Software Engineer VS Software Developer

What is the difference between Software Engineer and Software Developer?

The terms software engineer and software developer are used interchangeably. Although there are similarities between them, these job titles have some differences which are distinguished by their role and tasks performed in development life cycle. Following are some differences between them which are further clarified later in the table.

  1. By definition
  2. Degree Programs
  3. Task Performed
  4. Areas of Specialization

Software Engineer

A software engineer is a person who applies the principles of software engineering to the design, development, maintenance, testing, and evaluation of the software that make computers or the other devices containing software work.

The software engineer also monitors the development process, tools used, best coding practices and API development.

Software Developer

A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process, including the research, design, programming, and testing of computer software. Other job titles which are often used with similar meanings are programmer, software analyst, and software engineer.

Software developers mostly spend their time on development process. After completion of development they test the software or application. Another main task related to them is an implementation of the software developed by them. They also provide technical guidelines throughout the development process.

Read also: Computer Science Vs. Computer Engineering

softwrae engineer vs software developer


The average salary of Software Engineer is $104,463 per year in United States. It may vary from $69K to $153K per year. (source: glassdoor)

The average salary of Software Developer is $79,604 per year in United States. It may vary from $59K to $115K. (source: glassdoor)

Final Words

The above mentioned two concepts are closely related to each other. Software Engineer and Software Developer have some similarities also like writing and testing software, both need technical skills and knowledge of programming and algorithms for efficient software creation.

However, you have also seen differences mentioned above in the table. These differences can never be final opinion because there is no certain criteria available for clear-cut distinction between them.

The difference between software engineer and software developer can vary depending upon the situation, location and special tasks assigned to them.

Before choosing any of them, you are encouraged to research degree programs while carefully viewing the courses list. You have options to choose between them while keeping in mind your interest and defining your own role.

Do whatever makes you happy!

Read also: Difference between computer science and information technology