What does it mean to code?

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People say that learning to code is a very useful skill. What does it mean exactly?

I can do data analysis and visualization in python and R. Does that mean I can code? Or does coding mean full stack developers?

Is coding a general umbrella term for all types of programming (including excel)?

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8 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It sounds like you know how to code.

that doesnt make you a programmer, but most people dont need to. If you can hack together a python script to automate some tedious task, that is about as much coding as most people need. (Maybe the ability to figure out what a website is doing with inspect too). But I have met many people who dont know how to code and think spending a day manually coppying data between spreadsheets is a good use of their time (maybe a 30 minute script, tops), hence why learning to code is useful.

generally coding is considered text file based (R, Python, etc), and excel formulas are excluded.

once you know a bit of coding, it is easier to learn more if you want to make a full program.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A computer can’t do anything unless it is told what to do. Computers understand certain languages, though, and people can learn to write in those languages.

A “Coder” types sentences, just like you and me, but they are writing sentences that have different symbols and are written in a very specific way that can be understood by a computer.

The lines of code are sometimes called “scripts”.

Learning to code normally means learning to write script in a certain language of your choosing, based on learning what languages work best for what type of job you want to do.

EDIT: being able to execute basic commands to pull up a table or query SQL is generally just considered basic knowledge.

Writing code would be how you would put a new feature into play. And “full stack” is typically just the term for writing front-end AND back-end, and yes, the coders are scripting within the full stack environment.

No, Excel isn’t really considered coding unless you are doing Visual Basic type macros, and that’s like kindergarten to Java or python’s college.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Without code a computer doesn’t do anything. What coding is in the most simple terms is given it a set of instructions to do something. We almost always code in a programming language which is then compiled and translated into machine code that the computer can read and then execute.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Coders are to computers are what builders are to buildings.

You take some tools (your coding language and knowledge) and build something new from scratch.

If you can do stuff in Python, then yeah, you can code. Depending on what you’re specifically doing it might not be very COMPLEX code, but it’s still technically code. Coding isn’t magic performed exclusively by IT savants, like all skills it runs a spectrum. Some people can code up an entire ecosystem from scratch unaided, some people spend an hour trying to figure out how to get a file to export as a CSV.

Coding is a general umbrella term for all types of programming, but there are some caveats. I don’t think Excel would count as code, personally, and more significantly there’s also a technical difference between CODING and SCRIPTING. Both are very similar in terms of how you actually go about them (e.g. a decent powershell script can look pretty similar to code from an actual coding language), but while coding generally involves creating new things from scratch, scripting tends to be more about manipulating things that already exist. So you’d write code to make a piece of database software, then once it’s done you’d write scripts to do things within that software (e.g. complex reports or conditional updates etc.)

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is a big difference between programming and coding, but coding is a prerequisite for programming. You are coding, but you are not a software developer. So yes, you can reasonably say you ‘can code’ but you should always have the caveat ready that you are not a software developer.

I think I know the gist of your work, I got a degree in data analytics so we learned how to use Jupyter notebooks to put blocks of Python or R to run against data and get visualizations. That is *absolutely* coding. You have some data, you use python to sort through it; you might use Pandas to analyze the data and matplotlib to visualize the data. If that isn’t coding…

So why aren’t you a developer? You can pull methods from classes, which is what you are doing if you use matplotlib even if you weren’t aware of it, shouldn’t that count? Well, not really, because a true developer is the guy that wrote the Pandas class/library.

This isn’t to denigrate your skills and abilities, it is just a different application of the coding skill. A typical programmer, who we should really call a software developer because technically configuring anything with an OS with specific functions (like when I used to configure switches and routers) is ‘programming’, is building software tools with his/her coding skills. They might be ‘full stack’ or ‘half stack’ or whatever.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>I can do data analysis and visualization in python and R. Does that mean I can code?

Yes, you can code.

>Or does coding mean full stack developers?

No, it doesn’t mean full stack. “Full stack” typically means web or server programming – some combination of HTML, Java or JavaScript or PHP, SQL, etc. I’ve been programming for 45 years in C, C++, ObjC, Swift, Bash but am not a “full stack” developer.

>Is coding a general umbrella term for all types of programming (including excel)?

It’s an umbrella term. Usually Excel isn’t included, though, because you can’t make stand-alone programs or scripts in Excel. It’s not always black-and-white – I remember arguments over whether HyperCard or FileMaker developers were “coders” or not. They were somewhere between ordinary users and full-blown developers.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>I can do data analysis and visualization in python and R. Does that mean I can code?

Yes. 

>Or does coding mean full stack developers?

They are coders too, yes. 

>Is coding a general umbrella term for all types of programming

Yes. 

>(including excel)

If you include VBA, then yes. If you mean purely Excel, then no, that’s “scripting”. If you can create your own brand new functionality then it’s “coding”; if you are working with existing functionality and can’t change that then it’s “scripting”. 

Anonymous 0 Comments

> People say that learning to code is a very useful skill. What does it mean exactly?

It’s a very broad term when used in isolation like this. Consider a similar query:

***My toddler can say 10 words in English. Does that mean he can talk? Or does talking mean being fluent in Japanese?***

> I can do data analysis and visualization in python and R. Does that mean I can code?

Yes.

> Or does coding mean full stack developers?

Yes.

> Is coding a general umbrella term for all types of programming (including excel)?

It can be an umbrella term for instructing hardware or software what to do, using some sort of a code. If you type `**some bold text**` in a comment on Reddit, you have coded (you used the markdown code).

But in most contexts, it is being used more specifically (the context of course provides those specifics).