Software Engineer vs Web Developer vs Computer Programmer

software engineer cartoon

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When launching a website or making changes to an existing one, many businesses can get confused over the different job roles and the services that they offer, including the difference between a software engineer, a web developer and a computer programmer.

We explain the differences for each service provider below.

Whether you’re creating a new website or looking to update an existing one, consider using a web design company for your website.

Software Engineer

software engineer cartoonIdeal for: creating, developing and testing new or existing software solutions.

A software engineer, also known as a software developer, will create programmes and software for computers using code and programming languages in order to provide bespoke applications or make changes to existing ones. The work requires a lot of skill and involves rigorous testing to ensure that software runs effectively and is free from errors.

Software engineers may use the services of computer programmers in order to create the code, although many will choose to do this themselves. Like most IT related fields, software engineers will have relative degrees and experience which will allow them to provide the most effective software engineering services for businesses.

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Web Developer

Web Developer cartoonIdeal for: launching a website or improving its design, usability and management.

A web developer is responsible for creating websites or improving existing websites. This is done through using specialist programming code such as HTML5, Javascript and others. Web developers possess a range of skills in order to create effective websites on behalf of businesses to ensure that they function correctly.

From developing the website and ensuring that all of its features are implemented correctly through to creating applications and managing content, a web developer will be able to provide a comprehensive service for businesses looking to produce a dynamic and eye catching website.

Computer Programmer

Computer programmer cartoonIdeal for: creating the code that powers websites and applications.

A computer programmer is an expert at using code in order to perform a number of computer related tasks including the creation of programmes and applications that are developed with the help of a software engineer.

Computer programmers will be skilled in using coding languages such as C++, Java and others . They will also be very logical and analytical as this helps to solve problems and create useful pieces of code that tell the computer to do what is required.

Computer programmers do not necessarily have the same skills as a web developer, although a web developer may use programmers in order to build websites and these could involve bespoke programmes created by a developer.

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Which should I use?

Businesses looking to launch a website will be better off enlisting a web developer in order to create their site and manage it.

computer programmer and a software engineer will come in handy for businesses looking to develop their own software for example, but they won’t have the specialist skills to produce a website.

All three can be hired as freelancers or as part of service companies and will work with their clients to ensure that their needs are understood and met. A detailed initial briefing will help them create the most effective website possible, one that reflects the nature and aims of the business.

Using the services of a professional software engineer, a web developer or a computer programmer is a simple and cost effective way for businesses to ensure that they have the best and most user friendly websites.

Professional providers ensure that websites perform effectively, are attention grabbing and provide the best user experience.

Next steps

Confident you can tell your software engineers from your computer programmers? Then it’s time to brush up on the differences between web developers and UI developers.

Or if you’re ready to commission a website, you might be interested in finding out how much a website costs. Ensure your business gets the most effective website for its needs by completing this form. Expert Market will search the web and bring you quotes from service providers based on your unique business requirements such as location and budget.

Written by:
Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics.
Reviewed by:
Robyn Summers-Emler, Grow Online Editor, Profile Picture
Robyn started working on Expert Market in 2021 as a specialist in business websites and digital marketing. As the Grow Online Editor, she ideates, commissions and optimizes content on Expert Market that helps businesses thrive in online spaces and maximize their ecommerce potential. Covering everything from choosing a website builder to scaling a social media marketing strategy - Robyn uses her expertise to help startups, SMBs, and larger businesses realize digital growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.