What Is The Difference Between Web Developer And Software Engineer?

What Is The Difference Between Web Developer And Software Engineer?

Web developers build websites and apps employing frontend and backend coding languages. Meanwhile, software engineers produce web-based and operating system software. 

While both roles involve coding, several critical differences set them apart. In this article, the S-PRO team will explain the difference between web developer and software engineer in more detail.

Defining Web Development

The core goal of web development is building and maintaining websites and web applications. 

A web developer’s primary role is to create code using various programming languages, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Java. With their help, they provide visually appealing and functional web solutions. It also involves working with frameworks and libraries like React, Angular, and, Node.js to build dynamic and responsive web applications.

Programming encompasses several sub-fields, including front-end development, back-end development, full-stack development, and web design.

What Is Software Engineering?

Software engineering comprises designing, developing, testing, and maintaining software solutions.

The software engineering services involve high-level programming languages like Java, Python, and C++. Professionals in this field design and forge software to meet specific requirements, including functionality, security, and scalability. They manage software projects using various development methodologies like Agile, Waterfall, and Scrum. 

With the right tools and frameworks, software engineers develop solutions for various business needs, making scalable and feature-rich digital products. 

What Is The Difference Between Web Developer and Software Engineer?

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper into the topic and provide a more extensive answer to the question, “What is the difference between software engineer and web developer?” S-PRO, a renowned web development company, will gladly shed more light on these widely confused concepts.


The main difference between web and software developers is their focus. 

Web developers primarily concentrate on creating websites and web applications for Internet browsers. In particular, their work involves the following aspects:

  • Building the user interface
  • Implementing client-side functionality
  • Handling server-side interactions for web-based projects

On the other hand, software engineers have a broader scope of work. They design, develop, and maintain software applications encompassing web and mobile apps, desktop software, or even embedded systems.

Technologies and Languages

Since web developers focus on web solutions, they must be proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. In contrast, software engineers work with Java, C++, Python, and more.

Software engineers are versatile in various technologies and programming languages. They may work with web technologies and other domains, such as mobile app development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and system architecture. 

Skills and Expertise

Both web developers and software engineers require strong programming skills. Besides, they work collaboratively with designers, project managers, and other team members.

S-PRO has rich expertise in both software and web development. Here’s a more detailed view of the most critical web developers’ skills:

Role Responsibilities                                                                                    Tools/Frameworks/ Programming Languages
Frontend Developer
  • Building user interfaces
  • Designing website layouts
  • Implementing website functionality
  • JavaScript
  • React
  • Angular
  • Vue.js
Backend Developer
  • Building server-side logic 
  • Integrating database systems and third-party APIs
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Node.js
  • Django
  • Flask
  • Express.js
  • Working on frontend and backend development
  • Handling the entire web development process
All of the above
Web Designer
  • Creating website layouts
  • Designing colour schemes and typography
  • Implementing user interfaces
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Sketch

In turn, software engineers should have excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to think critically and creatively. Let’s take a closer look at their most significant responsibilities:

Role Responsibilities Tools/Frameworks/ Programming Languages 
Software Dev
  • Designing, implementing, and testing software applications
  • Java
  • Python
  • C++
  • .NET
  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
Software Tester
  • Testing software to ensure it meets requirements and standards
  • Finding and debugging defects in software 
  • JUnit
  • Selenium
  • TestNG 
  • Apache JMeter
System Analyst
  • Assessing business needs
  • Determining software requirements 
  • Designing solutions based on software requirements
  • UML
  • Wireframes
  • BPMN
  • XML
  • SQL
Software Architect
  • Designing overall structure of software systems (including underlying data, application functionality, and interactions)
  • ER Diagrams
  • UML
  • Design Patterns
DevOps Engineer
  • Managing software development and operations (including configuration management, deployment automation, and monitoring)
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Jenkins
  • Ansible

Overlapping Areas and Collaboration

Despite the differences between the two types of developers, there are several overlapping areas between them. They require cooperation and teamwork to produce booming software systems. Let’s take a closer look at those common skills and responsibilities.

  1. Full-stack web development: web developers and software engineers often collaborate to build full-stack web applications. Web developers handle the front-end development, while software engineers focus on the back-end development.
  2. API integration: web developers and software engineers cooperate to integrate APIs into web applications.
  3. Security and data protection: web developers implement secure coding practices, such as input validation and protection against cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection attacks. Software engineers, in turn, handle server-side security, encryption, user authentication, and access control mechanisms. Their goal is to safeguard sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.
  4. Testing and quality assurance: web developers perform front-end testing, user interface testing, and cross-browser compatibility checks. Meanwhile, software engineers conduct back-end testing, database integrity checks, and performance testing.
  5. Continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD): web developers and software engineers collaborate to implement CI/CD pipelines. They ensure efficient web application development, testing, and deployment.

When Do You Need a Software Engineer?

You need a software engineer to create systems and applications that are not web-based. You’ll also need such a professional to build software with complex functional requirements. In this case, expertise in software architecture, algorithms, and data structures is a must.

Why Do You Need Website Development Experts or Consultants?

You need website development experts or consultants because they have the specialised knowledge and skills to create functional and visually appealing web platforms to meet the needs of a business or organisation. 

At S-PRO, we can help you achieve the following goals:

  • Establish a solid online presence that drives traffic, increases conversions, and enhances your brand's reputation.
  • Get guidance and support throughout development — from planning and design to testing and launch.
  • Create a website tailored to your specific goals and unique requirements.


The difference between web developer and software engineer is drastic. A web developer primarily focuses on the development and implementation of web-based applications and user interfaces. Meanwhile, a software engineer has a broader scope. It involves the design, development, and maintenance of various software systems and applications that may extend beyond web-based environments.

Reach out to the expert team at S-PRO to accomplish all your programming and software engineering objectives.


CEO, Co-founder. Innovative and commercially-minded Creative Technologist. Solid experience in product & market needs analysis, business strategy development & team leadership.
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