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What is the difference between Programming and Scripting? 15 key Points Revealed

It is one of the most commonly asked question by a newbie who wants to explore the possibilities of any Computer training to upgrade their skills. Programming and scripting are two terms that people often use interchangeably. That’s because they do the same thing.


Programming and Scripting Feature
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Scripting includes the use of scripts which are programs designed for a particular run time environment but also to automate various activities. As for programming, one uses a set of instructions designed to produce multiple outputs.

Scripting is ALSO merely writing a program within another program. On the other hand, programming is developing an application that runs independently. However, as time goes by, drawing a line between the two is becoming harder each day. That’s because most scripting languages are closing the gap and making it possible to use them to do things that only programming could achieve some time back. As a result of that, people don’t know when to go for scripting and situations that will be better and easier if one settled for programming. However, this article will clearly distinguish programming and scripting. Consequently, the decision will be relatively easy to make. Read on!

The Main Differences between Programming and Scripting


1. Languages used

The very first difference between scripting and programming is the languages that you use. The former uses scripting languages while the latter will only be possible with programming languages. A scripting language is one that doesn’t need one to compile it extensively for it to work. Examples of programming languages are Java, C++ as well as C among others. On the other hand, scripting languages are the likes of Python, Perl, and JavaScript to mention a few.


2. Mode of Execution

When it comes to executing codes, there is usually a difference between those developed by programming and the ones that are as a result of scripting. The former are compiled to run while the latter need interpretation. Then, it converts the binaries into machine codes. During the execution of scripting codes, there is the conversion of high-level instructions into machine code spontaneously.


3. Ease of Learning

If you want to learn to code, the journey will be relatively short if you go the scripting way. After all, it is easy to learn the concept of scripting. On the other hand, learning programming is not only hard but also requires a lot of time to master it.


4. Amount of Code used

As far as scripting is concerned, the developer will not have to write a lot of lines to achieve functionality. As a result of that, writing a function by script doesn’t require much. However, that is not the case when it comes to programming since it is code intensive. If you have to write a considerable amount of lines of codes for every function, you can rest assured that you will need many of them to come up with a program by programming.


5. Time

As mentioned earlier, programming needs more lines of codes than scripting. Consequently, it will take a lot of time to develop a program when programming than during scripting.


6. Mode of Running

When it comes to the scripts, what you come up with will be running inside another program. Programming, on the other hand, comes up with a program that runs independently.


7. Host

As far as programming is concerned, what you come up with is executable and doesn’t require a host to run. However, the contrary is true when dealing with scripting.


8. Maintenance Cost

If you settle for programming, you can rest assured that the maintenance cost of your programs will be relatively high. On the other hand, scripting reduces the maintenance cost by a considerable amount.


9. Purpose

While programming languages have features that are at the disposal of the developer, scripts take a different turn. The design of every scripting language focuses on simplifying coding and ensuring that the developer takes the shortest time possible to develop something.


10. Usability

f you plan to build something from scratch, programming is the best alternative. However, scripting will carry the day if you have a number of existing modules and components and one aims to combine them.


11. Executable Files

During programming, the code is usually compiled and in return creates executable files. On the other hand, scripting undergoes interpretation, and that does not result in the creation of an executable file.


12. Components

As far as programming is concerned, your program comprises a set of instructions which are converted to executables during executions. As for scripting, the language contains pre-written ideas of scripts. These scripts are capable of controlling another program during execution.


13. Demanding

From the fact that programming needs a lot of code to the fact that the developer takes a considerable time to learn and code, it means that it is more demanding than scripting. For those reasons, beginners are advised to first consider scripting before going the programming way.


14. Requirement

One of the essential element is a memory. That’s because during programming there is the creation of binaries which are also known as executables hence a need for memory allocation. Nevertheless, that is different from scripting. During scripting, there are neither binary files nor executables, and consequently, memory allocation becomes unnecessary.


15. Applications

Do you wish to automate any task within a program? Is your primary intention to extract information from a data set? If you are nodding in response to that, scripting is the best choice that you can ever settle for. On the other hand, programming will be the most convenient selection if your program includes mathematical models.
Final Words


Final Words

From the above-detailed discussion, it is easy to draw a parallel between scripting and programming. The differences are based on various aspects among them modes and ways of running, interpreting, formation, complexity, and execution of the two sets among others.

As days go by, scripting becomes even more powerful. As a result of that, it is now possible to develop a sophisticated program using the same. That becomes yet another advantage of scripting.

Nevertheless, every language has its advantages and disadvantages depending on the task at hand. For that reason, a programmer should think carefully before settling for either of them.