The Difference Between A Programmer, Coder, Developer And Engineer



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Do you know the difference between a Programmer, Coder, Developer and Engineer?

The titles such as Engineer, Programmer, Coder, Developer, and Computer Scientist are very confusing even for those who are working in the technology industry. Do you exactly know what do they do and in case of a problem or help whom should you approach?

In real world, it depends upon organization to organization and how these terms are used by them in their industry, as these terms are often interchangeable. It can change and mean different things based on the situation.

So, how do you differentiate between these terms and know who’s who and what kind of expert you will need for a particular job? While there is no specific rule to follow, we will have a look at each title below and see what it means.

Developers and Programmers

They are more experienced code-writers who are versed in at least two to three languages and write awesome, clean, error free and well-factored codes. They can apply their algorithmic knowledge to create more advanced levels of software coding.

Developers in some firms are sometimes called the start to finish overseers of a project, who are responsible for the overall design of the application. The developer within these companies will often oversee a team of coders and programmers to make sure that the design of the application is user-friendly and a cohesive end product is created. The developer in these cases would most probably be the client’s direct point of contact and would then deal with the rest of the team to solving problem, make requested changes, and answer client questions.


Anyone who writes code is often called a coder by the people outside the tech industry. However, this all-surrounding term can be considered judgmental for those who live and breathe programming every day. Coders are commonly considered the least trained or experienced level of programmers.

These people do not have the same algorithmic knowledge as a programmer or developer, as they are often a beginner in the field, skilled in just one coding language. Coders are usually given the job of writing forthright pieces of code that can easily be delegated by the developers. As some are put-off by the title, it is sometimes used interchangeably with “Junior Programmer” or “Junior Developer.”


The title of engineer or software engineer is normally reserved for the highest level, or most expert coders around. Engineers are well versed in three programming languages or more and use their skills to design and carry out the overall architecture of the application. They modularized the product to develop a clean interface, and then work with the programmers and developers to carry out the more comprehensive features of the design.

Do you agree with the definitions above, or think otherwise, do let us know in the comments section below.



2 thoughts on “The Difference Between A Programmer, Coder, Developer And Engineer

  1. I want to start with a disclaimer: I am very new to programming. That being said, it seems to me that you’re placing the categories in a continuous order (i.e. coder < developer < software engineer). But it seems to me that engineers deal with different aspects of programming than programmers do :O. Engineers are more mathematically oriented. Maybe I'm completely wrong here. The only thing I have to back my claims up are the program descriptions for Computer Science and Software Engineering programs at my University…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely appreciate your concern here and thanks for you sharing your thoughts. Role of Engineers, Developers and coder also have been depends upon the subjects they have chosen in their university course ware.


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