Software Developer and Software Engineer – Can you see the difference? No? And there is one
Some say there is no difference between software engineer and software developer, some say there is. Let’s review all the opinions and facts.
Any professional recruiter will tell you there’s a difference. It’s not just about responsibilities and areas of work, but also about different salary expectations. And also many businesses have both job descriptions (for example, Google). The divergence is not great, but it is fundamental. If you understand the capabilities of both, you can hire the right person for a specific task.
Let’s take a closer look at these professions.
Table of Contents
- Some facts about software developer responsibilities
- Description of software engineer duties
- The main differences
- Policy points for software developer
- Policy requirements for software engineer
- In turn, the software developer may face difficulties such as
- General skills and understanding of responsibilities
- Before you go
Some facts about software developer responsibilities
Developers are technical experts who create software that runs on various kinds of devices (computer, laptop, phone, and others). Based on the customer requirements, the SRS (software specification) is created, and a software code is written from zero. It can be a web application such as Upwork or Linkedin, a desktop application such as PDF: Foxit Reader, a mobile application such as ABBYY FineScanner AI.
Description of software engineer duties
A software engineer is a specialist who skillfully weaves the rules of software engineering to architecture the sophisticated software solution, including working out the database structure and development procedures, planning test and maintenance, and auditing computer software quality.
The main differences
|Mainly single work
|Works with various software systems
|Writes a function or a whole program based on the directives
|Solve global challenges
|Mainly use ready-made tools and frameworks to create applications
|Solve global challenges
|Solve challenges within a specific limited scope and scale
|Advanced learning in software engineering is welcome
|Preliminary studies in the field of computer programming or IT are welcome
|Career path: software engineer, principal software engineer, lead software development engineer
|Career path: software architect or senior developer
|When solving large-scale tasks there is a large thinking process (thoughtfulness), systematization and little creativity
|Can do what the engineer does, but more locally, allowing them to apply more creativity
Policy points for software engineer
- Choose an approach to performance that benefits both sides: the employer and the customer.
- Maintain high professional standards when creating and updating a product.
- Keep professional independence and conscientiousness in the approach to fulfillment.
- Follow ethical practices throughout the software lifecycle.
- Help and support colleagues.
Policy requirements for software developer
- Begin coding the most complex section of the project.
- It is necessary to draw up a task-specific action plan for coding.
- Schedule daily targeted coding.
- Use the most efficient code for the task.
- Understand that your code directly affects the development of the entire business model.
Both engineers and developers can face a variety of problems, the failure to solve which can be very expensive, or even fatal and life-threatening. The safety of many people depends directly on software bugs if we are talking about surgical apps, fire alarm systems, or air-monitoring applications.
Quite often the new solutions must be integrated into the existing software systems.
The responsibility of software engineers in this case is to predict the potential conflicts of the components and to provide the stable, invulnerable, and reliable software integration.
For the software developer, the tasks would be to code particular functions and implement the version control for different components.
In turn, the software developer may face difficulties such as:
- Misunderstanding of the result for the user;
- Failure to respond promptly to ever-changing demands;
- Getting stuck in low-quality software when working on low-budget projects;
- Late detection of important bugs;
- Development of features that are becoming difficult to support, expand or lead to the conflict with each other.
General skills and understanding of responsibilities
Both specialists should have:
– an analytical style of thinking;
– experience in developing and maintaining databases and architecture;
– experience in pattern design, understanding cloud structures;
– practical skills parallelizing tasks on a multicore processor.
IT experts use various methodologies for developing software with the help of Kanban, Scrum, Agile. And also both pros should attend briefings and meetings, team trainings, and IT conferences to be ahead of new technologies and work out the progressive and effective solutions for the customers. Knowledge about the tools and software environment improvement are very significant for increasing productivity.
Before you go
And so, the main point of difference between the two professionals lies in their approach to the tasks and areas of their responsibilities: software engineers create software and applications using structural engineering principles, and software developers have a creative approach to program development and implementation. And even more globally, the software developer focuses on features to provide better functionality for a few users, while the engineer works on the complex system development on the higher level. Yes, a software developer can do what an engineer can do, but not all developers can become engineers because of the scope of understanding and personal qualities.
And the more complicated the software system, the higher responsibility, and the higher qualification of the software experts is needed to write the solution.