What's the Difference Between a Developer and a Programmer?

The development and completion of a website involves the work of many professionals, and many wonder what the difference is between a developer and a programmer. While both of these professionals play an important role in creating a functional website, the scope of their work is very different. They also play a different part in making a website. Programmers and developers may earn similar wages but are expected to experience very different job growth potentials. Learn the difference between programmers and developers.

What is a Web Developer?

Web developers are professionals who plan and design internet websites. The overall look of a website is the direct result of work performed by developers. They’re also the ones in charge of the website’s speed, traffic capacity and overall performance. Developers meet with businesses and clients to determine the design and needs of the company. They collaborate with designers and other members of the team to decide what the site’s layout should look like.

Occasionally, the developer uses his or her knowledge of programming languages to writes codes for the site. They also test the site to determine its functionality. They also add video, audio and various graphics into the site. The developer’s job is not complete once the site is up and running; they monitor traffic and perform upgrades.

What is a Programmer?

Programmers are trained professionals who are responsible for how a website works. When a client decides on what a website should look like, software architects or engineers, as well as web developers, design the site. These professionals collaborate on how to put together a website. However, the site is not fully functional until the programmer does his thing, which is writing codes to make the site perform tasks like turning pages, scrolling up and down, and any movement that is needed.

In the case of a gaming site, the programmer is the one who writes the code to make the animated people move and perform tasks. Without the services of a programmer, the website would have no movement and would just look like a picture. In addition to writing codes, the programmer also corrects any bugs, monitors the site and troubleshoots it. Programmers may be general programmers who write codes for various software types or may specialize in one specific type of software code.

What are the Differences?

Although there are a few differences between developers and programmers, the main difference is that developers create and design how the website will look, and programmers write the code that makes it functional and performs various tasks. The programmer studies the designs and blueprints of what the developer wants the site to look like and creates codes to make the site work.

Depending on the level of study, programmers may be proficient in various programming languages, including Java, JavaScript, SQL Server, PHP, C+, Python and Oracle, among others. Programmers, which are also referred to as coders or engineers, may be one of several types:

  • Gaming
  • Application
  • System
  • Machine learning engineers
  • Mobile development

Developers, which are also called software architects or software engineers, perform many tasks related to creating a website. They perform research, analysis and maintenance on a website from beginning to end and even beyond in the form of troubleshooting and upgrading. Developers also write up documentation on the site and submit it to their clients for approval. Although developers occasionally write code for a website, coding is usually left to the programmer.

With the increasing popularity and use of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, many developers specialize in mobile development. They also often specialize in specific operating systems, such as iOS platform or Android because these areas typically garnish higher wages.

The biggest difference between these two professionals is that developers are often also programmers. In fact, many developers start out as programmers and advance to become developers. However, programmers are not always developers. These job titles may be interchangeable, but they’re usually two separate individuals.

Career Growth & Wage Potential for Both

Despite the fact that developers and programmers are both needed in our computer-based world, these two professions are expected to experience a very different job growth according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Web developers are predicted to see job growth of 13 percent during the 2018-2028 decade, while the job growth for programmers is expected to decline seven percent during that same period.

Developer wages ranged between $37,930 and $124,480 with their average annual wage at $75,580 as of May 2018. Programmer wages ranged between $48,790 and $134,630, and their average annual wage was $89,580. Although programmer wages appear to be slightly higher than developer’s, certain factors can affect earning potential. These factors include degree level, work experience, location, and type of employer.

Website and developers may have different job growth predictions, but the services of both of these professionals are in demand and will continue to be in demand. Individuals with a creative mind and artistic ability may find that despite the differences between a developer and a programmer, both careers can be exciting and stimulating.

Related Resources:

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How Should I Prepare for a Job Interview as a Programmer?

Do Many Companies Hire People Without a Degree in Programming?