How does a Software Developer Differ from a Computer Programmer?

How does a Software Developer Differ from a Computer Programmer?

The world of computer science is vast and requires many different people in various positions in order to function. If you’re considering working with computers you might be wondering if software development or computer programming is a good option for you. Here’s some more information on how these two positions are similar and different--and most importantly, which one is for right for you.

Software Developers

Software developers are the creative minds behind the foundation of computer programs. Some professionals develop applications that enable people to perform specific tasks on computers or other devices.

Duties of Software Developers

Software developers do the following:

  • Analyze user needs before they design software and then test the software to ensure it meets those needs
  • Recommend important software upgrades for existing programs
  • Design several models and diagrams that can instruct programmers on how to write software code
  • Design different pieces of an application and plan on how the pieces will work together
  • Ensure that the program will remain functional through testing and software maintenance
  • Document all aspects of an application and use them later for maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer professionals to design and develop optimum software

Don't Wait to Learn More About ECPI University's Degree Programs!

Software Developers begin their work by discussing with their clients the main purpose of the software they need. These professionals should also identify the user requirements that are indirectly related to the functionality of the software. For instance, the security levels and performance needs. Software developers design programs and then give unique instructions to programmers who are tasked with writing computer codes and testing them.

In case the program doesn’t work as the client expected or, if during the testing phase the software is found to be too difficult to use, the software developers go back to the drawing board and improve the program or fix the problems. After the client installs the program, the software developer can perform maintenance and upgrades. Software developers often work closely with computer programmers. However, in some cases, software developers write code themselves.

Examples of Types of Software Developers

System software developers

They create systems that maintain computer functionality. Usually, software engineers also build the system interface that enables users to interact with computers. These professionals create operating systems that help consumers to control most of the consumer electronics that are in use today in cars or phones.

Applications software developers

These experts design computer applications, for instance, games and word processors for consumers. Software developers create complex databases for specific customers or for the general public to purchase. They also design and build programs that people can use within a company’s intranet or over the internet.

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers are tasked with the responsibility of writing and testing code after receiving specifications from software developers and ensure that the software programs and computer applications function properly as expected. If the programs aren’t working correctly, the computer programmers test the code. They look for mistakes and fix them.

Duties of Computer Programmers

  • Code programs using a variety of computer languages, for instance, Java and C++
  • Expand and update existing programs
  • Build programs and test them for errors and fix any existing faulty computer code lines
  • Create and test the code in an IDE (integrated development environment)
  • Use different code libraries to simplify the task of writing code

How to Determine if Software Development is Right for You

Software developers design and build computer systems or software applications. They can develop major applications that make computers run as well as software applications for clients. Software engineers work for long hours, and they may have to travel to meet up with design members and clients.

  • Requirements: You will need a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, with room to expand to a master’s degree once you feel comfortable enough with your current experience.
  • Key skills: problem-solving, analytical skills, teamwork, creativity as well as communication skills, and attention to detail. You should also be familiar with the developmental environment, database management, and program testing.

How Formal Education can Help You in the Software Development Field

Because software developers design and create new software programs, they require a high degree of creativity. You should have strong mathematical, problem-solving skills as well as analytical skills. Before you decide to become a software developer, below are three tips that you should consider:

  • Obtain a formal degree in your field
  • Gain real world experience with computers and software development
  • Consider certification to help validate your skillset for current or future employers

How does a Software Developer Differ from a Computer Programmer?

Are you interested in software development and want to find yourself on the cutting edge of computer technology? If you want to earn a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer and Information Science with a Major in Software Development, consider ECPI University for the educational background you’ll need to launch your new career. With day, evening, and online classes, you can find get your education on your own time. For more information, connect with a friendly admissions advisor today.

It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!

Learn more about ECPI  University's College of Technology TODAY!

DISCLAIMER – ECPI University makes no claim, warranty, or guarantee as to actual employability or earning potential to current, past or future students or graduates of any educational program we offer. The ECPI University website is published for informational purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information contained on the domain; however, no warranty of accuracy is made. No contractual rights, either expressed or implied, are created by its content.

For more information about ECPI University or any of our programs click here: or