Have you been thinking that Software Engineers and Software Developers are the same? That one can interchangeably use the title depending on the job he is applying for? Well, truth be told, Software Engineers and Software Developers are interrelated but they perform different tasks.

The two concepts are so confusing that some fail to see the differences. However, there are several notable things that one position can do while the other cannot. In case you need a software developed for your business but you are unsure who to hire, it is important to know what the differences are. To help you understand, let’s distinguish each position.

Software Engineer vs. Software Developer

What is a Software Engineer?

Software engineers are responsible for the complete life cycle of a new or modified software product, from research and design to implementation, training and support. We can outline several of the main tasks performed by a software engineer:

  • Researching, designing, developing and testing operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software;
  • Modifying existing software to correct errors, allowing it to adapt to new hardware, or to improve its performance;
  • Analyzing user needs and software requirements to determine feasibility of design within time and cost constraints;
  • Consulting with customers about software system design and maintenance;
  • Coordinating software system installation and monitor equipment functioning to ensure specifications are met;
  • Supervising the work of programmers, technologists and technicians and other engineering and scientific personnel.

Concepts, knowledge, capabilities

A software engineer is responsible for developing software programs by looking at the engineering aspect. You might ask, how can one impose engineering concepts to a program when it doesn’t have mass nor weight? Although you have a point, you have to consider that each program is used to execute a particular plan, such as building a structure. The software engineer should have the engineering capabilities to cover all areas that the construction needs. He has to apply his technical and scientific knowledge and utilize laws and resources to implicate a software that adheres to the preferences and needs of specified criteria.

A software engineer uses metrics which measure the efficacy of a particular project, therefore, foreseeing probable problems. With that, these can all be mitigated by formulating viable solutions.

Qualifications and training required

Most employers prefer graduates with a degree in a relevant subject such as computer science, software engineering, physics, mathematics or electronics. For graduates without computing experience or an appropriate qualification, a postgraduate IT conversion course can be useful.

Based on the hierarchy of the position, of course, Software Engineer is ranked higher compared to a developer. In projects, he is required to know about the program he is trying to develop. He is also required to create a detailed strategy on how he wants it to turn out.

A Software Engineer has an average annual salary of $73,031 or $38/hr. Profit sharing, bonus and commission not included.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that there will be a 32% increase in jobs for software engineers during the years 2008 to 2018.

What is a Software Developer?

Contrary to the common opinion, the Software Developer is not just only responsible for writing codes. Among the developer’s tasks are:

  • Reviewing current systems;
  • Presenting ideas for system improvements, including cost proposals;
  • Working closely with analysts, designers and staff;
  • Producing detailed specifications and writing the program codes;
  • Testing the product in controlled, real situations before going live;
  • Preparation of training manuals for users;
  • Maintaining the systems once they are up and running.

The best software developers are creative and have the technical expertise to carry out innovative ideas. They should have enough experience to have seen problems before and to know what worked and what did not. The Software Developer is required to follow a software development methodology and should be skilled in debugging and modifying the software program so that it matches the client’s preferences.

Entry requirements and training

Most employers will expect one to have a relevant computing qualification or degree, however there are companies that run trainee programs. It is also essential that the person stays up to date with the fast paced IT industry as new developments are always appearing

A Software Developer has an average annual salary of $68,082 or $28/hr.

To sum it all up, a Software Engineer can take a Software Developer’s position. However, in strict states and countries, a Software Developer can never be become a Software Engineer, unless he takes necessary courses to justify his credentials for the position.