The Ev3 and the newer Mindstorm products allow you to get quite advanced in your programming.
Many users who often called themselves toy hackers could replace the brick entirely on their Ev3 and adapt their Ev4 motors and sensors to run with their Arduino board by using an adapter like the Bricktonics sheild which simply plugs in between the two parts.
Now you can use the existing wires that come with the EV3 which are essentially RJ11 telephone wires with a bump at the plastic connector end or you can get into wireless and bluetooth connectivity with your blocks and motors/sensors.
If you decide not to use your EV3 brick at all you can choose to use the Arduino microcontroller or the Raspberry Pi or a Beaglebone Black.
Now when it comes to programming the Ev3 or older Mindstorms you could use the graphical interface where you move blocks around the screen to do the programming or you can update the firmware of the EV3 to allow you to run other languages like C.
At this level you start to learn about the other more complicated operating system called Linux which will give you access to a whole new world of programming.
Originally the operating system was called UNIX and was used primarily at scientific and University environments and to basically build the entire Internet.
Now people use different versions of Linux and do amazing things with it from robotics to Bitcoin activities.
It started out with most of the activity being done at the command level but even today its not just point and click and it is with the Windows and Apple operating systems.