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software developer, software engineer
Are “software engineer” and “software developer” the same?

Have you ever thought that the term software engineer vs software developer is the same? Well, theoretically, if you’ve ever, you’ve been wrong.

What is the difference between software engineer vs software developer?

The two concepts can be regarded among the most confusing in the world. There’s not even a textbook which distinguishes developer vs software engineer. For most of the time, we use these terms interchangeably, and in fact, they do share some similarities.

Software engineer vs software developer both refer to those who work on writing software to make a living. They all need knowledge and skills on IT and algorithm, and then mix all those together to create efficient software. More or less, these people should be able to practice teamwork to a certain degree. As IT systems are usually something too complicated, too sophisticated for just a single person to deal with. However, we can see the difference when contrasting software engineer vs software developer on several points:

The difference between software engineers and developers when you look right into the basic descriptions of their jobs
The difference between software engineers and developers when you look right into the basic descriptions of their jobs

General descriptions

It’s easy to see the difference between software engineer vs software developer when you look right into their jobs.

Software developers write codes most of the time, like coders or programmers do. They also are generalists who can work on a variety of other tasks in the software development process. With a variety of systems and coding languages, they can put all those things together to fulfill requirements.

On the other hand, software engineering described as the “application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software; that is, the application of engineering to software”(Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers,1993). No doubt, not just only coding, software engineer is the one who use engineering principles in software design, which means that they must know about engineering, why and how it is related to software creation.

It may already come to your mind that a software engineer is something more specialized than a software developer. It means that employers can hire a software engineer as a software developer. While a developer may not satisfy several training conditions to become an engineer.

Qualifications vs. quantifications

Software developers are the ones who qualify a software development process. And because qualification is something too subjective and unmeasurable, developers usually have to follow their feelings, resulting in the failure of the project to meet at least one of the parameters, (impractical, over-budget, after deadlines, etc.).

Software engineers, in contrast, quantify things. This is a subtle difference between software engineering and other engineering. By the usage of software metrics, they can calculate the efficiency of the process, finding anything that’s going wrong to fix it or reduce its risk.

Software engineers, in contrast, quantify things
Software engineers, in contrast, quantify things

Different degree programs

If you want to become a software developer, you will have many options to choose for your degree. They are software programming, computer science, or even software engineering itself. A development degree course can either be at the associate’s or the bachelor’s level.

However, things are stricter and require higher with a software engineer. You need to have at least a bachelor or a master degree, of which the main contents would be engineering principles. In Canada and Europe, you can hardly practice as a professional software engineer without a degree on engineering.

People are the most important and valuable asset at Savvycom
People are the most important and valuable asset at Savvycom

Prospective demand

However blurred the theoretical line between software engineering vs software development is, you might find a real difference in the value of the jobs in the labour market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, experts expect the job opportunities for software engineers to rise by 32% from 2008 to 2018, while they forecast that those for pure programmers will decline by 3%.

There is a certain rise in demand in IT outsourcing industry where vendors are already actively looking for software pros with specialized, comprehensive knowledge and skills like an engineer than those with capability simply limited to programming like a developer. The market has to get adapted since developers are not enough anymore but will soon become the standard norm for people who work with premium software and other high-stakes applications.

People are the most important and valuable asset at Savvycom. Since establishment, we have already foreseen this trend and hence work intensively on recruitment and training in order to build up a dream team of software engineers. Under directions and ideas from clients, we propose technical solutions, maximize user experience, optimize user’s functional flow in order to achieve the finest results.

“The advice and service Savvycom team provided to CulinaryConcepts was exceptional. The projects were completed on time with no hiccups, fuss or complications and the end results are outstanding” – Ian Sutton at Culinary Concepts (UK)

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Aaron Green 07:25 07/12/2017 Personally, an engineer deals with the bigger picture along with development, whereas a developer is mainly focused on development.