The Difference Between A Programmer, Coder, Developer And Engineer

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 reality, 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 require 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 sophisticated levels of software coding.

Developers in some firms are sometimes referred to as 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 ensure 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 interface with the rest of the team to solving problem, make requested changes, and answer client questions.


Anyone who writes code is often referred to as a coder by the people outside the tech industry. However, this all-surrounding term can be considered judgemental for those who live and breathe programming every day. Coders are commonly considered the least trained or experienced level of programmers. These individuals 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 implement the overall architecture of the application. They modularize the final product to develop a clean interface, and then work with the programmers and developers to implement 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.

Source: Jixee Blog

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


  1. I think you’ve been taught these by an ass. Coder is definitely the shortest and therefore least sycophantically ingratiating of the titles. I suppose such organisational systems which don’t use short references (a kind of fast cache) pay by the letter, and develop bug ridden software in need of extreme testing, and hence spent hours.

  2. The coder is the worst term for someone who “programs” in a computer architecture. The term coder was developed by managers in order to pay less mainly for the html rearrangements in site designs using html, php etc on already developed platforms like joomla, wordpress etc. Mainly coder means the code customizer. Computer programming for non-coders is based at least on the knowledge of cpu architecture, mathematics, numerical analysis, algorithm design, … and programming languages (mainly not interpreters).

  3. Programmer: who can write a code that is actually solve the problem from the start point to the endpoint.

    Developer: can imagine what is the code behind the process and then he write his code to enhance or extend the process according to the customer need.

    Programmer: more deep in the knowledge back into the university information, programmer can tell exactly what the code behind the process without debugging.

    Developer: build his experience from university information but before that he/she was do coding so much and watch many process executed in front on his eyes, Developer can’t do complex algorithm like programmer.

    I agree with you for Engineer.

  4. Whhats the difference between programmer and software engineer… I mean to say if at the end both have to work in same field and pace then what’s the use of studying software engineer spending more amount… Please explain this in detail..

  5. A software engineer must also master several programming languages, but also databases, networks, architecture, design and modeling of information systems.

  6. I find the titles are just a way to give management an excuse to vary the pay. They do not generally describe exactly what responsibilities and requirements are needed because it varies from country to country, from company to company.

  7. Everyone can program if you do this you are a programmer.Everyone can code then you are a coder.Not everyone can design algorithim , datastructures and perform suitable analysis to detect performance of the algorith , Not everyone can write clean code with good programming interface, Not everyone can write self documenting code that is close to no explaination of what it does, Not everyone can foresee reusability of the code in future and possible extensions it may undergo.not everyone can write reusable library .Then if you are in “not everyone then you are the engineer”


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