technological innovation we have achieved possible.

2. Is coding difficult?
Answer: Coding can be intimidating at first, but there are plenty of resources that can help with learning. As with learning anything new, it gets easier over time with patience and persistence.

3. Does coding need maths?
Answer: No, if you’re interested in coding you don’t need to be worried about maths expertise. It’s true that coding requires basic maths, problem solving, and technical skills, however, these are skills that often grow the more familiar with coding you get.

4. Can you get a coding job without a degree?
Answer: Yes, it is very possible to get a coding job without a degree. If you’re looking for a quicker transition into tech you can consider a bootcamp, which can help you gain coding skills in a much shorter time frame. Coding bootcamps are also more up to date with emerging technologies and techniques, which could help with entering an unfamiliar job market.

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Computer programming languages
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