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The distinctions between a web developer and a software engineer appear obvious at first look. However, the more you think about it, the more the respective lines blur. Many software engineers, for example, spend their time working on web-based software—does this constitute them web developers?

It’s a fascinating question. Let’s compare “web developer vs. software engineer,” explaining how they differ—and how they’re more similar than people may realize.

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What exactly is a web developer?
Online developers create and maintain websites, web pages, and web applications. However, as the web has evolved over the last decade, the work parameters have significantly expanded, implying that web developers may be required to learn a wide range of new skills (such as blockchain).

Web development is still a rewarding career. The typical compensation for web developers is presently $91,991, according to Lightcast (previously Emsi Burning Glass), which gathers and analyzes millions of job posts from throughout the country. As expected, the profession is expected to rise 8.4 percent over the next ten years, with the current time required to fill a vacant position standing at 40 days (which is relatively high for tech professions).

What qualifications do you need to become a web developer?
Although a formal degree in web development is beneficial, many web developers are self-taught. The idea is to create a résumé, portfolio, and online profiles that highlight your web development work in the best possible light; if you have that, you have a better chance of interacting with a hiring manager and/or recruiter (or, if you’re freelancing, a client). Acquiring formal certificates can also help you demonstrate that you have the requisite skills, while they are not required if you want to work as a web developer.

What exactly is a software engineer?
Software engineers are frequently responsible with figuring out how to develop and implement entire systems (whether it’s an app, a service, or something else using software). Software engineers must comprehend not just the technical parts of software, but also substantial project management skills. (This differs from software developers, who are typically more concerned with the technical execution of software products.)

The median compensation for a software engineer is $98,783 per year, according to Lightcast, and $90,321 according to Glassdoor, which also crowdsources wage data. According to, a website that crowdsources compensation data from technologists all over the country, adding cutting-edge specializations like machine learning can raise software engineering salaries even higher—beyond $200,000 in many cases. GitHub, Amazon Web Services (AWS), test-driven development (TDD), JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), TypeScript, jQuery, and PostgreSQL are also in high demand among software professionals.

What qualifications do you need to become a software engineer?
There are several routes to becoming a software engineer. Many begin as software developers (with a far more tactical concentration on developing software) before gaining project management abilities that will allow them to advance to full-fledged software engineering roles. As this software engineer resume template shows, the goal is to demonstrate that you have the requisite talents—and that you’ve used those skills to assist past employers in successfully completing their most critical tasks.

What exactly is the distinction between a web developer and a software engineer?
Web developers only work on web-based products, whereas software engineers must work on all types of software projects, from web to augmented reality (AR). While there may be some overlap—many software initiatives are also web-focused—software engineering is far larger and more strategic than web development in general.

It is also an issue of ability. Web developers can focus their skill set on what they need to build web apps and services, such as HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and so on. Software engineers may need to grasp a significantly broader selection of programming languages, frameworks, and tools depending on their specialization.


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