Difference between Software Engineer and Computer Programmer

Key Difference: Software Engineers is a person that deals with design, development, construction, testing and maintenance of software. These people can also refer to themselves as software developers or computer programmers. Computer programmers are also the same as software engineers. These people are responsible for designing and writing computer software.

Software Engineers is a person that deals with design, development, construction, testing and maintenance of software. This person’s particular job is to practice software engineering. These people can also refer to themselves as software developers or computer programmers. Software Engineers require a heavy mathematics background and programming and coding language to develop software. Software engineers are expected to have good communication skills as they are considered the bridge between programmers and the non-tech business managers.

Software Engineering is the field of studying, devising and building a practical solution to a problem. The objective of a software engineer is to understand a problem within a computer and create software that eases the problem. This could include either manipulating existing software or creating a new one from scratch. Software is required to make computer function. This job is mostly a team effort. Engineers group together with programmers in order to build a software that works with the system at hand.

Many subjects that are learned in SE is similar to the ones learned in Computer Science, but it also includes additional subjects such as requirements engineering, software architecture, software testing, and software deployment. Other areas that play an importance in this field include leadership, communication, time management, people management, etc. The engineers must plan out the best way to tackle the situation at hand and create a step by step process on how to accomplish this task. They may require to code in certain time, but most of the coding is done by programmers. A software engineer requires a background in software creation, programming languages, mathematics and computer hardware.

Software engineers when developing software go through a software process. This software process model is an abstraction of software process and is also known as process paradigms. The first published model for the software process is known as the Waterfall model. When a software is being made it must first be conceptualized on the paper, following which the program is designed and then asked to be written. The software then goes through vigorous testing and a soft release before it is made public.

A computer programmer share many similarities with a software engineer as the main job of a programmer is to design, develop and write codes for computer programs. They are also known as a programmer, developer, coder or software engineer. A computer programmer can be limited to one specific field or can write codes for multiple different areas of computing. A computer programmer uses computing languages such as C, C++, C#, Java, Lisp, Python, etc. to write up programs. These programs or software tell the computer what to do and what output to give when it comes across certain clauses.

British mathematician, Ada Lovelace has been credited with writing the first program for a computing machine when she developed and wrote the first algorithm for Charles Babbage’s analytical system. However, her work was never completed as the Babbage’s machine was not finished. The first person to successfully run a program on a functioning electronic computer was pioneer computer scientist Konrad Zuse in 1941.

Programmers are required to conceptualize the software or program, design it, construct it and finally write the code. Programmers work with software engineers in developing and maintaining the program or code. There is an ongoing debate within the computing community that tries to place computer programming within art, craft or engineering. So far, the most popular result is that it is a combination of all three. Programmers require out of the box thinking and then putting that a particular program in action.

Software engineers and computer programmers share a lot of similar qualities. They both are responsible for designing and developing software, while software engineers do the talking, programmers usually are responsible for developing and writing the code for the software. Programming can be considered as a subset of software engineering. Also, people do not require degrees to call themselves 

Image Courtesy: businessinsider.com, computertrainingschools.com

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