HTML coder, JavaScript Programmer, Java developer… Coder, programmer or web developer?

People use words like “coder”, “programmer”, and “web developer” to describe professionals involved in software and application development and other web development activities

For example, if you are looking for a Java development company, you might use phrases like “Java developer”, “Java Contractor”, “Java Development”.

Understanding the meaning of those terms, and differences in usage can help businesses to find appropriate specialist easier using web search. And it can help web design and development companies to target their search engine advertising better.

Coding refers to activity of writing a code (in our case software code) but also writing a code of a mark-up language like HTML or XML.

Programming is almost the same as coding but most often refers to writing a code in “proper” programming language like C or Java. Programming is also a wider term, and can include other activities besides coding such as debugging and code compilation.

Development is a wider term covering full life-cycle of a software or web development project.

Some say that a “software developer” has to have a wider set of skills, including project management and communication skills, and have to be more commercially aware compared to a “programmer”. Programmer is a person in junior position who writes the code according to prescribed specification.

Let’s have a look what people are using when searching for particular software skills. We will do this by utilising a Google keyword suggestion tool. The table below shows the global number of searches per month for particular combination of technology/activity:





1,900 (79%)

1,300 (54%)



590 (37%)

880 (55%)



5,400 (16%)

880 (2.6%)



390 (0.5%)

22,000 (30%)


“Developer” is the most popular term describing activities of web developers. Although HTML and JavaScript are quite popular terms in themselves, working with those technologies are more often described as “coding”.  “HTML coder” used as much as “HTML developer” and “Java coder” is almost never used.

“JavaScript coder” is less popular then “HTML coder” but much more frequent then Java or  PHP coder.

People are more likely to call PHP developers “coders” compared to Java. With Java “programmer” is used more often.

Although serious web applications can be developed in both technologies, search statistics shows that people still treat PHP as a light-weight web programming language, much more suitable for simple tasks compared to Java.

Coder better goes with HTML (HTML coder) and sometimes JavaScript (JavaScript Coder) but we can also say JavaScript programmer. “JavaScript developer” is used much less compared to “Java developer”, or “C developer” for example, as development usually includes a full cycle of software creation. And it is very difficult to write a proper software using JavaScript only, although some developers manage to do that. For example CKeditor is a rich text editor written in JavaScript – in it’s functionality and features it can compete with some desktop text editors.

No matter if you prefer to say coder or developer, feel free to contact us if you need one.

Contact Us