There is so much jargon in the coding and software development world that it can be hard to even know what to call what you do!
You’ll hear terms like “coder”, “developer”, “software engineer” and even the odd “ninja” - although that trend has thankfully abated!
So when are you a coder, a developer or an engineer?
Is there any difference? If there is, does it matter?
To me there is no difference between a developer and a software engineer unless you work in a country where engineer is a protected title. In which case, you may need to pass certain exams and reviews to be legally allowed to use the title. But as far as I am concerned both do the same job.
So that leaves coder vs developer…..
Every developer is a coder. But not every coder is a developer.
It comes down to where you are writing code.
- Knows one or more programming languages
- Solves problems with code
- Works independently
- Understands relevant infrastructure/systems for application deployments
- Uses version control
- Writes tests for personal confidence in codebase
- Works in a team
- Writes tests for team and business confidence in code base
- Understands and engages with Agile/project management principles
- Works with project owner/manager
- Cognisant of business needs and tradeoffs
- Writes documentation for current and future team members
Neither is better than the other. A developer works as part of a team and a coder tends to work solo.
In reality the difference is minimal and while you’re learning to code you shouldn’t worry about titles like this. There is no difference in the learning path between the two so stick to your plan and don’t be thrown off course because you think one might be different (or better) than the other.
Remember, every developer is a coder. So, learn to code, solve problems and build things.