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Web Developers vs Software Engineers: What’s The Difference?

So which one is better – Software developer or web developer? Well, the final answer depends more or less on your needs and requirements. Both the industries have a promising future. So if you are looking for a career that offers remote work, easy to get started with, and enables you to work on a variety of projects then look no further than web development.


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Robert Niles

2 years ago | 4 min read

I expect you are acquainted with the terms web developer and software developer. However, I have come across many people who have the misconception that both terms mean the same thing. This is why I have decided to come up with the following post that focuses on both terms briefly. Who is a web developer or a software developer, what are their roles and responsibilities, and where exactly lies the difference? And most important of all, software developer or web developer – which one to choose in order to make a successful career path? So let’s get started with the basics.

Who is a Software Developer?

A software developer is one kind of tech-savvy geek who makes the most of his programming and technical knowledge to create a software solution right in accordance with the predetermined needs and requirements of their valued clients. Now to date, the term software was defined in regards to codes, video games, and apps, however, the situation is not the same anymore.

Today a software developer is said to be an expert who excels at every aspect of the software development process, i.e. right from designing to developing, deploying and of course offering an immense amount of maintenance and support. In other words, these geeks are pretty great creative brainstormers who end up developing amazing computer programs. Now not every developer ends up creating the same kind of solutions. Some of them might create giant networks while others might create complementary solutions that sustain the existing softwares or programs seamlessly. It may quite interest you to know that even software developers are bifurcated into two.

  • Application Software Developer – These people are mainly responsible for designing computer and mobile applications. Right after understanding the user needs, developers tend to create relevant solutions, monitor performance and change programs simultaneously.
  • System Software Developer – Whereas a system software developer is highly focused on developing different operating softwares, compilers and network distribution. They are more likely to develop softwares for industries such as medical, industrial, aerospace, businesses, and scientific and computing appliances.

On and all, it is highly believed that software development is quite a lucrative profession. I mean you must educate yourself first, acquire the necessary qualifications, and practical skills and then achieve success. Of course, since we are exposed to information and resources, it becomes quite easy to become one by learning at home. However, if you want to stick to the department for the long haul, you must opt for a bachelor’s degree and try learning as many aspects as you can practice on a different set of tools. By doing so you can become eventually stronger as a candidate. In fact, on this note, I would like you to be enlightened by the fact that bookish knowledge can definitely give you an entrance. However, you have to pave your way by having an immense amount of experience and knowledge.

What makes an ideal Software Developer?

  • Ability to solve any and every problem
  • A key team player
  • Being analytic and strategic
  • Critical Thinker
  • Having an attention to detail
  • Ability to develop and maintain a software
  • Creating complex databases
  • Take care of future upgrades

Certain technical skills that make an ideal software developer include – Java, SQL, Python, Javascript, Oracle, DevOps, Linux, Microsoft, and so forth. As the name implies a software developer is generally assigned to oversee the overall programming and testing phases. Not just overseeing, many times they are supposed to write neat and clean codes which can be further reused. Apart from this, having a firm grasp on operations, and delivering the exact solution to the end customers is what a software developer is supposed to do. Moreover, he or she is also responsible for mapping out future software upgrades and maintenance.

Who is a Web Developer?

As the name implies, web developers are the ones who end up developing amazing websites that are highly scalable, dynamic and robust in nature. Much like a software developer’s job is to create softwares, web developers are mainly responsible for developing websites that are extremely appealing and easy in regards to navigating.

Much like we have different types of software developers, even web developers tend to fall into certain categories such as:

  • Backend web developer – These geeks are responsible for creating the website structure, writing the code, and verifying it. It’s more like these guys work more behind the scenes. In fact, they also tend to manage a website’s content seamlessly.
  • Front-end web developer – Here developers are supposed to work on the visual part of the website. In other words, how to make a website more visually appealing. In fact, they are responsible for the look and feel of the website. Right from designing different layouts to incorporating graphics by using HTML is included in their all-day work.
  • Full-stack developers – Full-stack developers are supposed to do the work of both the front end as well as backend. These geeks are highly experienced and know all the tricks to come up with a complete website. A full-stack developer is mainly hired by those organizations that don’t want to hire an entire team. He is a one-man army.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Web Developer

  • Works in tandem with graphic designers, and UX and UI experts, for enhancing the overall look and feel of the website.
  • Uses languages such as HTML, C++, Java, Python, Ruby, and SQL
  • Must possess a creative thinking and problem-solving attitude.
  • Streamlines the process of transferring data
  • Right from the framework to server-side functions, API integration, and business logic, everything is taken care of here.
  • Translates wireframes into codes
  • Ensures that the site goes live successfully
  • In case any issue occurs, he troubleshoots, fixes bugs and some potential glitches
  • Also, web developers are supposed to have regular meet-ups with content creators, graphic designers, client service managers, UI specialists and more.

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