What are the differences between a Software Engineer and a Programmer?

·Jul 9, 2022·

2 min read

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Table of contents

  • Programmer
  • Software Engineer


A computer programmer writes code. He/She types the lines of codes that comprise software, operating systems, and other computer programs. Some people use the terms, coding and programming interchangeably. Technically, coding is just the act of writing code, while programming often focuses on the entire project, not just pieces of it.

The term programming can be a general term or specific description.

Generally speaking, all programmers are coders, they write code to create a functional software program. Mostly, coding is part of a programming job, but a lot more goes into it. Nonetheless, some companies hire programmers only for coding tasks, and vice-versa. Programmers working with large teams tend to specialize in certain tasks.

In a typical work environment, programmers take instructions from designers, engineers, or a lead programmer and turn those instructions, or as intricate as turning an entire concept, into a complete program.

Software Engineer

A software engineer applies engineering principles to software and software development. The job shares similarities to software development, but with additional consideration of engineering principles.

These engineering principles are a specific method of looking at a problem. Just like civil engineers consider the river bed before designing a bridge foundation, software engineers consider computer hardware and software systems to design software that will work well in that environment.

Software engineers also communicate with clients to design software that works well for them. Software engineering extends far beyond just programming software; it involves an entire design process to create programs that work efficiently and reliably in the conditions, on the hardware, and with the users that the company is targeting.

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Happy Coding!

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