People frequently muddle up the jobs of a software developer with a software engineer. Although the two professions have many similarities, distinguishing between the two is sometimes tricky. Software developer vs software engineer has continued to be a topic of debate.
Nonetheless, both professions approach computer science and daily duties in quite different ways.
The job descriptions of both roles overlap a bit. However, software engineers are more likely to dabble in software development, but most software developers are not software engineers. Furthermore, each role’s daily responsibilities and approach to computer science vary from each other.
As a job seeker, recognising the distinctions between these professions might be beneficial. Furthermore, we have provided accurate information about their tasks and responsibilities, qualifications, obstacles, and salaries to assist you in making career decisions.
Firstly, let’s take a look at who a software developer is and who a software engineer is.
Who is a software developer?
Software developers are professionals who build software programs. They create software that enables users to perform a specific task on computer devices. The application could be a desktop or a mobile application.
Who is a software engineer?
A software engineer is a professional who uses software engineering principles to design, build, maintain, test and review computer software.
Software Developer vs Software Engineer
- While Software Developers develop apps with readily available tools, Software Engineers create the tools used in building software. Additionally, while Software Developers create software, Software Engineers apply software engineering concepts to various software lifecycle phases.
- Software engineers are the architects of a project and typically create an outline with specific tasks to accomplish throughout development. Comparably, Software developers are responsible for completing those tasks and writing the code that helps bring software to fruition.
- Software engineers rely on scientific and mathematical processes to assess issues and develop technical solutions. However, Software engineers use a creative approach to issue resolution by incorporating information from outside sources, such as personal experiments.
- Software Engineer is a team activity, while Software Developer is primarily a solitary activity.
- Software Engineer tends to solve issues on a much larger scale, whereas Software Developers tend to do everything that engineers do but on a limited scale.
- A Software Developer may choose to be a Developer or a Software Architect and be highly competent in certain technologies such as DevOps, iOS, Java, and many more. A Software Engineer might be a Software Engineer, a Principal Software Engineer, or a Lead Software Development Engineer. They can also work as a sales engineer.
The academic qualification for a software engineer is a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, information technology, computer science and other related courses. Furthermore, certain qualifications, specialisation, or a master’s degree in a specific IT or software engineering area, may be required for some career opportunities. A master’s degree or certification may also reflect a candidate’s ability for leadership and commitment to continuous learning.
However, the academic requirements for a software developer are not as stringent as those for a software engineer. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or a related discipline is required to work as a software developer. A coding or programming boot camp diploma, rather than a university degree, might also land you a job as a software developer. A foundation degree or an apprenticeship programme can also help you become a software developer. You may also be a self-taught software developer and acquire your ideal career. Because many occupations demand a specific programming language, you will need to be an expert in the language of your choice.
Skills of a Software Developer
- Software developers who have experience with agile development systems, test-driven development, and working knowledge of basic web development frameworks and programs stand a higher chance of getting employed.
- A detail-oriented approach and work ethic, as well as a proven understanding of how to design an application’s front-end or back-end, as well as the many tools, processes, and programmes, may all assist enhance your job candidacy.
- The software developer’s ability to write easily maintainable, clean code and familiarise themself with browser compatibility is an addition.
Skills of a Software Engineer
- Software Engineers must have the knowledge of the programming languages that a software developer would know, including Python, Java, C/C++ and Ruby.
- They also must have expert knowledge of other programming fundamentals such as data structures and algorithms.
- Software engineers should understand the ins and outs of software testing and debugging. Additionally, having experience in IT architecture, large-scale data stores, and domain-specific languages is an asset.
- Highly skilled software engineers understand how to apply object-oriented design guidelines to create flexible, modular and reusable software.
- A software engineer must have expert working knowledge in computer science, advanced mathematics, pattern design, cloud-based systems, multi-core central processors (CPUs), and fault-tolerant systems.
Software Developers vs Software Engineer’s Salary
According to Indeed, the Canadian national average salary of a software developer is $75,411 per year. While in the US, the national average salary of a software developer is $127,228 per year. Payscale calculated the national average salary of software developers in the UK as £31,255.
According to Indeed, the Canadian national average of a software engineer is $83,345 per year. While in the US, the national average salary is $127,228 per year. Payscale reports that the average salary for a Software Engineer in the United Kingdom is £38626.