What is the difference between a computer programmer and software developer?

Posted at 19 May 2023

There are many different careers in the field of IT, but there are two that often create confusion: computer programmer and software developer.

The terms “programmer” and “developer” are often used interchangeably, but these two careers are in fact different and have their own characteristics, tasks and challenges.

Learn more about the differences between programmers and developers in this article.

Tasks and responsibilities of a computer programmer

Programmers are coding experts with technical skills and proficiency in one or more computer languages. This knowledge equips them to code clearly and accurately to create software and applications. Their main task is to convert ideas into instructions that can be read and performed by computers.

IT job offers mention various characteristics and skills that employers and recruiters look for in programmers.

Computer programmers must have an academic background in mathematics. Being an excellent mathematician is not mandatory, but they must have the knowledge required to fully understand the different algorithms they will work with.

Programmers spend most of their time on computers and less on project management, so strong communication skills are not necessary to succeed in this job.

Most computer programmers work in a team supervised by a team leader who ensures that everyone knows their tasks and can perform them well.

What does a software developer do?

A software developer is basically a programmer. Although both have the same technical skills and know computer language, developers have a wider range of tasks and responsibilities within the projects they are working on.

As indicated in their name, software developers are especially interested in the development of IT projects and problem solving. As such, they don’t necessarily have a specialty in one aspect of software development, but rather have advanced knowledge of each stage of the project.

The responsibilities highlighted in developer job offers may include the following:

·      Software design and programming

·      Research

·      Writing technical documentation and specifications

·      Software testing

·      Software maintenance

·      Setting up the software

·      Performance analysis

Other skills needed to become a software developer

Since they are involved in several aspects of the same project, developers often have to interact with several people (customers, colleagues, etc.). Therefore, unlike programmers, developers must have good interpersonal and communication skills.

Computer programmer and software developer: two similar careers that are quite different

In conclusion, the main difference between a computer programmer and software developer is the variety of tasks and responsibilities they have. Programmers are in charge of coding flawlessly to create functional software whereas developers know how to code, but mainly find solutions to IT problems.

Although these two careers are similar, they are quite different and complement each other. Programmers and developers often work together towards the same goal: creating outstanding computer programs and software.

Are you looking for a programmer or developer job in Quebec? Submit a spontaneous application to Fed IT today to find your dream job!