Web Development

Difference Between Software Engineer And Software Developer

Published: 12th May, 2023

Arpit Mehar

Content Developer Associate at almaBetter

The Software Engineer vs. Software Developer issue confuses several aspiring IT professionals. Check out this blog to clear all your doubts.

The information technology domain is one of the most booming and rewarding industries. Several aspiring professionals plan to build successful careers in this field. The most favored roles in this domain include the role of Software Engineer and Software Developer. Both engineers and developers apply several technical skills to create quality computer programs, and their roles overlap in several ways.


Although there are several differences between the high-paying roles, organizations worldwide offer high salaries to skilled IT professionals. This blog will discuss and learn the fundamental difference between Software Engineers and Software Developers.

Software Engineers

A Software Engineer is a professional responsible for applying software engineering principles for developing, testing, designing, maintaining, and evaluating computer software.

Engineering principles include a set of logic-based and process-based concepts used to guide system and product development. Software Engineers apply these principles to build applications such as computer games, network control systems, and productivity platforms.

The best part about the role of a Software Engineer is that they do not require a license, unlike several other engineering specializations. Instead, they progress into the role through work experience and solid technical skills.

Software Developers

Software Developers are professionals who write codes from scratch and work on building software that runs smoothly on various types of computers. Software Developers are proficient in building mobile, web, and desktop applications. Some examples include Instagram (mobile application), Facebook, LinkedIn (web applications), and Photoshop (desktop application).

Moreover, to build these applications, Software Developers use several tools to build, test, update, debug, and refine their results. Some popular examples include GitHub, Chrome DevTools, and Azure.

As Software Developers write code from scratch, they are also proficient in several programming languages, such as Python, Java, HTML, C++, etc.

Difference between Software Engineer and Software Developer

Now that we learned about the roles and responsibilities of both Software Engineers and Software Developers let’s look at the fundamental differences between the two high-paying and exciting roles.

Software Engineer

  • Degree: A person with a bachelor’s degree in software engineering might have the edge over those in software development.

  • Type of activity: Software engineering is generally considered a team activity as it is a long process compared to software development.

  • Work process: Software Engineers are involved in the entire process.

  • Working style: A Software Engineer collaborates with other engineers to work on components to build a flawless system.

  • Career path: Software Engineers can start from an entry-level position and work their way up to becoming Principal Software Engineers and Lead Software Development Engineers.

  • Roles & Responsibilities: Software Engineers are responsible for solving problems on a much larger scale. Therefore, there is barely any space for creative thinking, because of which they need to be more systematic and practical while providing solutions.

  • Tools: A Software Engineer creates the tools to develop software. Some examples of such tools are Eclipse and Visual Studio.

Software Developer

  • Degree: Software development degrees are generally treated as specializations for computer programming or information technology.

  • Type of activity: Software development is usually considered a solitary activity as it is a phase in a relatively more extensive process.

  • Work process: Software development is one element of the entire software project-building process.

  • Career path: Software Developers can start their careers as a developer and work up to becoming Senior Software Developers or Software Architects.

  • Roles & Responsibilities: As unreal as it may sound, Software Developers tend to do everything an engineer does but on a limited scale due to the nature of this role. This allows them to be more creative and provide innovative solutions.

  • Tools: Developers use software tools to build desktop, mobile, and web applications.

Who earns more, Software Engineer or Software Developer?

Now that we have learned about the differences between Software Engineer and Software Developer roles, the million-dollar question is, who earns more? While both roles are crucial and in high demand in the tech industry, salaries differ slightly.

Software Engineer vs. Software Developer Salary in India

Software Engineer: The average salary of a Software Engineer in India is ₹ 5.5 Lakhs per annum.

Software Developer: The average salary of a Software Developer in India is ₹ 4.7 Lakhs per annum.


Software Engineers and Software Developers work building software; however, they differ in scope. Software Engineers are involved in the whole process and responsible for the bigger picture. At the same time, Software Developers are responsible for focusing on a single element of an application or computer system.

Despite these distinctions, several organizations and teams use the terms interchangeably. If you plan to build a career in the tech industry, check out AlmaBetter’s Full Stack Web Development course and learn everything you need to know before starting a career as a developer.

Frequently asked Questions

Q1: Can a software developer become a software engineer?

Ans: Yes, it is possible for a software developer to become a software engineer.

Q2: Who earns more software engineer or software developer?

Ans: Generally software engineers get paid more than software developers. As software engineering is more focused on the technical parts of developing software, whereas software development is more focused on the creative parts.

Q3: What is qualification for software engineer?

Ans: The minimum qualification of a software engineer should be a Bachelor's degree in computer software engineering, computer science, or mathematics for entry-level and a Master's degree for better skills but that is not necessary.

Q4: Which degree is best for software developer?

Ans: Computer science is the best and most common degree that everyone chooses to pursue a career as a software developer.

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