Creating art, painting and photography, are also both highly meditative experiences
They're certainly mindful, but I like to distinguish the mindfulness of meditation from the mindfulness of concentration on something specific.
When you're concentrating on something like coding or creating art, the thoughts themselves provide the framework of your mindfulness and drive your mind's focus.
When I'm meditating, I try to create that intensity of mindfulness without the framework of something specific to concentrate on. By learning to separate the focus from the things that I focus on, I feel I'm doing something more fundamental with my brain.