At first glance, the differences between a web developer and a software engineer seem obvious. But the more you think about it, the more the respective lines begin to blur. Many software engineers spend their time working on web-based software, for example. Does that also make them web developers?
It’s an interesting question. Let’s take a look at “web developer vs. software engineer“, defining how each is different and how they’re more alike than some might think.
What is a web developer?
Simply put, web developers create and maintain websites, web pages, and web applications. With the evolution of the web, however, the parameters of work have expanded dramatically over the past decade, which means web developers may have to learn all kinds of new skills (like blockchain).
Web development remains a lucrative business. According to Lightcast (formerly Emsi Burning Glass), which collects and analyzes millions of job postings across the country, the median salary for web developers currently stands at $91,991. As you’d expect, the profession is expected to grow by 8.4% over the next 10 years, and the current time it takes to fill a vacancy is 40 days (which is relatively high for tech professions).
As with many other tech job roles, web developers should have a mix of “hard skills” (HTML/CSS, frameworks, etc.) and “soft skills” (empathy and communication), as they frequently need to get buy-in from others across their organization. Resumes of ideal web developers show how web developers have used all their skills to advance organizations web strategies.
What do you need to become a web developer?
While formal training in web development certainly can’t hurt, many web developers are self-taught. The key is to create a resume, portfolio, and online profiles that showcase your web development projects in the best possible light. if you have this, you have a better chance of connecting with a hiring manager and/or recruiter (or client, if you go the freelance route). Obtaining formal certifications can also help prove that you have the necessary skills, although they are not essential if you want to land a job as a web developer.
What is a Software Engineer?
Software engineers are often tasked with figuring out how to design and implement entire systems (whether it’s an application, service, or something else involving software). Software engineers should not only understand the technical aspects of software, the best ones also have important project management skills. (This is in contrast to software developers, who generally focus more on the technical implementation of software products.)
What do you need to become a software engineer?
There are several paths to becoming a software engineer. Many start out as software developers (with a much more tactical focus on software coding) before gaining the project management skills that can allow them to move into a full-fledged software engineering role. As you can see from this software engineer resume template, the trick is to show that you have the necessary skills and that you’ve used those skills to help past employers complete their most critical projects.
What is the difference between a web developer and a software engineer?
Web developers focus exclusively on web-based products, while software engineers necessarily work on all kinds of software projects, from web to augmented reality (AR). Although there is some potential overlap (many software projects are also web-focused), software engineering is generally much broader and more strategic than web development.
Should I become a web developer or a software engineer?
It’s up to you! If you love all things web development and want to make a career out of it (and are less interested in work focused on designing and building systems), a career as a web developer might be a better fit for you. But if you’re intrigued by the idea of creating and maintaining important software that potentially touches every aspect of a business, software engineering might be for you.