Lion vs. tiger, apples vs. oranges, black vs. white. Some things are easy to tell apart. So if I asked you to tell me the difference between a , could you do it? Many people can’t. In fact, the confusion around these names has led to a joke.
“A software engineer, a developer, and coder walk into a bar.
— Here come the programmers! — says the bartender.” (source)
While that might give you a little chuckle, it does bring up an important point. Oftentimes, the differences between the roles in IT aren’t entirely clear.
When deciding whether you should recruit a , the roles may sound very similar but there are actually important differences.
- Why you need to know the difference between programmer vs developer
- What does a computer programmer do?
- What does a software developer do?
- Difference between computer programmer and software developer
- What is the difference between seeing developer vs programmer on a CV?
- What positions can do more than a developer?
- Before you go
Why you need to know the difference between programmer vs developer
Image Source: Grammarly
There are many intricacies to , can have subtle differences that set them apart. If you’re hiring a or , it’s important to get the right person for the job. You need to be able to tell a from a . Let’s start with the differene between a . Some seemingly identical roles in vs .
In reality, a involves a specific aspect of a given project- that being . Where as developers are expected to have a wider knowledge of the project as a whole. and a do many of the same tasks. The difference lies in the scope of the work they do.
Each of these roles requires unique . You don’t want to hire a to do a ‘s job. More on this shortly.
Check out more types of programmers.
What does a computer programmer do?
We’ve already talked about how a is like a reasonably competent cook. They can effectively use any instructions given to them and often put a bit of forethought into deciding how they’re going to structure and write the feature that they’re creating.
Just like a competent cook can really turn a recipe into a great meal, programmers translate ideas taken from other people and turn them into clean and efficient process.. Think of programmers as the technicians of the
According to Sokanu , programmers are responsible for,
“Writing, testing, debugging/ troubleshooting and maintaining the source code of computer games.”
Of course, a programmer’s work isn’t only restricted to gaming. You often find programmers using different resources like libraries and frameworks. These help them build applications more efficiently with few bugs.
Programmers are also responsible for doing frequent testing of the they write . This is so they can make sure that it doesn’t conflict with what their teammates have written. At the end of the day, clean well-factored and error-free is very important and is the main focus of a . That is as long as the job gets done . But when comparing a can do all of this and more., a
Check out more qualities of a good programmer.
What does a software developer do?
If a is more like a professional chef. Not only can they cook to a high standard, but they can take a more creative and conceptual approach to what they’re making. This means finding out what their target market wants, creating a plan for how to make it, and coming up with a series of instructions that they can give to other cooks. Chefs do this for restaurants and developers do this for programmers. is like a reasonably confident cook, a
Depending on the company , a ‘s job starts by talking to users to analyze their needs. They use this information to create and test, specifically in the context of solving their user’s problems. At smaller companies, they will then also take on the role of the and put their ideas into . At larger companies though, they act more like project managers, coming up with the concept behind the . They then giving those specifications to programmers to turn into a product.
As Brad Cypert says,
I fully expect a Software Developer to be able to build a non-trivial piece of software from the ground up and see it through to completion.
But regardless of where they work, developers are responsible for the design and architecture of a component as well as the rating of the technical documentation and liaising with relevant stakeholders. In this way, they combine the skills of a , analyst, architect, and tester. From a project management perspective, they should also be able to structure the project and reasonable manner, understand its scope, and be able to guide other contributors.
Difference between computer programmer and software developer
In a nutshell, the key difference between a is their scope of work. Programmers, while being competent at what they do, have a more limited capacity of work in comparison to a . A is involved in the full project scope, whereas a is generally limited to .
What is the difference between seeing developer vs programmer on a CV?
It’s good to think of should be able to as well as a does but their main job is finding ways to solve problems. To do this, they need to figure out what those problems are and then figure out the technical framework for solving them. developers as project managers who can while programmers are technicians. When comparing a vs , a
Programmers, on the other hand, are all about . It is their job to take the specifications given to them by a and turn them into a functioning application. To do this they put the ‘s ideas into a language that the computer can understand and follow.
But often, the distinction between a is blurred and you find them working closely together. As the
Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to programmers.
Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write themselves instead of giving instructions to programmers.
In other words, a should be adept at within a specific technical environment. If you see that someone has had a role before, they should have well-developed project management and soft skills in addition to their skills. If someone has had roles, they have mainly been concerned with turning specifications into .
What positions can do more than a developer?
You probably remember that a is like a chef. But what if you want someone to create and lead a team that implements an amazing restaurant menu day in day out? Then you’ll need somebody with an extra set of skills. is like a competent cook, and a
And in the same way, there comes a time when you’re going to need someone more than a . That person is going to be a , someone who can manage the entire process of conceiving and building enterprise applications.
A works on just that- developing. They create and develop functional programmes. By contrast a works to implement various to . Similar, but not the same. engineers might get involved in , but rarely does someone trained in , turn their hand to .
Before you go
Check out our other comprehensive resources devoted to differences between various job positions:
- Difference Between A Front-End, Back-End and Full-Stack Developer