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Note the important difference between the terms coding and programming. Programming denotes the entire process of implemeting a computer solution to a problem, and includes at a minimum program design, coding, and unit testing.
A programmer who specializes in low-level coding. Today the position is nearly obsolete.
The coder role may have been "'nearly obsolete" two-dozen years ago, but it stubbornly keeps reappearing in articles, textbooks, and, worse, course material. Note that it's not the term that's obsolete; it's the role. Writing executable program code is a small part of the problem-solving process. Understanding the requirements, conceiving the algorithm, choosing the data representations, selecting the tools, and validating the implementation are all essential aspects of what a professional programmer does.
We've already noted the misleading, unnecessary, and often harmful developer designation. Despite its growing use we're unsure exactly what that term is supposed to mean. Some versions try to combine the separate roles of programmer and systems analyst. Others naïvely assume that systems analysis, in the sense of determining and documenting application requirements, doesn't need to be done at all!
We recently heard about a trade school that specializes in preparing women to be coders! The school may have good intentions, but in addition to their unenlighted use of that term, they:
Young (or not so young) women interested in a career in software development will be better served by established universities or inexpensive community colleges in their area. And let's hope they don't aspire to become coders.
Last modified 1 January 2016
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