How Is a Software Engineer Different from A Software Developer?

Software Engineer

For most people looking at these two professionals superficially, they are not any different from each other. The fact that a software engineer can effortlessly do the work of a developer further complicates it.

However, these are two different professions. Apart from just being able to take up the functions of a software developer, a software engineer has much more in his plate.

Software engineers’ work involves listening to a client’s impression of software and relates it to the applicable technologies to develop it.

While the work of the developer is to come up with code for a specific software application, the software engineer connects the clients’ needs with relevant technology solutions.

Software Development

While the software engineer provides the framework within which the software should be developed, the software developer is entirely in charge of the software development life cycle.

In this sense, the software engineer’s role is more of supervisory and handling of anomalies in the development stage.

However, the software developer is directly involved in the actual development stage. The developer ensures there are enough computer programmers to carry out code production.

The software developer should ensure all the processes of development are followed. These are research, planning, coding, testing and launching.

Job Description for Software engineers

Software engineers are charged with a greater responsibility of maintaining systems and ensuring the whole software environment operates.

The engineer should be well-versed in pattern design, automated testing and fault-tolerant systems. The engineers should know how to create and maintain IT architecture, large scale data stores and cloud-based systems.

Also, they need to be familiar with how to build scalable data pipelines and scalable domain specific languages.

To understand the difference between software engineer vs software developer, always know that senior software engineers have a bigger responsibility to oversee more complex system analyses, design and development processes.

The software engineer’s role is chiefly to provide analytical advice to companies in order to get the best out of software integration into business models.

Additionally, software engineers have to be able to manage resources, coordinate complex development tasks and help the company achieve its strategic goals. The software engineers identify new roles of technology, and inform the business.

Also, software engineers richly contribute to the capacity-building of a business’ staffs. This way, a business is able to seamlessly adopt new technologies.

Job Description of Software Developers

Software developers should be analytical in their observations. This way, they can be trusted enough to marry the business needs with software capabilities.

Also, software developers should have exceptional computer skills so that they can easily take on development assignments in varied programming languages.

Being at the centre of software development, Software developers have impressive communication skills. This is necessary as any miscommunication could lead to tremendous losses.

Software developers often juggle assignments, schedules and deadlines. With time, they develop perfection which enables them to focus on multiple projects with razor-sharp accuracy.

However, the main difference between a software developer and a software engineer is that while the software developer focuses on the functional creation of programs, the software engineer’s work is purely to oversee the engineering and software identification for business models.


While to the unexperienced eye these terms means one and the same thing, they are actually two different professions with job descriptions far apart from each other as seen in this short guide.