Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Software Engineer and Software Developer

Software Engineer vs Software Developer

The title of software engineer is one of the most debated and controversial titles one can hold in the software industry. The position entails a job that is pretty much identical to a software developer, and the two are often used interchangeably to mean the same thing. So how do they really differ from each other? Basically, the title of software developer is the more accepted one compared to software engineer as the latter is still under much heated debate.

A software engineer isn’t really a real engineer and can’t be grouped with civil, electrical, electronics, mechanical, and other engineering professions. The spawn of the software engineer came as people tried to escape from being dubbed as a programmer, which carried a negative connotation of having little skills and capabilities. Stemming from the parallel between the engineers innate task of building and the act of building software from scratch, it seemed logical to dub people who build software as software engineers.

Many people argue that software engineers use engineering concepts and ideas in designing and building the software; something they say that isn’t applied by software developers. The main argument against this is the fact that a huge majority of software engineers did not go through an engineering course, and thus are not privy to said concepts and ideas. Majority of software engineers are graduates of computer science and only a very few have an engineering background. Although software engineering programs have begun to appear in a number of schools, it is still not globally accepted to for graduates to carry the title of engineer. Despite this, software engineering is widely gaining popularity and it seems to be just a matter of time before it becomes an accepted engineering discipline.

In the end, this is just a confusing battle between two names for the same exact job. Both are still concerned with designing software that would fulfill the needs of the end user with the expected level of reliability, speed, and cost.


1.Software developer is a more accepted term than software engineer
2.A software engineer is said to apply concepts of engineering while a software developer doesn’t

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  1. The article depicts that the writer has very little or no knowledge of the discipline. There is a huge difference in a software engineer and a developer. A developer and an engineer may do the same things with different approach and hence quality. Developers just try to deliver you solutions while engineers (software engineers) will find the best and most efficient way and then deliver you a quality product that won’t go wasted, that will be of some worth actually.

    • Farwa with all respect, I differ from your opinion. First of all its clear to me that Software Engineer, Developer, etc … are titles that companies give to us.

      But you are right about what engineer means. As the definition imply anybody with some knowledge of science and math and capable to bring a solution can be called an Engineer. Even if this person never visit a collage. Engineer is knowledge not a diploma!

      About the quality, supposing this two titles means something I found offensive to said one will made a better job than another.
      This sound like “I’m the best and you are mediocre”. That is completely false. Any person with real commitment to his job, will target to deliver best approach and quality as possible. Any serious person will do their homework and all necessary testing, documentation, ect.

      All the best wish to you Farwa and have a great day!!

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