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What do you call people who don't code?

rumkin profile image Paul Rumkin ・1 min read

There are two groups of people who can create programs and those who don't. I'm about writing article about this groups and I need to name them somehow. There is no problem with the first group. It's easy. But what's about another? It's too wordy to call them "noncoding people". Also I'm not a big fan of terms with negative prefixes like "non-coders".

I'm stuck and my English vocabulary isn't so good to find such definition. Also it's hard to determine whether there are negative connotations or not to name them on my own. Any suggestions?

Discussion

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fluid_thoughts9 profile image
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rumkin profile image
Paul Rumkin Author

Definitely it's an option!

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peledzohar profile image
Zohar Peled

That was my first thought too the second I saw the post's title.

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foodogsquared profile image
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livanjimenez profile image
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peledzohar profile image
Zohar Peled

Here's a short list to add to the wonderful suggestions already posted by others:

  • Citizens (like the opposite of cops)
  • Q.A. (because you're either with us or against us)
  • Users (yes, computers are just like drugs)
  • People (well, most people don't write code, so...)
  • Acoders (the same way an atheists is the opposite of a theist)
  • DevNots (as in Dev - not [kinda weak, I know, but I'm running out of ideas here])

On a slightly more serious note - as far as I know (as a non-native English speaker) there's no real word for that in English, nor is there one in my native language - but that's just fine, because a citizen isn't actually the opposite of a cop, just like a passenger isn't the opposite of a pilot.

Just like you don't have a special word for anyone that's not collecting stamps, or not driving drag races, you don't have a special word for anyone that don't write code - and for a good reason - just think how many more words would we need in our vocabulary if a language would have a special word for the opposite of any occupation or hobby.

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rncrtr profile image
Ryan Carter

It depends on the tone of your article whether you want a serious term or a funny one. I might say "muggles" to people who understand that reference (most people), but in general I'd say something like "people who aren't programmers" or "non-programmers". Those are fairly common ways to say it. For more funny terms, I'd use "the unwashed masses" or "the uninitiated" which both seem to say that I think people who aren't programmers are somehow less or worse than those who are programmers, which I don't actually believe. I hope this helps and isn't too wordy for you.

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almenon profile image
Almenon

What's wrong with non-coders?

You could also say non-programmers.

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rumkin profile image
Paul Rumkin Author

I think there is (or should be) something more suitable than non-coders. We don't call pedestrians "non-drivers" or passengers "non-pilots".

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flrichar profile image
Fred Richards

I like "non-developers". I am one! I have a long, successful career in technology and very rarely have I had to sit down and code. Yes, I have written stuff in bash, perl, some python (mostly rewriting bash and perl stuff), ansible, terraform. But if a "real coder" looks at it, they might call it what I call it... quick and dirty. A tool which does one specific thing I needed at the time.

I'm here because I consider myself an architect and as such, I acknowledge the areas I'm weaker at and need more exposure. So I'm learning by just being here, and eternally grateful.

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vbilopav profile image
vbilopav

Managers. Architects...

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mememe profile image
mememe

My wife sa Project Manager who worked/is working sometimes as a programmer. She had a good laugh with this.

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avalander profile image
Avalander

Normal people.

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fluid_thoughts9 profile image
👽Fluid Thoughts 💭

Ok a serious term:
Layman - a person without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject.

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rumkin profile image
Paul Rumkin Author

Thanks, it covers my needs.

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fredray88 profile image
fredray88

"clueless and codeless" ... "interpreters"

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peledzohar profile image
Zohar Peled

I like codeless!

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devpato profile image
Pato

Mortals!

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shreyansdjp profile image
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aschwin profile image
Aschwin Wesselius

Layman / laymen is still the best fit.