A software engineer can be viewed as someone who deals with the “Macro” side of things whereas a software developer deals with the “Micro” side of things. That is, the tasks accomplished by software engineers varies in scope and is bigger, compared to what software developers do. It has popularly been generalized that, all, if not most software engineers to a certain degree are developers but the same is not true for software developers, as only few of them can be regarded as software engineers.
Another difference between a software engineer and a software developer is that software engineers focus more on engineering principles to build applications and computer programs whereas software developers deal more with creating designs and the implementation of programs. Software developers are the creative minds behind the design.
Again, they differ in terms of their expertise, which brings a plus to their intrinsic value and consequentially, their earning levels. In the US for example, it is estimated that software engineers earn about $48/hour while software developers get to earn $42/hour.
Software developers further differ from engineers by means of their visual development environs which they use to adjust, dislodge and draft client application software while software engineers use mathematical analysis and create software development from scratch, ensuring it functions the way it should with the set hardware.
Software engineers collaborate as a team, working on several hardware systems whereas software developers basically carry out their activities in a solitary manner, giving them time to draft their full program.
While software engineering comprises a complete process, software development is specific to a particular aspect of the software building process.
In terms of career and academics, software engineering adds more weight and advantages both to speciality and scope. With software engineering, one can become a lead software development engineer or a principal software engineer, meanwhile, software developers focus more on information technology and/or computer programming. In terms of a career path as a software developer, one can become a software architect or a developer, simply put.
To conclude, software engineers and software developers are parallels of each other, although they equally complement each other. One entails generalization (software engineering) which leads to systematic building from scratch with the use of team activity, while software developers build upon the groundwork of software engineers with specificity to produce web/mobile apps and desktop apps for example.
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