Coding is becoming one of the most popular extra-curricular activities for children, but it can be a bit of a minefield for parents who haven't had any exposure to coding in the past. With that said, we've pulled together a handy guide to the common coding lingo and areas of most common confusion.
1. Coding and programming: There is a difference between these terms. Programming refers to the whole process of planning how to solve a problem, break down ideas into logical steps, write the code and test it. Coding refers to one part of that process in which the steps identified are written in the computer language chosen. Having said this, in many situations the terms coding and programming are used interchangeably, with coding being the term most often used in the education sector.
2. Programming v. programming language: programming refers to the way of thinking required to solve a problem, as discussed above. The programming language is the necessary tool for the computer to be able to understand what we are trying to do.
3. Python v Scratch: Scratch is a very simplified children-specific platform to introduce some of the basic ideas in coding. Python is a full-featured, professional language, used widely around the world, that is very versatile, powerful but also one of the easier languages to learn and use.
4. Computer program and App: These are the same thing in the sense that an App is a computer program, one written for a specific operating system. Before we had Apps, we had Applications but the term was shortened to make it more user-friendly when smart phones started to become more popular.
6. HTML and CSS: These are not programming languages but are called mark-up languages. They are used to present information in a certain way (such as web pages) but cannot perform many of the fundamental features that are key to programming. Although they are often included under the general banner of coding, there is a big difference between HTML and Python, say.
Hopefully this should give you a little insight into the world of coding, so the next time your children mention they've been brushing up on Python you get what they mean. One thing is for certain: the world of coding moves quickly and new terminology is always replacing old. That's why codetoday teaches programming on our computer coding courses, a way of thinking which can be applied to all programming languages.
We still have very limited availability on our Summer Coding Camp for ages 7-17, starting July 29th. Follow the Book Now button for more information.