Trending technologies are changing the ways we live and work, and with such an expansive and continuously growing industry, even those who work in the field are not always aware of the variety of professions there are and how each department differs from one another. Needless to say, the world of web development and software development are more closely related than you may think, and there’s a lot that these two sectors can learn to improve overall performance.
What are web developers and what do they do?
A web developer or programmer is someone who takes a completed web design — which has been created either by a professional design team or the client — and turns it into a fully navigable website with clean page-to-page functionality.
How is this done, you ask? Well, professional web development involves the writing of lines and lines of complicated code, which uses a variety of programming languages (for example, HTML or Python) that your computer understands. As you can imagine, this can take quite a bit of time and effort, requiring different types of web developers who specialize in various areas to collaborate to create a finished product.
Aside from building the website from the design, a web developer also maintains the website, keeping their focus on user experience while meeting the needs of their clients. Whether it’s making the header clickable, allowing the customer to input their shipping details, ensuring that the subscription bar works, and everything in between, the web developer is responsible for building the order behind every e-commerce website.
Aside from the above tasks, web developers also tend to help in the construction of each website’s layout to ensure that it is easy-to-use and possesses visually appealing landing pages. They may even write some content for the site if needed. Once the website has launched, developers are tasked with monitoring its performance, as they are the most familiar with technology and how computers and web servers work. They also are familiar with many software programs and web applications, using their skills to communicate, set goals, and meet the deadlines expected by their clients.
What are software developers and what do they do?
A software developer, also sometimes referred to as a computer programmer, is a specialist that writes the code for many kinds of computer software programs. This type of computer engineer is the creative mind behind programming, developing the underlying systems that run your devices and/or control networks and applications that allow you to do specific computer-based or device-based tasks. They use an engineering design process to create the programs that we all use on a daily basis, as well as other foundational computer systems, also known as embedded software programs.
Software development is the process of gathering requirements, specifying details, architecture design, documenting, testing, and troubleshooting involved in the creation of software applications, frameworks, and components. Through research, developers can design, code, and document programs, test them to fix bugs, and maintain their performance throughout the lifespan of the product, which includes interaction with end users, business clients, 3rd party vendors, and suppliers.
In addition to programming, software developers also create and manage algorithms, troubleshoot the problems that occur throughout the development cycle, and accurately gather product requirements from clients to design solutions to specific or custom computer applications.
Here is a list of what a software developer does from start to finish of a project:
- Researching, designing, implementing, and managing software programs.
- Testing and evaluating new programs.
- Identifying areas for modification in existing software programs and developing these modifications.
- Writing and implementing code.
- Deploying software tools, processes, and metrics.
- Maintaining and upgrading existing software systems.
- Training users to use the software.
- Working closely with other developers.
For those that still don’t understand, how do the above occupations differ?
Since there is quite a bit of overlap between the above two professions, it’s worth pointing out the very important differences that exist between them.
Web developers are primarily concerned with building websites and web applications that run on a variety of web browsers. Whereas, software developers are mainly focused on building programs that run on desktop computers and mobile devices. While both of these specialized fields require programming experience, they vary in knowledge, demanding that the professional have strong attention to detail in their area of expertise. Both professions are dependent upon great problem-solving skills, the ability to handle an independent workflow, and the understanding of an assortment of capabilities when maintaining the performance of projects.
Web developers will often work closely with business or digital marketing experts to ensure the website that they build is efficient, user-friendly, and pleasing in its design. On the other hand, software developers tend to collaborate with more tech professionals and may not require client communication at any stage of their program build.
What can professional web developers and software developers learn from one another?
So, now that you understand what’s expected of each profession, it’s time for you to learn how they can collaborate. From a technical point of view, both fields can be fruitful if they better understand how they connect.
For example, software developers are often the ones in charge of creating the tools that web developers use to carry out their assignments. Thus, this would be a good point of collaboration between the two jobs. If web developers seek a deeper understanding of the mechanics of a software language or program, they can gain an appreciation of the capabilities and limitations of the platform or tool they’re using. This kind of insight is helpful for knowing if client requirements are realistic. This type of observation also enables web design teams to alter their plans for the particular use of a programming language.
Keeping in mind that collaboration is not a one-way street, it’s important for software developers to also understand the needs of web developers so that they can improve their software programs by making new functions that help from a development perspective.
Consider this type of learning to be a form of professional cross-pollination and there’s an endless list of benefits, including:
- The empowerment of team members.
- Open communication, fewer gaps.
- Keep professionals end-user or client-focused.
- Assists both parties in learning new things and break out of their traditional ways of thinking.
- Increasing productivity.
- Access to new resources.
- Builds trust and respect.
- May assist in driving down production costs.
Since there’s an overlap of interest between professional web development and software development, it’s important to talk and collaborate about the tangible benefits for both professions.
What did you learn from our blog today? Drop a comment below to collaborate with our team and other readers.