Home IT news Software developer vs computer programmer: what are the differences?

Software developer vs computer programmer: what are the differences?


Although software developer and computer programmer both involve in making applications and software, their job requirements, duties and key skills are distinct from each other. Today, we will show you the differences between them.

Image result for Software developer vs computer programmer: what are the differences?

Who are they?

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks. (CollegeGrad)
Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them. (CollegeGrad)\


Software developers

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program
  • Analysis: Work closely to clients then determine their needs and recommend whether to upgrade existing softwares or write new ones.
  • Design: Design the program and then give detailed instructions to programmers, who write the software code.
  • Testing: Test computer softwares to ensure they meet the clients’ requirements and they’re error-free.
  • Documentation: Create detailed technical documentation that includes full functions in case software are needed to modify or upgrade and guides for users.
  • Project management: Delegate tasks and set deadlines for team members to monitor performance and ensure that programs are completed on time and within budget.
Computer programmers
  • Planning: Work closely with software developers to lay out how the software are designed and how to write code.
  • Writing: Build programs based on software developers’ instructions. Then programmers conduct a trial to detect the errors and fix them until they’re error-free.
  • Upgrading: Ensure programs can run smoothly and meet new technology demands.
  • Repairing: Debug to ensure optimal functioning.

Key skills

Software developers
  • Communication skills: You should be a good listener to clearly understand your customers’ demands and be good at speaking in order to convey instructions to colleagues who are working on projects you’re running.
  • Analytical skills: This allows you to exactly determine clients’ requirements
  • Problem-solving skills: Developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise during the development process.
  • Teamwork: Software development services is a process that is broken into stages. That means you have to get on well with your team members to get the highest productivity.
  • Detail-oriented: They have to pay attention to what they do because they’re working on multiple parts of an application.
  • Creativity: Come up with the idea for new programs.
Computer programmers
  • Reading comprehension: to clearly understand the written instructions from the software developers.
  • Critical thinking
  • Active listening
  • Detail-oriented and troubleshooting: You must be able to find small mistakes in code and fix them because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

(Based on the results of PayScale’s salary questionnaire on Aug 2018)

Image result for PayScale's salary for software developers vs computer programmer
Software developers
A Software Developer can earn $48,803 – $102,607 a year and the average salary is $69,595 per year in the US.
Computer programmers
For Computer Programmers, yearly average wages total $60,946 annually, with a range usually between $39,512 – $97,157
Now you can see more clearly the difference between a software developer and computer programmer. Who are you want to become in the future?\