Programmer and Developer are Different?

by Jairon Landa

Programmers versus Developers, Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! This argument still lingers, clear differences are yet to be presented. Just as these terms are not direct synonyms, so is their meaning in the field of computing. Clear differences between a Programmer and a Developer are what this article presents.

According to Dawn R. Mckay (2018), a computer programmer creates the code for software applications and operating systems. Hence, the programmer is in charge of the core end of the computer codes while the developer focuses on the top layer just after that of the programmer. No wonder the phrase “Computer Programmer” and not “Computer Developer”.

The skills of the programmer can be extended to software Development but the result will not be as efficient as that of the software developer. Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functions of the software, such as the level of security and performance needs. These are spots where programmers may not be able compete with developers.

While a programmer is an individual that writes/creates computer software or applications by giving the computer-specific programming instructions. Most programmers have a broad computing and coding background across multiple programming languages and platforms, including Structured Query Language (SQL), Perl, Extensible Markup Language (XML), PHP, HTML, C, C++ and Java so as to get high compatibility.

The term “programmer” has been in existence almost at the same time as the introduction of digital computer, while “developer” was introduced around the late 80’s. The trend of the latter is higher, due to the increase in the introduction of simplified software development tool and the high demand for the end products.

Compiler construction and API (Application Programming Interface) which mostly leads to introduction of programming languages and development frameworks are the outcome of dedicated programmers’ works. This therefore makes development or high-level programming much easier and faster.

Embedded systems are computing technologies that bring the programmer closer to the consumers as their skills are highly relevant in programming the micro-computer of bare machine. However, some vendors of this devices/solution provide APIs that will help developers communicate with or customize the hardware.

It is no longer news that a lot of IT (Information Technology) practitioners hates computer science just because of the mathematical courses and abstract theories that rocks the period of studies. This is because the major philosophy computer science is to raise programmers and not developers. Unfortunately, there are high demands for developers and computer scientist finds it difficult to take those jobs with the acquired skills.

In conclusion, the differences between a programmer and a developer are clearly based on the layer of their solutions and mastery. Identifying where one belongs, will go a long way in suggesting where further studies should be emphasized as well as interest.

About Jairon Landa (@jaironlanda)
Jairon Landa

Backend and Frontend developer, a.k.a full-stack developer.

Kg Bundung, Tuaran

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