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Computer Science vs. Coding: What’s the Difference and what is coding?

Computer science and coding often get muddled up, but in fact, coding and computer science are very different. Here’s what you need to know about the two.


In the simplest terms we can put it, computer science is studying what computers can do (usually taught at university or college) while coding is the practice of making computers do things (not requiring any actual formal education).

One of the best parts about coding is the fact that it’s virtually open to anyone. If you’re willing to put in the hours and learn, you can become great at coding in no time whatsoever. In fact, as little as five minutes each day will have you on your way to learn new skills.

What is coding?

Before we explore the meaning of computer science, let’s see what coding is. Coding is the process of writing instructions for the computer which the computer can later execute. That’s what we also call development. Everything that you can do on a computer or a smartphone has been coded. Think of apps, programs, websites, and so on. For example, your current operating system you’re reading this post on has been coded. Same for the website you’re reading this post on, and any software that you’ve got running on your computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

While there are many different coding languages out there, the two most basic and easy-to-learn languages are JavaScript and Python. Want to know why we believe those two are a great choice for beginners? We wrote a blog post you might want to check out.

What is computer science?

So if coding isn’t computer science, what is it? Computer science is actually a vast topic area, mainly concerned with learning how to develop new software, programs, technology, ways in which we use this technology, and, of course, the theory behind what and how it works.

Computer science is usually taught in the form of a degree or college education and can greatly complement your coding expertise. But note that it’s not a prerequisite! These degrees are now available at the majority of universities, with computer science quickly becoming one of the biggest industries.

Computer science background: Do you need it?

For example, while you can be great at coding, you may lack a background in computer science, potentially affecting your understanding of some concepts. However, we can’t stress enough that it only complements your coding and isn’t required.

Learning to code is entirely possible without any prior knowledge of a computer science education, and should certainly not discourage you from having a go at coding.

Why should you consider Mimo to begin coding?

Okay, now that we know the difference between coding and computer science, how do you actually go about starting to code?

Well, this is where Mimo comes in. Mimo is an interactive learning experience we developed to help you learn to code. As well as being able to learn online, you can learn on the go with our mobile app, available on the App Store as well as on Google Play.

So, why Mimo? Our interactive coding learning experience incorporates bite-sized exercises with immediate feedback, a code playground to try out and save your own code, streaks to maintain a daily habit of coding (essential if you’re looking to improve), and a variety of small challenges to keep you on your toes.

The bottom line

Computer science and coding are two very different things. Computer science is concerned with the theory of what computers can do while coding is essentially doing these things. So, as you can imagine, a background in computer science may aid your coding but is not entirely necessary.

To begin coding, we recommend checking out our “Learn to Code” path to get an excellent first introduction to coding. When diving into our fun interactive coding experience, from the coding playground to bite-size exercises as well as the development of real-life projects, you’ll be hooked and building your streak in no time at all.

And if you’re looking for some inspiration check out this amazing user story and how Mimo helped him get his first coding job.

Are you ready to start your coding journey and become a developer?

Download the Mimo App today from App Store or Google Play and start learning the most popular programming languages.


Learn to code anytime, from anywhere