The act of turning the English words into Morse code is coding.
That is what coder means. Someone who encodes things.
There was a time when you’d write your code on big sheets of paper, and then sit down at a machine called a keypunch, and transfer the instructions from paper to 80-column cards with holes, that machines could read. It would be fair to call this coding. But we haven’t done development that way for a very long time!
Developing software involves a lot of thinking, and trial and error, learning, experimenting, listening to users, getting feedback and trying new approaches. The coding part of it, if we still did it, which we don’t, would be a relatively insignificant part of the job.
I doubt that most people think that’s what “coder” means today. They just use it as a shorter word for “programmer.” Leslie Lamport seems to see coding as translating a (perhaps implicit) specification into code. We understand that writing is primarily thinking (or researching, etc.), not typing. So it is for people who write code rather than prose. Do people really not understand this?
A lot of managers think that programming is a menial job, and hire people accordingly. They value subservience. That’s where the word coder comes from, and why it’s so bad.
If there is a problem, I think the solution would be to educate about what coders actually do, not to come up with a fancier title. If “writer” works—and I think it does—I have no problem with “coder.” That said, I tend to describe myself as a “developer” because I do lots of non-coding/code-thinking work such as customer support, documentation, and business and server stuff.
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