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  • Newbie Questions

    Is there a difference between programming and coding? Or are they simply terms for the same thing?

    If i wanted to write/program/make (you get what i'm saying) an application or program for my Android Phone, what's a good book?

    Ages ago I went to Edx.org. to attempt to learn about Python, just as a hobby and I got kinda far into but didn't complete the course. It reminded me of playing Portal 2 Custom Maps because it's like solving a puzzle from what I recall.

    Though the commands were confusing. "Like itersleft" or whatever.

    I tried a course on C++ from MiT online and fell asleep my 1st day into it.

    What's the difference between the languages and what are they good for? If someone could give me a rundown.

    Anyways, if yall could steer me in the right direction...

  • #2
    Greetings,

    In the early days of computing, most "programming" was done by expensive talent, such as engineers or accountants. They produced the data flows and logic, producing flowcharts and data structures. These documents were then turned over to more economical "clerks" who implemented the logic/data flows in something the computers could digest. This ranged from machine language "bits", assembler, or "higher" languages. Very early in the game there were wiring nightmares called plugboards - look them up if curious. As data processing became more popular and became a college discipline, the "pairing" devolved into each programmer doing their own coding. Also, the economic distance between "professional" talent and clerical staff shrank.

    As to a book, I'd look for books that provide more content in the area of what you want your apps to do and look like. Without knowing your target, it's difficult to hazard a guess. Also, I try to avoid those things, so someone else might be more helpful.

    Programming languages are usually created to perform some function, either for the industry, or a specific pet project. The syntax either comes from a committee (many limbs, no mind), or what does what the developer thinks is needed and makes sense to him/her. Also, most IT courses do not "teach" a programming language, but instead teach data structures, functions, or some other "worthy" material. The language introduced, since it is unworthy of credit, is simply how you "show your work". 8^)

    Not all commands make sense, nor will you probably ever use them all. At one time there was a machine with a hardware instruction to perform all the "housekeeping" for loops. It ran so slow that not even the manufacturer used the instruction in production code (their compilers wouldn't even generate it).

    Computer science courses have the same issues as any other subject matter. Some instructors are excellent sleep aids.

    You'll have to read up on each language and it's history to find out "what they are good for". It may be marketing, research grants, labor of love, or simply "I think it's nifty". I've seen
    all sorts of claims, and reasons why the claims may not fully apply. Not good, not bad. Just "let the buyer beware".

    I know I've dated myself somewhat so, "I so miss punch cards!"

    Comment


    • #3
      All of that pretty much flew over the top of my head. I'll try to do some research. Was your joke "I so miss punch cards" in reference to how they used to clock in with time cards back in the day?

      Comment


      • #4
        Computer science courses have the same issues as any other subject matter. Some instructors are excellent sleep aids. snaptube telegram web
        Last edited by Blanka; 1 week ago.

        Comment


        • #5
          OP, I would say simply put, the first Google result on the matter should suffice:

          Coding is the process of translating and writing codes from one language to another whereas Programming is the process of building an executable program that can be used to carry out proper machine level outputs. Coding only deals with the codes and so it is less intimidating and less intensive.

          The question you asked is a common one among peoples mind, but many are afraid too ask. Cheers.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Again$tThi$ View Post
            Is there a difference between programming and coding? Or are they simply terms for the same thing?
            Coding was more often applied to programming in Machine Language or Assembly Language with either hex-codes (memorized with their mapping to a mnemonic) or direct use of mnemonics for instruction along with any arguments they required. Its use seemed to be more informal. An example with fake/pesudo code:

            pushl %ebp
            movl %esp, %ebp
            movl $0xFFFFFFFF,%eax
            movl $0xFFFFFFFF,%edx
            movb $0x12,%al
            movb $0x34,%dl
            ...

            It does not have to make sense. A person not familiar with it might describe it as "code".

            There is some value in learning assembly, but at this point, it is a terrible first choice in today's market as a first language, and the value in learning it has been decreasing for decades.

            Coding (with respect to encoding and decoding) is not the same thing as "coding" when compared to programming. In these cases for "coding" is often a system for converting data of one type to another, or defines a standard for how to interpret data. MPEG-2 encoding for video could be an example. Morse code for encoding characters to dots and dashed and back again. "Codebooks" used by merchants, and early diplomats for trying to communicate covertly, are also "encoded" and "decoded" but still not programming or encryption. I mention this so you know to allow for the word "coding" to not have anything to do with programming.

            Programming is more general. It would be the process or creating a program. A person creating a program using hex codes or mnemonics is still programming. However, people tend to use the word "programming" for programming languages which are interpreted or compiled to binary data.

            If you are unsure which to use to describe a person who is creating a program, "programming," is the broadest and most inclusive way to describe the act of creating a program in any language.

            If i wanted to write/program/make (you get what i'm saying) an application or program for my Android Phone, what's a good book?
            Ask someone who is active in creating the apps you would like to create for a list of books. (I am not that person.)

            If nobody provides you with such a list, create your own.
            Complete a search with an online bookstore offering technical books, which allows you to see sample pages in the book. Randomly select 10 pages from each book and read that entire page. Score each book by 10 page samples:
            * Do you understand what they are discussing?
            * Do they provide examples with explanations you like?
            * Is the style of writing something you enjoy?
            * is the font readable (Size, font choice, spacing)
            * Is it fun to read?
            * Is it current (For example, if looking for a book on creating an app for an iPhone of Android device, is it written with a target for latest iOS or Android OS and devices?)
            Check the back of the book for an index and glossary: are the definitions understandable? Does the index have a large collection of keywords for lookup?

            Everyone has preferred methods for learning. Each can be different. Find an author's style which you enjoy and works well for you.

            Ages ago I went to Edx.org. to attempt to learn about Python, just as a hobby and I got kinda far into but didn't complete the course. It reminded me of playing Portal 2 Custom Maps because it's like solving a puzzle from what I recall.

            Though the commands were confusing. "Like itersleft" or whatever.

            I tried a course on C++ from MiT online and fell asleep my 1st day into it.
            If you are trying to learn to program, choose a project/task that fills you with passion. Something that makes you excited. Find books or online help docs that teach that as a goal. If you really enjoy something you are programming to support, that can motivate you the learn more, and help you maintain interest.

            As someone new, try to choose something which can have small, incremental improvements toward a goal. For example, if you want to make an app which generates random numbers such as to simulate flipping a coin, or rolling two 6-sided dice, and have it run as an app, maybe making an app which does this and only outputs text-based characters/digits would be a good start? Then, once that is working, look to change that to display results with graphics? Then, once that is working, consider animations of the graphics? Once that is working, maybe add sound effects? With that as a fundamental, maybe you can create a casino game called "Craps"... Choosing a project which allows you to make something simple, see the results of your effort, and then incrementally improve it can really help you build confidence in what you have learned.

            What's the difference between the languages and what are they good for? If someone could give me a rundown.
            There are too many ways to answer this. If you could describe your scope of use, that might make it easier to answer. For example, if you plan to build projects for a Raspberry Pi then common languages to choose from and what they are used for might be different from what language to learn if you plan to create an app for iPhone and Android.

            Anyways, if yall could steer me in the right direction...
            In a sense, for most humans, learning to program is the same as learning most anything else. You learn how to use one tool, one way, and then you test that until you understand it. Learn how to use other tools in a similar way. Then, combine the use of different tools together to answer even more complicated problems.

            Very few people can move from reading an entire book on programming without trying anything out, to being a good programmer. Learn how to use some parts to a language, then practice those tools. Try out making changes and running the program again. Does it break? In what way? What as the error? Try to fix it and try again. Did you fix it? Making mistakes and fixing them is very important for your future, when you make a mistake you don't realize, and want to diagnose and fix it. Complete the tight-loop: read about a tool, try using that tool, make variations and test them, then start this loop over with another tool. As you fill your mental toolbox with a larger and larger collection of tools, you can create programs to solve ever increasingly complex issues.

            Last step: find what works for you, and let everyone else know what worked for you. You arrived here and ask a question, and people gave you answers. It would only be fair for you to later provide people with information that you found helped you. When you learn from people and then share your knowledge with people, you become a member of a community. It is likely you have a collection of skills that other people do not. Is is possible you are a specialist in other fields. We are all "newbies" to at least one domain of knowledge. A person who is a specialist in one or more fields is not a specialist in all fields; nobody is "leet" (elite.)

            Thank you for the question and everyone that provided answers to you. Good luck!
            -Number6
            Last edited by number6; 1 week ago.
            6: "Who is Number1?"
            2: "You are number6"
            6: "I am not a number!..."

            Comment


            • #7
              number6, thank you for cleaning up behind me!
              Again$tThi$, I apologize - I miss read/interpreted your questions and spent too much time on history, not enough on what you needed.

              As to punch cards - that was the code/data input medium when I started. The best "feature", however was that you could carry around a dozen or so in your pocket as a notepad.

              -gdmoisboq

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gdmoisboq View Post
                number6, thank you for cleaning up behind me!
                Again$tThi$, I apologize - I miss read/interpreted your questions and spent too much time on history, not enough on what you needed.

                As to punch cards - that was the code/data input medium when I started. The best "feature", however was that you could carry around a dozen or so in your pocket as a notepad.

                -gdmoisboq
                Thanks for spending time and answering the person's questions. :-)
                Volunteering time and energy to help other curious people is a very nice gift; Thanks!
                Last edited by number6; 1 week ago.
                6: "Who is Number1?"
                2: "You are number6"
                6: "I am not a number!..."

                Comment

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