What is Coding in Computer Programming and How is it Used?

An image of computer code for our article on what is coding in computer programming

Coding is one of those terms everyone has heard of, but few understand how it works and what it’s used for. This article discusses coding in computer programming. What coding is and how it’s used. We explore everything from how computer programmers use code to machine code in web development. We also discuss what jobs you can get if you know coding languages.

If you want to know what is coding in computer programming, this article will help. We talk about:

  • Benefits of learning coding languages
  • Coding jobs and careers
  • How to learn to code
  • How much money you can make
  • Most popular coding languages

Read on to discover what computer code is and why it is important in today’s society.

What Coding Is

Coding computers means programming them. Coding, sometimes called computer programming, is the process of how we communicate with computers.

Our cell phones, laptops, and tablets need code to work. Coding helps us communicate with our devices. Without coding, smart TVs and traffic lights wouldn’t operate. We wouldn’t be able to find our favorite podcasts or stream a movie on television. Why? Because they all run on code.

Read on to find out how coding works and how we use it in today’s technology.

How Coding Works

Computer programmers use code to tell technology what to do. Computers, for example, don’t understand words. They read computer code rather than human language. Programming languages help computers and other devices understand commands and concepts. Coding functions like a manual. Computers read it and follow a step-by-step guide on how to function.

Each computer application needs a written code to know what to do. Computer software and programs have thousands to billions of lines of coded text and numbers. Computers must speed read the code to execute online and offline tasks.

In today’s digital world, everything runs on code. We see it in:

  • Household appliances
  • Personal computers
  • Smart TVs
  • Software programs
  • Vehicles
  • Web applications

When you tell a computer to upload an image on the screen, it takes code. Displaying images and text, changing font sizes, and opening your email all require computer coding. But when you perform these tasks, it isn’t code that shows up on the screen. You see only the words and images computer programmers asked a computer to display.

Remember, coding tells a machine what to do. Programming languages provide the rules and structure that a computer will follow. They give functions that a computer must carry out. We discuss some of the most popular programming languages below. But each programming language helps us communicate with computers and machines.

Is Learning to Code Difficult?

What’s coding? Coding is a skill. Developing a skill takes time. But if you are a tech-savvy person and enjoy working with computers, coding computers can be rewarding.

Coding demands critical thinking skills. You should also be creative. Being persistent pays off in coding. The easiest coding languages involve a few hundred terms and rules to remember. Once you learn the basics, it’s easy to learn other ways to code. You start by learning a simple binary code, and from there you learn more complex coding practices.

Many programming languages use similar methods to code and debug computer applications. The skills you learn to code in the beginning help lay the foundation for developing advanced techniques. But there are certain skills every coder needs.

Attention to detail

Computer programming coding requires strong attention to detail. When you write computer code, you pour over long lines of coded text. You inspect binary code and look for errors. Having the ability to pay attention to details helps.

Problem-solving skills

Sure, even good coders get frustrated. But the best don’t let frustration win. They use their problem-solving skills to persist against challenges.

Technology skills

Computer and technology skills are important if you want to work as a computer programmer. But you can learn programming languages. Most technology skills develop with experience.

Reasoning skills

Logic and reasoning are important skills and abilities to have as a coder. They help coders conclude what’s not working right. They also help coders discover errors and fix problems when writing code.

Writing skills

While computer language is different than human language, it helps to be proficient in both. Good writing skills are necessary to create code that conveys a clear, concise, and intended message.

An image of a computer coder for our article on what is coding in computer programming

Where to Learn to Code

There are many different places where beginners can learn to code. You can learn programming languages from the beginning. You can also or pick up a new programming language you haven’t worked with.

Coding Bootcamps

IT coding bootcamps offer courses from experienced professionals for new coders and advanced learners. Students learn how to write code and use it in web development. Bootcamps are a great way to improve your coding skills.

Degree Programs

If you want to become a web developer or learn coding skills for a career in IT, plan on getting a degree. Degree programs can take anywhere between two and six years to complete. You learn coding skills that you can take into the workplace. Degree programs also connect students to internship opportunities.

If you want a long-term career, you should get a college degree. For most web developer and coding jobs, a bachelor’s degree is the standard. You can major in computer science and gain experience working with different programming languages. Some students also major in:

  • Computer engineering
  • Computer informations systems
  • Data analysis
  • Data science
  • Information science
  • Information technology
  • Software engineering
  • Web development

Free Online Courses

You can get access to free computer science coding classes online. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are courses in IT taught by computer systems experts. You can learn everything from popular coding apps to machine language. You receive free videos and lessons that guide you along your coding journey.

Website Platforms

There are many self-guided ways to teach yourself how to code. Website platforms like CodeAcademy.org and Treehouse offer self-paced tutorials. You can learn new skills or improve on the areas you already know.

Learning Code in Unique Places

Some of the world’s best coders are self-taught. As stated above, there are many website platforms that offer free and paid online tutorials designed to help you master coding. From Khan Academy to Udacity, you can find a platform that can help you meet your goal.

There are also games that help teach you how to code. Games include:

  • Lightbot
  • Minecraft
  • Robocode
An image of a computer coder for our article on what is coding in computer programming.

Popular Coding Languages to Learn

Since the 1970s, computer experts have created more than 700 different programming languages. Each programming language has a unique way of helping computers process large amounts of information. Every coding language has different features and terms, but many overlap.

New coders shouldn’t get overwhelmed by the many computer programming languages. There are only a dozen that coders use on a routine basis. These include Ruby, Swift, JavaScript, and more.

Let’s look at some of the major coding languages beginners should know.


HTML, or hypertext markup language, is the standard way of coding web pages to showcase electronic information. Founded by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, HTML helps to format content, pictures, and videos featured online. HTML tells the internet browser how to display websites for an optimal user experience.


Java is an object-oriented coding language created by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Java has English-based commands used to create applications for a single computer or whole server and tiny applets for websites. Java is a popular favorite for programming mobile apps and video games, such as on Android operating systems.


Python is a server-side web and software development language started by Guido van Rossum in 1991. Python has a simple, English-like syntax to script back-end actions for applications, user interfaces, and operating systems. Many platforms, including Google, use Python. It is a popular programming language.


CSS, or cascading style sheets, is a coding language used to specify a website’s style. Developed by Håkon Wium Lie in 1994, CSS informs internet browsers about a page’s layout, background color, font size, cursor shape, and more. Crafting and maintaining solid CSS code is crucial for websites to have aesthetic appeal.

C Language

C Language is a simple coding type initiated in 1972 by Bell Labs to build the UNIX system. Perhaps the easiest programming language, C has 32 basic keywords used for scripting:

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Embedded systems
  • Network drivers

C programming language gets computer hardware communicating.


C++ is another object oriented programming language that expands on C to execute higher-level computer tasks. Released in 1983 by Bjarne Stroustrup, C++ organizes and stores info in bundles for more complex programs. Adobe, Microsoft Office, Amazon, and Mozilla software utilize C++ for fast processing.


PHP, or hypertext processor, is a coding language for web development founded in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf. You use PHP for server scripting with HTML to piece together dynamic website content. WordPress, an open-source online platform that accounts for 20 percent of websites and blogs, uses PHP.


SQL, or structured query language, is a domain-specific coding type that streams information into a database. First introduced by IBM researchers in 1974, SQL has simple syntax to run back-end web databases. Businesses use SQL to load, retrieve, and analyze text or numbers in their servers.

Other High Level Programming Languages

  • Perl: Used in network programming and web development.
  • Ruby on Rails: Used for developing websites and performing data analysis.
  • Scala: Used for data engineering and data processing.
  • Visual Basic: Allows programmers to modify code by dragging and dropping objects. You can use it to define behavior and appearance.
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Careers Where Learning to Code is Helpful

Once you learn how to code, you can look for jobs in the industry.

According to Reader’s Digest, nearly 50 percent of jobs paying at least $58,000/year require some skills in coding. An estimated 7 million annual U.S. job openings want candidates who know how to code. Competency with coding is one of America’s most desired job skills.

Many people assume coding experts can only succeed as computer programmers. Computer programmers write code, but other professionals also do coding work. Learning to code is helpful for many careers in wide-ranging sectors from medicine to education and finance.

Here are some in-demand careers that prioritize candidates with coding abilities.

Applications Developer

Applications developers are the creative coders behind the software that runs on computers, tablets, phones, smart TVs, and wearable tech. They use coding languages from Ruby to Scala to fill app stores with downloadable software. A 26% growth in jobs should result over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In this job, the average salary is $109,020/year.

Computer Programmer

The coding work for computer programmers includes all types of tasks. They create computer software, write and test code, and perform programming process for computer programs. They use assembly language or low level programming languages. They also use different languages that are advanced. Computer programmers earn $93,000/year.

Database Administrator

Database administrators use coding to create secure data storage files and backups. They use high level programming languages, such as SQL and C or C++ to fine-tune database systems for authorized access. They also use data analytics tools to help them accomplish their tasks. By 2031, the employment for this occupation will increase by 9%. Database administrators earn about $101,000/year.

Digital Marketing Manager

Digital marketing managers with coding skills can elevate their advertising campaigns to attract better business sales. These specialized managers use the internet as their medium for reaching potential customers with traffic to well-coded websites. The job outlook for digital marketing managers shows an 10% uptick over the next decade. Digital marketing managers earn over $130,000/year.

Health Informatics Specialist

Health informatics specialists design database systems for collecting, storing, and accessing patient records. Health informatics specialists know binary code and basic coding languages. Their knowledge helps them to develop functional, confidential EHR software for electronic record keeping. This occupation expects an 11% growth in jobs through 2021. You can earn about $90,000/year in this role.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts know how to code digital software that encrypts and protects data files. They use C++, Python, and JavaScript to create tools that stop cybercriminals in their tracks. Demand will skyrocket by 35% for this occupation over the next 10 years. Information security analysts earn over $102,000/year.

Instructional Designer

Instructional designers in today’s digital age must learn how to code to develop curriculum for K-16 students. Their coding work includes C, PHP, Java, and other programming languages to create interactive course teaching materials. Instructional designers should expect a 6% growth in jobs over the next 10 years. In this job, you can earn over $70,000/year.

Web Developer

Web developers are coding gurus who design the content, graphics, audio, and video features for internet sites. Web developers know more than binary language or a single computer language. They use HTML, CSS, and Java to publish top-performing websites that drive online traffic. Employment growth for this occupation over the next ten years is 23%. Web developers earn about $78,300/year.

Other Jobs in Coding to Consider

There are many other jobs to consider in and out of the tech industry if you know programming languages and coding languages. You can work with machine code or tinker with software programs. Learning code can open doors to many different jobs. Other jobs in coding you can qualify for include:

  • Coding computer programming specialists
  • Computer network architects
  • Coding engineering technicians
  • Information research scientists

Benefits of Learning Computer Coding

There are many benefits when you learn to code. No longer do we live in a time when only tech professionals use operating systems and software programs. People outside the tech world have coding skills. Knowing how to code can help you have control over the technology you depend on and use everyday.

Whether you want to write a blog or create a website, learning to code can help. You won’t have to hire IT specialists to do your job when you can take care of the task yourself. Your coding IT knowledge can help you build a website and tweak specifications to fit your needs. Learning to code can also help you troubleshoot a computer program when you face a challenge.

If you have a passion for coding technology and the desire to work with computer languages, consider a career as a professional coder. The job market is open to technologically savvy professionals with marketable coding skills.

This concludes our article on the benefits of learning to code, and how skills in coding can help your career.

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