If you’re building a program, there is a whole team of people you need to hire – product managers, software architects, designers, testers, and more. 

Among these jobs, some have very similar job titles, and you may be wondering what’s the difference, if you need to hire both, or if you can get away with hiring one or the other.

Two of those positions are software engineer and software developer. At first blush, these titles look almost identical, and there is some overlap in their skills and specialties. However, there are some distinctions between the two positions that you need to know before you create your ideal team.

The Similarities

Firstly, software engineers and developers have many similarities in education, training, skill, and overall know-how. They’re both crucial roles in software design and creation, whose jobs and projects often intersect in the workplace.

In the broadest sense, they are both responsible for creating and maintaining computer programs. Generally, both have a bachelor’s in computer science, so they have training and education in the basics. And both a developer and engineer will have coding know-how.

They also share many soft skills: problem-solving, analysis, and out-of-the-box thinking.

However, beyond their shared foundation and some overlapping skills, the two jobs have different focuses and roles in creating software.

What Do Software Developers Do?

A software developer is on the ground floor of software development. They’re the ones who are writing the code for the product. Training-wise, a software developer likely builds on their undergraduate degree with some training specific to software development.  

Skills and duties

When hiring a software developer, you should ensure they have a range of skills so they can tackle anything you throw at them. In general, a software developer works on native applications or programs for different OSs and not web apps.

As the primary job of a software developer is–as the job title implies–developing software, it makes sense that the ability to write and debug code is number one on the list of essential skills. Most developers should know and be proficient in several coding languages, though they may specialize in one.

However, software developers hold a different position from programmers, who write code exclusively. A developer’s responsibility is broader in scope than a programmer’s and includes more on the overall design and direction of the project.

Software developers generally work on a specific part of the software or application, and in medium to large teams, you typically need several software engineers working on it. 

Role in the team

Software development is generally a solo enterprise or done with other developers. Since they’re responsible for creating the program’s building blocks, they’re less involved in the planning or managing. Instead, their job is to focus on the task at hand and write the best code possible.

However, while the bulk of their work is done in isolation, this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t interact with the rest of the team, especially during the planning stage. They should be involved with the testers and the UX designers. Developers need to take notes from the testers to develop the best possible software and with the designers to ensure that the front and back ends of the software support the best possible user experience.

What Do Software Engineers Do?

Software development involves taking a small step back from code to look at the program’s overall direction. In contrast, software engineering involves taking a big step back to look at the big picture of the project.

Software engineers take a holistic approach to software design and have a hand in every phase of the development process. 

Skills and duties

A software engineer has a variety of responsibilities. And while coding knowledge is a must, software engineers do less work on the code itself. Instead, their job is more in the overseeing, planning, and managing side of things. 

Software engineers design systems, write documentation, troubleshoot, and take care of the team. They also focus more on testing and debugging than software developers do.

The role of software engineer can also be broken down into different subsets and specialties:

  • Security: they design systems specifically for safety from hackers or natural disasters.
  • Data: they build systems for data storage and collection so that the rest of the company, including those not on the computer side, can access it.
  • Front-end: these engineers specialize in creating and designing the parts of the software that the user will interact with. They generally take the role of testing and overseeing the process.
  • Back-end: they oversee the parts of programs that users don’t interact with. This is the part where the functionality of the website comes into play.
  • Full-stack: a full-stack engineer combines the know-how of both front and back-end engineers to be able to oversee and design the entirety of a program.

Role in the team

While software developers need to focus primarily on their section of the application, a software engineer will be moving around to different teams focusing on different things. They have to focus on the collaborative aspects of software creation and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Engineers generally delegate tasks to developers as they are primarily responsible for the architecture and scaffolding of a project.

Which You Need To Hire 

While they may have an overlapping skill set to some extent, a successful project will need both a software developer and a software engineer on deck. Trying to make one person fill both roles will pull them in opposite directions since they need to focus on fundamentally different parts of the project. The software engineer needs to be free to interact with different teams on different elements of the project. In contrast, the developer needs to be able to focus on making their section of the project the best it can be.

If you’re looking to develop software and need help getting your project off the ground, Confianz can help. Our team partners with you to make sure your project is the best it can be.

Hire Application Developers from Confianz Global® 

If you need to hire application developers, Confianz Global® can help. Our company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and we specialize in providing web and mobile application development services. With our team of passionate and experienced developers, we can deliver high-quality solutions to meet your needs.

Our extensive experience working on custom application development projects for both small and medium-sized businesses and Fortune 100 companies ensures that we have the skills and expertise needed to make your project a success. We help you find and hire Odoo developers, hire Android developers, hire iOS app developers, hire React Native app developers, hire Angular app developers, hire PHP app developers, hire Java app developers, and Grails app developers in India or the USA.

So call today to get started!

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