Software Engineer Vs Software Developer: What’s The Best Career Choice?



Software engineers and software developers are among the most demanded professions in the world. With COVID-19 changing the way many companies work, software developers and engineers became even more popular for their ability to assist with digital transformation.

According to Gartner, 63% of senior executives named lack of talent a major concern across all industries. Such a skill shortage keeps companies from maintaining the pace, which is necessary to stay ahead of the competition.

When choosing a career, you may be wondering which profession is the best option for you. Should you become a software engineer or software developer? Let’s find out.

Software Engineer vs Software Developer: Definition

Many people don’t have a clear understanding of the differences between these two professions. Some even use them interchangeably. In reality, the roles these people fill are completely different.

Software developers create software, which can run on different devices. They can develop customized programs for large enterprises and simple apps for individual use. These people write code from scratch according to the task details. From Microsoft Office to Samsung Health App, these programs need a software developer at the helm.

Software engineers apply engineering principles to software creation. They oversee the entire process of designing, developing, testing, and maintenance of software. These professionals help with the software development process by connecting developers and clients as well as creating solutions that developers later turn into code.

Software engineers solve problems at a larger scale than software developers do. They oversee the entire software creation process while developers have specific tasks to fulfill.  

Skills Software Engineers Should Have

A software engineer is a top-notch software developer, who has to manage a complex system. Engineers don’t just build an app. They know how to build it in the most efficient way possible. Software developers and software engineers can work together to present the highest-quality solution to the client.

Software engineers are active leaders and consultants. According to experts from Entrance Consulting, they can work on a variety of projects simultaneously. These professionals manage resources, coordinate tasks, and oversee technical project components. An engineer should:

  • Have experience working on a variety of development projects
  • Create and maintain IT architecture and cloud-based systems
  • Know how to work with large datasets
  • Know how to work alone and with remote team members
  • Supervise complex system analytics

Engineers need to analyze the clients’ needs and consult them about each aspect of the app. Additionally, a software engineer should know how to design, develop, and test the software while supervising the work of other team members.

Skills Software Developers Should Have

The key responsibility of a software engineer is writing code. However, these specialists have to have a good knowledge of the existing system and make suggestions to change it if necessary. These specialists collaborate with analysts, designers, and clients.

Software engineers test the code to make sure it works properly in many different situations. They are responsible for revisions to ensure clients’ satisfaction. These professionals shouldn’t just have an excellent understanding of coding but provide valuable advice and solutions.  

A software developer should:

  • Be proficient in analytics
  • Know a variety of computer languages
  • Have a good knowledge of development methodologies like Kanban, Scrum, etc.
  • Show excellent time management skills

Software developers should know how to work with tight deadlines and communicate with clients.

Software Engineer vs Software Developer: Salaries

Since a software developer has fewer responsibilities and a narrower area of expertise, these specialists have smaller salaries than software engineers do;

The salary depends on the experience, location (for example, in California, software engineers and developers earn more money than in other states), and job specifics.

The Takeaway

A software developer is a highly demanded position in the United States. It requires special knowledge, experience, and technical skills. In the current talent shortage environment, it’s an excellent career choice.

A software engineer earns more money than a software developer does. This position requires a wider set of skills and implies a bigger range of responsibilities. It could be an excellent step up a career ladder for an experienced software developer.