Software Engineer vs Software Developer: Main differences you should know in 2020

software engineer vs software developer

For starters, they may think that everyone working in the IT fields are all software developers. And, distinguishing a software engineer and a developer is one of the most confusions. Thus, you may end up hiring the wrong expert that you need. Because A Software Engineer vs Software Developer have different roles, work, salaries and many more.

So, ArrowHiTech would love to guide you through the key differences of software engineer vs software developer. Then, we hope that with our simple and detailed guidelines, you can differentiate these 2 types of software experts easily.

Then, today’s table of contents will cover these sections:

  1. Definition
  2. Comparison Table
  3. Skills required
  4. Roles and Responsibilities
  5. Best Practices
  6. Challenges

And, without further ado, let’s get started with the 2 definitions.

What is a software engineer?

Software engineers stand behind all the process of development cycles. And, they usually deal with bigger and more overall problems than a developer. As a result, they must have a visionary outlook to make the complete software process work perfectly. Besides, a software engineer is the one that knows how and why to create components to function the software system.

What is a software developer?

A software developer’s main responsibility is to write efficient programs. Moreover, they often work as freelancers and use tools creatively, in their own way. Then, both software engineers and software developers work on the same problems. However, a software developer focuses on the development stage and solves related issues by reasonably using tools and devices.

software engineer

General Comparison Table

Software EngineerSoftware Developer
QualificationBachelor’s degrees (optional)Software Development degrees
Activity typeTeam activitySolitary activity
Working processinvolved in the whole processinvolved in one section
Working style– works with others to build a system
– large scale, more systematic
– writes the whole program
– limited scale, more creative
Career options– (Principal) Software engineer
– Lead software development engineer
– Software architect
– Developer
Toolscreate tools to develop softwareuse tools to develop web or apps
Salary (US) $105k per year$92k per year
Comparison Table
engineer vs developer

What skills do a Software Engineer vs Developer must have?

  1. Exceptional analytical skills
  2. Experience in creating and maintaining IT databases
  3. And, experience with pattern design and cloud-based infrastructure
  4. Experience on multi-core CPU
  5. Ability to use numerous software development methods such as Agile, Scrum or Kanban

Besides, read another useful article of Agile vs Scrum to further understand them NOW!


Roles and Responsibilities 

To deliver the optimal results for clients, both software engineers and developers must work together brilliantly. Thus, some key roles and responsibilities that both must be in charge of are:

  • Technical guidance and support for the development product process
  • Visionary plan development to satisfy a client’s needs
  • Training manual preparation for app users
  • Meetings with clients, programmers and staff
  • Operation improvement by finishing analysis work
  • Knowledge of data vendors to obtain and license software
  • Data supply through analysis, collection and development issues
  • Tools for internal productivity improvement

Best Practices

For Engineers

  • Make sure that all the products and related changes meet the toughest professional standards
  • Maintain integrity and independence when approaching and solving problems
  • Promote effective solutions and service

For Developers

  • Use the codes effectively and truly understand how they help in the overall project
  • Put into practice a daily/weekly coding plans
  • Complete the hardest part first before doing everything else

Challenges of Software Engineers and Developers

For Engineers

  • Firstly, software failure expenses in safety-critical ares (nuclear power, space) are super huge, because it is extremely risky
  • Secondly, market demand keeps increasing every year
  • Thirdly, Up-to-date software means higher complexity and applications
  • Next, Communication
  • Lastly, diversity of software systems

For Developers

  • Hard to adapt to changing requirements
  • Unfit models
  • Mis-interpreted requirements
  • Trouble with software maintenance and extension
  • Late detection of remarkable errors
  • Poor software quality (especially in low-cost projects)

Looking for the finest Software Engineers and Developers?

If you are still new and still struggling, perhaps hiring an expert is the best option. After all, working in IT outsourcing for over 14 years, ArrowHiTech is proud to be a leading Vietnamese company. We offer dedicated developers to support your projects.

We are the leading IT outsourcing company from Vietnam

With affordable cost yet high quality results, we have remained long-term partners with more than 1,000 clients mostly from the U.S, U.K, Sweden to New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Hence, we are waiting for YOU to have your vision transformed into reality by us!

Bottom line

That is the end of today’s topic. Therefore, AHT hopes that you can now understand the difference between a Software Engineer and a Software Development. And, if you want to read more, don’t hesitate to visit our related articles! Because we provides lots of articles on comparison and hiring experts for you to check out. Finally, as always, we wish you the best of good luck and success!