Software Engineer vs Software Developer – A Healthy Conclusion

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Software Engineer vs Software Developer, which is one of the most debatable job roles in the IT industry. Let me break the real differences between them today. I have more than 4 years of experience in the Software industry or formally say IT industry. When I first joined this industry my thought about a software engineer and a software developer was more or less same. Gradually, I got more experience in this industry, worked in different domains with challenging roles, Worked as a Functional tester as well as an Automation engineer then I could become able to draw a line of the gap between these two terms i.e., Software Engineer vs Software Developer.

If you also have any confusion about a Software engineer and a Software developer then next 10 minutes will be fruitful for you to come out from the confused zone.

Let’s begin with understanding Software engineers.

Who is a Software Engineer?

A software engineer is a graduate in software engineering, who has completed full time 4 years or more professional courses in the field of computer engineering or related streams like IT, ECE, etc. If any software engineer has the master’s degree then that is the added asset in their academic achievement.

Software engineers have a challenging life in their professional journey. The most experienced software engineer is the architect of the software product of the organization. He is actually treated as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) and responsible to give all the solutions to the client.

A software engineer should have the vast knowledge of this field which includes programming, architecture development, security, database management, performance optimization, server integration, etc. They should be capable of writing codes in C, C++, OOPS, Scripting languages and database languages.

Sometimes a software engineer is responsible for the faster growing of the business. For example, world’s leading tech companies have their chief executive officer as a software engineer. Hence, their code and software solution either bring them at the top or put them down.


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Some of the immediate job responsibilities of a software engineer include:

  • They act as the bridge between clients and other developers
  • Software engineer determines the proper functioning of the software
  • They implement changes hence they introduce updates
  • Proper functioning of the system is also determined by the software engineers
  • Software engineers designs flow diagrams and handover to development and QA team for further development and testing

software engineer vs software developer

Who is a Software Developer?

You have got the thorough idea about Software engineers; now it’s time to know another pillar in the software industry that is a software developer. They are basically the creator of the software programs and sole responsible person to assure the proper functioning of the code. Once they develop the entire application then they hand over the application to the Quality Assurance team for further testing of the code.

Before they handover the code to the testing team, they also do one round of unit testing within the development environment so likewise, the life of the software developers are so complex and creative as well.

Anyone can become a developer; just need a good knowledge of the programming language. You may have heard that a 16 years old kid is master in programming. If you know the development then you are a developer, but if you want to get into mainstream software development job then you should have any of the graduate degrees in computer science. Hence, we conclude that a software engineer can be a software developer, but the reverse is not true.

Some of the job responsibilities of the software developer include:

  • Working in collaboration with clients and fellow stakeholders
  • Properly following the software design before starting the development activities
  • Identifying how the software will function without impacting other functionalities
  • Responsible for assessment of the existing software and if changes needed they can recommend further updates too
  • They create software for the proper functioning of the computer system
  • Unit testing is one of the major assignment

Now the real battle begins. Let’s jump to the next topic, Software Engineer vs Software Developer.

software engineer vs software developer inviul

Software Engineer vs Software Developer

This is the real battle of which we are reading this article. It’s the time where I am going to unveil the real differences which call the battle as Software Engineer vs Software Developer.

  • The area of the Software engineer is wider than the software developer. A software engineer is responsible to design and craft the software, whereas, the Software developer has the single role that is to implement the development activities
  • A software engineer is responsible for designing, creation and testing of the software application and systems, whereas, a Software developer is only responsible for the development, testing and maintenance of the software
  • A bachelor degree in engineering required to become a software engineer, whereas any bachelor degree in computer science is fine for a software developer. But the developer should be sound enough in a programming language if he/she is not coming from the engineering background
  • Bachelor’s degree in Software engineering mainly emphasize on designing and fundamentals related to computer sciences which include- Calculus, Fundamentals of computer, Design and analysis of Data structure and Algorithm, Operating Systems, Software Architecture and knowledge of computer programming, OOPS design, etc
  • Whereas, a bachelor’s degree in software development is more focused on data analysis. Hence, the course includes- System analysis, System design, C & C++ programming as a base, Usability awareness, Project Management and planning, Applied software development, Financial Accounting, ERP, Unit Testing, etc
  • Software engineering comes under engineering degree in computer science, whereas, Software development basically comes under Information Technology
  • These two professionals have common job roles, which includes- Developer, Software Architect, Software Engineer, System Engineer, System Coordinator, Infrastructure Engineer
  • Their area of profession includes- Aerospace and Defence, Banking and Financial Services, Healthcare, Retail, Government Securities, Telecommunication, Business Process, Bioinformatics, Architecture, Business Consulting
  • Some of the major certification includes- Software Engineering Master Certification by IEEE, Certified Software Analyst by IEEE, Certified Software Development Professional by IEEE, Microsoft Certified Solution Developer, ISTQB, Certified Software Quality Engineer, OCJP

The discussion on the topic, Software Engineer vs Software Developer, is the never ending debate; hence, we should understand that both are the job roles and these roles vary with the experience, roles and responsibilities. Sometimes both are treated with same perks and respect.

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