The Rocket Flame

Coding vs. Programming: What’s The Difference?

Showing+him+something+on+the+computer%2C+Mr.+Brooks+%28Faculty%29+teaches+Ty+Robinson+%2810%29+a+new+concept.

Showing him something on the computer, Mr. Brooks (Faculty) teaches Ty Robinson (10) a new concept.

The two computer terms, coding and programming, are words that we often use interchangeably without giving it much thought. Yes, they are correlated with each other but we rarely dive in deep to what each individual word truly means. Simple tasks such as setting your alarm clock, changing the radio station, or pressing the buttons on a microwave could lead to something even bigger in the immense world of technology. Writing code is only the start of creating software, and programming is where the process becomes extremely complex.

    

    The action of writing code is simply telling the computer what to do and how to function. Programming is putting all that information together and putting it to use.

 

    “Coding would be writing individual lines of information on a computer,” said Mr. Bill Brooks (Faculty), “and when it’s all compiled together, it creates one large program.”

 

   Although they sound similar, the jobs of coders and programmers are two vastly different things. The job of a coder is at a much more intermediate level than that of a programmer. It involves writing singular lines of code, while translating the computer language to the language you and I speak.

 

    “When you are coding, you are truly writing the code that maybe the everyday person wouldn’t understand,” said Mrs. Erin Martin (Faculty).

 

As for the job of the programmer, it requires a more advanced skillset. A programmer makes sure a machine or application runs efficiently without any mistakes. Making sure there are no errors is crucial to the machine correctly running as one large program. Making an error can ruin all of the computer coding that has already been done. The coding has to already be complete so that the programmer’s job can begin.

 

    “Before the programming can be done, somebody had to code it kind of in the background,” said Martin.

Working hard, Joshua Frey (10) sets up a code for his program.

    At James Buchanan High School, there is a computer science class offered that is taught by Brooks. During class, his students learn about the basic outline of coding and put it into practice. Brooks then teaches his students about compiling the codes together to make one large program. This program, if done correctly, would allow a machine to work effectively.

 

    “We write a lot of codes to make the program run correctly,” said Brooks talking about what activities happen daily, in his computer science class.

 

    Striving for greatness, the teachers in the technology education department hope to see a dramatic advance in the computer knowledge of students. As time passes, they feel that the coding and programming that is usually done behind the scenes, will start to be done by the consumers themselves.

 

    “Just like, years ago, we used to hire people to do typing. Now everybody does their own typing,” said Brooks, “Presently, we hire people to code, but in the future, people are going to start writing their own codes to make programs do what they want for their unique application.”

 

    If you have ever heard of the two terms, the line between coding and programming has always been blurred by assumption that they mean the same thing. The teachers of the technology education department, Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Martin, have been trying to teach their students the vast difference so that they may be able to do it on their own someday. They hope for the computer-based knowledge in the teenagers they teach to expand greatly as they learn more and more concepts.

The Robotic Future of James Buchanan

Kiersten+Siko%2C+11%2C+displays+James+Buchanan%27s+drone+in+the+Robotics+club%27s+workshop.

Kiersten Siko, 11, displays James Buchanan’s drone in the Robotics club’s workshop.

Throughout the school year academics are praised, sport teams are highlighted, and every social event is brought to attention amongst the student body. However, lying behind the scenes is a small, yet upcoming club known as the Robotics club.

The Robotics club is a growing, high-tech club where a group of seven or eight students learn how to assemble and program different robots. The robot softwares used at James Buchanan are known as Vex and Boebots. The club also treasures their own drone, which is managed by the upperclassmen.

 

The drone is the biggest project the robotics club is currently working on. It is used to capture pictures or video footage of James Buchanan’s sports complexes or of the elementary schools. Students Whitney Deshong, 12, and Kiersten Siko, 11, describe how during a typical Robotics club session they either fly the drone or mess around with the drone’s software.

 

“Right now, it [the drone] is having software issues so we’re figuring that out,” Deshong said showing how problem-solving is an important characteristic of the club.  

 

The members of the Robotics club are also gearing up to enter competitions for the drone or for their other robots in the near future.

“We are learning how to program and build the robots in anticipation of entering several competitions across the state of Pennsylvania and Maryland,” said advisor Mr. Bill Brooks, Faculty.

The Robotics Club’s drone operated by the upperclassmen   

The members of the club are already preparing for these competitions, along with preparing for the Homecoming parade. They are planning on having their homecoming parade appearance have a movie theme to correspond with the Hollywood Homecoming theme. 

 

Although a lot of work and time is put into the robots, the members of the robotics club enjoy working with technology and learning more about it.

 

“It’s a fun experience. It’s really exciting when you see something you worked on for three weeks walk three inches,” Siko said.

 

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