Difference Between Algorithm and Pseudocode

Analysis of AlgorithmsAlgorithmsMisc Algorithms

In this post, we will understand the differences between algorithm and pseudocode −


  • It is defined as a sequence of well-defined steps.
  • These steps provide a solution/ a way to solve a problem in hand.
  • It is a systematic, and a logical approach, where the procedure is defined step-wise.
  • It gives the solution to a specific problem.
  • This solution would be translated to machine code, which is then executed by the system to give the relevant output.
  • Many simple operations are combined to help form a more complicated operation, which is performed with ease by the computer.
  • Algorithms can be represented using natural language, flowchart and so on.
  • It is difficult to understand.
  • Plain text is used.
  • It is easy to debug.
  • Its construction is tough.
  • There are no rules to follow while constructing it.
  • It can be understood as the pseudocode for a program.

Algorithm for linear search

  • Start searching for an element from the left-most part of the array.
  • Compare one element every iteration with the item_to_be_searched.
  • If no matches are found, return -1.
  • Otherwise, return the index at which the element is present.


  • It can be understood as one of the methods that helps in the representation of an algorithm.
  • It is a simpler version of coding in a programming language.
  • It is written in plain English, and uses short phrases to write the functionalities that s specific line of code would do.
  • There is no specific syntax which is actually present in other programming languages.
  • This means it can't be executed on a computer.
  • There are many formats that could be used to write pseudo-codes.
  • Most of these formats take the structure from languages such as C, LIST, FORTRAN, and so on.
  • Pseudocode is not actually a programming language.
  • Control structures such as 'while', 'if-then-else', 'repeat-until', and so on can be used.

Pseudocode for Linear Search

FUNCTION linear_search(array, search_item):
   FOR index FROM 0 -> length(array):
   IF array [index] == search_item THEN
      RETURN index
      RETURN -1

No specific language was used, but the functionalities were clearly mentioned.

Published on 02-Mar-2021 05:08:36