How to Differentiate Software Developers from Software Engineers Like a Pro

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Srbuhi Avetisyan
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What is the difference between software developers and software engineers?
There is still a difference between these two roles in software development teams, and although it is not very big, it is worth knowing about.

At CodeRiders, we often clarify the delicacies and differences between software developers and software engineers for our clients. So, we decided to speak about these two publicly as well.

The Role Of A Software Developer: Who Is A Software Developer?
A software developer is responsible for developing software that runs across various devices and operates on several platforms. Software developers design app components and write code from scratch. They should oversee the whole picture of the software development project.
A good software developer must have a solid knowledge of specific technical languages (depending on their preferred tech stack). They design components and build code for websites like www.coderiders.am, desktop applications such as Slack, mobile apps like communication platforms, photo/video editors, or website applications like Facebook, Dropbox, etc.

If you like designing various computer systems and application software, you will enjoy working as a software developer. Software developer jobs also require the willingness and enthusiasm to be a team player and to constantly search for and offer creative software solutions.

The Main Essential Qualities of a Software Developer
• Practical knowledge of software development or programming languages and their frameworks
? Currently, the most popular programming languages in the world are JavaScript, PHP, HTML, CSS, SQL, TypeScript, Python, etc.
? Currently, the most popular software development frameworks are Node.js, React.js, Vue.js, jQuery, Angular, Laravel, etc.
• Expertise in creating responsive web designs (familiarity with UI/UX design)
• Experience in developing front-end applications with various tools and workflows
• Experienced in writing clear code that is easy to maintain
• Familiarity with cross-browser compatibility
• Skills in Agile Manifesto software development and test-driven software development
• Solid knowledge of data structures and algorithms
• Willingness and motivation to always remain updated with the latest developments in the international software development industry

How to Spot a good Software Developer?
Besides the above-enumerated qualities of a software developer, one should also have some soft skills and characteristics that would describe him/her as a high-quality software developer. You can ensure you have found the perfect software developer if they:
• Have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills as software developers continuously compare customers’ needs with software capabilities.
• Have hands-down skills in using open-source tools such as GitHub.
• Are strongly attentive to details and spot even the most minor issues. Although attention to detail is a must-have skill for all of us, it is particularly highlighted in the case of software developers.
• Understand the logic of code even if they are not familiar with the language the code is written in.

The Role of a Software Engineer: Who is a Software Engineer?
A software engineer is a professional responsible for designing, developing, and implementing software solutions to fulfill a client’s technical requirements. Most software engineers operate in specific areas, starting from creating web applications and customer support (CRM) systems, to working with databases, operating systems, and maintaining already-existing software solutions.
Software engineers operate during the whole software development lifecycle (SDLC). Software engineers are also included in the management and development process of hardware, as well as delivering software and systems integration services.
It is safe to say that a software developer is a subtype of a software engineer.

There are 2 types of software engineers: application software developers and system software developers.
Application software developers
System software developers

The Main Essential Qualities of a Software Engineer
• Broad knowledge of various programming languages
• Practical experience with knowledge in software development and computer operating systems
• Ability to debug software and systems
• Ability to build scalable and specific pipelines and languages
• Technical project management skills and a clear understanding of the SDLC
• Ability to create necessary tools to build and implement software
• Although being a team player is important for software developers, understanding teamwork and its principles is critical for software engineers as well

How to Spot a High-Quality Software Engineer?
Here are the top qualities you should look for in experienced and successful software engineers.
• Software engineers know exactly how to balance the work to bring value to both the business and the client.
• Software engineers deliver software products and make changes or modifications according to professional standards.
• They perform effectively and productively on their own and within remote software development teams.
• They coordinate system software for deployment and installation.

Salaries for Software Developers and Software Engineers
According to Indeed, the average base salary of a software engineer in the USA is $123,921 per year with a $5.000 cash bonus.
According to Glassdoor, the average base salary of a software developer is $95,673 per year with additional bonuses.
In most of the famous tech hubs or popular software outsourcing destinations, these prices significantly change without hurting the quality of the work. For example, in Armenia, you can hire a qualified and skilled software developer or engineer for approximately $35-50 per hour. That is why companies worldwide, especially those from such countries as the USA, where the software developers and software engineers are significantly higher, prefer to outsource their software development needs.

Summing up! The Key Differences between Software Developers and Software Engineers
• Software engineers apply the principles of software engineering to designing, developing, implementing, supporting, and testing custom software, while software developers build software that runs on various types of computers.
• The most qualified software developers should have leadership and team-playing skills to fulfill the role of a tech lead in software development projects. The role of a software developer is mostly a solitary activity, while software engineering is a team activity.
• Software engineers work on various components of the hardware system, while software developers write the complete program or system.
• Software engineers create the necessary tools to develop software, while software developers use ready-made tools to build applications, programs, or platforms.
• Software engineers solve larger-scale problems, while software developers perform all of the functions of software engineers but on a limited level. For example, some responsibilities of software engineers include working with hardware, while software developers work solely with code.
Final Words: Software Developer vs. Software Engineer

At our software development company, CodeRiders, most of our technical professionals can work both as software developers and as software engineers. Our team is skilled in the most cutting-edge software development tech stack and flexible enough to manage data systems, maintain and support existing systems, and work on the complex web, mobile, and system applications. Our professionals can write code from scratch, create various tools and workflows, and operate both within a team and independently.
If you want to learn more about our software developers and engineers, send us a message, and we will get back to you within one working day.