You’ve probably read somewhere that “coding” is one of the highest-paying jobs these days. Suddenly, everyone seems eager to learn how to do it. But what exactly is it?

Coding refers to writing a computer program. The series of instructions programmers create is known as a program’s “source code.” They soon shortened the term to “code.” So, when they are working on the source code of a software, an app, or a website, they refer to the act as “coding.”

Other interesting terms…

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what is coding

How Does Coding Work?

In the simplest terms, a code tells your computer what to do. Computers don’t actually understand words like humans do. They only understand the concepts of “on” and “off.” And so, they are guided by on and off switches or “transistors.” Binary code represents on and off transistors as the digits “1” and “0.” An infinite number of combinations of these digits make computers work.

But deciphering binary code without a computer’s help is not easy to do for humans. That’s why computer programming languages were created. Each language serves a different purpose but they all allow programmers to translate important commands into binary code.

While there are thousands of coding languages to date, some are more recognizable than others.

What Is Coding For?

By definition, coding is used to communicate with computers. It is how computers and machines receive instructions on what actions to perform and commands to carry out. It also allows coders to make applications, websites, and programs work.

What Is the Code Everyone Interacts with Most?

The answer is HyperText Markup Language (HTML). HTML is the standard programming language used to display documents in a web browser. All websites you see online were created using this programming language aided by Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and scripting languages like JavaScript (JS).

What Are the Most Popular Coding Languages?

We did say that programmers are some of the highest-paid employees these days so we compiled a list of the top languages wanna-bes may want to try their hands at.


JS often tops every list of the most popular programming languages, thanks to its continuous integration into open-source projects. Developers use this language in the backend and frontend of their projects. Not to mention that more than 94.9% of all websites today use JS.

On average, U.S.-based JS programmers earn around US$78,456 a year.


Python figures in many different projects that include but are not limited to developing application programming interfaces (APIs), crawlers, scrapers, backend systems, and so on. You can even develop complex desktop applications using this language.

Python is also heavily incorporated into machine learning (ML) and data analytics, thanks to a vast number of great plug-ins and third-party libraries like SciPY and Panda.

On average, U.S.-based Python developers earn around US$120,365 a year.


Despite its age, Java remains relevant to the developer community. It makes sure any software runs on virtually every system. Industries also usually always pay extra attention to Java developers.

On average, Java programmers based in the U.S. earn around US$104,995 a year.


Every complex system in the world, starting from your operating system (OS) to large government mainframes, use C++ in one form or another. Even Google uses this language for its most resource-intensive operations.

Embedded systems like Internet of Things (IoT) devices also use C++. Experts believe it is also helpful when building complex open-source systems that aim to solve modern-day problems.

On average, U.S.-based C++ developers earn around US$78,017 a year.


Despite being a new kid on the block, Swift has gained a strong following in recent years due to the convenience it offers to open-source developers. It’s behind most modern iOS apps.

On average, Swift programmers based in the U.S. can earn around US$82,397 a year.

What Are the Prerequisites to Gaining Coding Skills?

If you are keen on landing a good-paying job in the tech industry, you need to develop these characteristics to learn coding.

Language Acquisition

You can’t learn to code if you don’t acquire programming language knowledge. You should know what Java, Ruby on Rails (ROR), Python, C#, and HTML are for starters. You will need to work with these languages to develop applications, websites, and software. As such, becoming well-versed in multiple coding languages can ensure that you can work with different programs and platforms.

Critical Thinking Skills

Coding requires thinking of solutions for issues that may arise while developing a project. The ability to dive deeper and think ahead can help coders address challenges before they become too complicated to resolve. That involves making the most of available resources, such as choosing the best language to use for a particular problem.

Keen Attention to Detail

Even the smallest mistake in a piece of code can significantly affect an entire computer program. That’s why coders should know everything about their programs, notice patterns, and detect even the slightest errors to make sure the outputs work as intended.

Coding versus Programming: What’s the Difference?

While the terms “coding” and “programming” are used interchangeably, they have stark differences.

Coding involves writing code for machines and devices. Programming, on the other hand, refers to the process of determining problems and how they should be addressed. Often, programmers’ roles are much broader than those of coders since they need to look at the whole picture rather than just the code that makes a program work.

If you’re still wondering why they say programmers make big bucks, this post probably opened your eyes somewhat. As technological innovations continue to increase, so would the world’s need for developers who can rise up to the challenge of coding.

Key Takeaways

  • Coding refers to writing a computer program or its so-called “source code.” It lets humans communicate with computers.
  • JS, Python, Java, C++, and Swift coders are five of the most in-demand developers today.
  • Programming language know-how, critical thinking skills, and keen attention to detail are some of the characteristics employers look for in coders.