People looking for software development jobs often come across two very similar-looking roles – software developer and software engineer. But is there really any difference between a developer and an engineer?
While both roles fundamentally work in the same area and share similar responsibilities, the industry is split over whether a software developer and a software engineer the same. For many companies, the job titles appear to be interchangeable and a significant proportion of employers will use either term when hiring. However, companies with larger development teams are more likely to draw a clear distinction between the two roles.
In our view, the key differences between a software developer and a software engineer lies in the approach. A software developer does exactly that – develops software. While they have license to be creative, they generally work within certain limitations and do the tasks assigned to them. A software engineer is typically perceived a more senior role; they can perform many of the same functions as a developer but tend to focus on the software architecture and structures, rather than the individual functionality involved within a project.
As most of the skills are transferable (depending on the employer’s definition of the role), changing from one role to another may not be a huge step – it largely comes down to experience. Software developers with more experience in design and architecture are more able to move into software engineering jobs.
A look at one of the UK’s leading job boards shows that ‘software engineer’ has twice the number of related adverts compared to ‘software developer’. This is also reflected in Google searches over the last five years. Both roles, however, sit in development, and while there are arguments to say that the roles are different, there is definitely an overlap.
Whether you think of yourself as a developer or an engineer, we might be interested in hearing from you. Why not visit our careers page and find out about the roles we are currently looking to fill?