You have probably heard about both software developers and software development engineers. What’s the difference between the two, and what does a software engineer do? Well, in short, a developer can do the job alone, but when it comes to a large company like Sibedge, it takes software development engineers to keep big projects going.
Software Engineer’s Job
What’s an engineer in general? It’s the person who knows how to make things work. It can be a mechanism, a circuit, a communication system, or even an ecosystem. When it comes to software, the engineer’s job is the same: creating things that get the job done.
So, an engineer sees the app in development as something that will function the way it’s supposed to. It exists on customers’ devices. It does its job (shows weather, edits pictures, predicts the future, and so on). It receives new versions that need to be compatible with most devices in the near future. It may be buggy, so a customer that experiences this should be able to contact the support. If it’s paid, it needs payment system integration. If it’s ad-supported, ads should be integrated as well. Maybe even both at the same time.
Software Engineer vs Developer: What’s the Difference?
In short, the difference is in the approach. While a developer creates code responsible for certain operations, a software engineer looks at the system through a prism of engineering principles. What does it mean practically?
Well, the engineer’s job is to make a system that works. An engineer contacts the stakeholders, helps them shape their requirements and then thinks about how to implement them so the system would work. Then an engineer contacts their team and (alone or backed by the manager) assigns tasks to the members.
A developer, at the same time, is one of those who get contacted. The developer knows how to code. They don’t need to contact anyone since the task is assigned: a coder may work alone or in a small group of colleagues. When a piece is ready, a developer just submits it to the repository and waits for the testers’ response.
The Expertise of a Software Engineer
It takes a lot of experience to become a successful software engineer. One needs an array of skills, including these:
- creating and maintaining IT infrastructures;
- automating processes like coding and testing;
- forming and reading specifications;
- planning and building deployment pipelines.
An engineer also needs advanced soft skills. An integral part of a software engineer’s job is about communicating with humans. It includes contacting customers, assigning tasks to team members, supervising development and testing, discussing plans and actions on any part of the project, and representing the results.
A software engineer needs some experience as a developer. So, if you start as a developer and successfully continue, one day you’ll have a choice: either to advance to software engineer, or to become a better developer. Sounds like Pokémon evolution, right? Well. With a little ambition and some skill, you may one day develop something sounding just as familiar to millions.
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