This is an important word in the computer programming business. Code comes from the act of encoding a sequence of instructions for a computational device into some language in some medium. By this, I refer generally to the act of writing a computer program, no matter the encoding scheme or mechanism. So, writing an old Fortran program on paper and then sitting at a keypunch machine to create punched cards that embody the code is no different from sitting at a latter day computer expressing one's self in C++.
We (computer folks) glibly use code as a verb, to program, and as a noun, any manifestation of the act of coding. We prefix the noun with various words as follows:
- to indicate it's what a programmer actually wrote down some how
- to indicate that an electronic device acts on it directly inside its processing core
- to indicate that the manifestation still needs some higher order process (higher than a processing core) to realize its functionality
- to indicate that it has been created by a software translation process known as compilation but has not yet reached the machine state because it still contains information that needs to be acted upon by another software process
Somewhere along the line of discussion here, it might be useful for non-computer folks to understand the processes programmers engage when creating software. It is not essential conceptually, but quite possibly helpful to create a real-world picture of a the process that I suggest underpins the software business.