Computer programming has developed so rapidly that a significant number of the terms used to depict various aspects of programming haven't had sufficient opportunity to maintain a consistent meaning. As a result, some of these terms often end up getting used interchangeably, creating confusion, especially for those planning to kick off a career in programming.
For instance, consider web development vs. software development. For a layman, web development or software development can both mean something very similar. To them, the two terms may just be fancy ways of saying "coding" or "development.”
If you are also among those people who are still not sure how web development and software development are different, this article is for you. From the fundamental concepts of web development or software development to the roles and responsibilities to career choices, we shall cover it all.
So, let’s get started!
Software development describes the process of developing software programs or applications in a specific programming language. It involves creating a software application by writing maintainable code. Software development implies developing, arranging, reusing, R&D, and making tasks easier.
- Software development creates a product with the features that have been proposed and needed by the computer software.
- While developing software, software engineers should have explicit knowledge of the customer requirements, the required programming language, and end user’s usage.
- Software development is centered around the software development life cycle (SDLC). SDLC consists of many phases or stages that are: 1. Requirement gathering and elicitation 2. Feasibility study 3. Analysis 4. Designing 5. Coding 5. Testing 6. Implementation 7. Deployment and Maintenance.
- Software Development follows various models: the Waterfall model, Iterative model, Prototype model, Incremental model, Spiral Model, Rapid Application Development, etc.
Roles & Responsibilities of a Software Developer
Software developers are accountable for conceptualizing, designing, programming, documenting, testing, upgrading, and maintaining software, software modules, and frameworks. Software developers typically create programs and applications for desktop and mobile platforms.
The software they develop allows the end-users to interact with computer tools for various activities and tasks. Further, they should have a clear understanding of the best development practices and the concept behind programming.
A software developer needs a broad range of skills to take care of the following responsibilities:
- Design algorithms and flowcharts
- Deliver clean and useful code based on specifications
- Incorporate software components and third-party applications
- Validate and deploy programs and applications
- Troubleshoot, debug, and update existing software
- Gather and assess user feedback
- Propose and execute upgrades
- Generate technical documentation for referencing and reporting
Web development describes the process of creating and developing web applications or sites that require hosting on the web. It involves creating something as simple as a single-page application to developing a complex web-based application. Web development is basically done as client-side scripting, server-side scripting, or database scripting.
- The web development process consists of other work like content management, web designing, security, etc., besides creating professional websites and web application development.
- The engineers who create and develop web applications are known by different names, such as web developer, full-stack web developer, front-end developer, UI developer, or back-end developer, based on their role in the web development process.
- Web development follows a web development life cycle similar to SDLC. Different phases of web development life cycle include 1. Requirement gathering 2. Planning 3. Designing 4. Content creation & management 5. Coding 6. Testing 7. Deployment, hosting, and maintenance.
- Web development additionally follows various models to fabricate or create applications. These models involve breaking larger tasks into subtasks and checking the continual progress from start to finish to design the intended web application.
Roles & Responsibilities of a Website Developer
Just as a software developer creates computer programs and build online shops, using programming languages, a web developer also uses programming languages to create a user-friendly interface in the form of websites.
Web developers use programming and markup languages to build interactive web pages. These pages can be as basic as online text files or as complex as e-commerce sites. Regardless of the end product, if the users are reading it on their web browser, then there's a decent possibility that it was built by a web developer, at least partially, if not entirely.
A web developer needs to take care of the following responsibilities:
- Create well designed, testable, and useful code
- Make website layout or user interface using basic HTML/CSS
- Combine data from multiple back-end services and databases
- Collect and improve specifications based on technical requirements
- Generate and maintain a software documentation
- Be accountable for maintaining, developing, and scaling the website
- Stay updated with emerging technologies and industry trends
- Work together with web designers to match up the visual design intent
Web Development Vs Software Development
Software programs work on the web, and various websites depend on web-based applications. With this perspective, the differences aren't that significant. Nonetheless, for career-oriented professionals, these differences are unquestionably substantial and worth noting.
Below are critical differences for web development vs. software engineering:
- The primary difference between web development vs software engineering is that of the respective Interfaces.
- The prime focus in software development is on the logic and algorithm rather than the UI/UX, while the top-most priority in web development is to make the web application appealing and fascinating.
- In software applications, screens have static content, while web applications support both static pages and dynamic web content.
- We can only use software applications on the machine where they have been installed. In contrast, Web applications can be accessed from anywhere since they have been deployed on the server and are easily accessible with the domain's help.
- Software applications primarily perform better in gaming, file-handling. Web applications perform better in data centralization or multi-user.
- Software development applications have customization limitations, while Web development applications offer a broad range of customization.
- Software applications do not require much security, while Web applications need protection against viruses, malware, and even hackers.
Software development and Web development are both used for developing applications. However, realizing the difference between web development vs. software engineering may seem confusing at first.
Software development involves developing windows-based applications, and Web development involves developing web-based applications. Web development or software development follows a specific set of rules and guidelines while making the applications more secure, reliable, and better.
Both the professional fields require broad programming experience, strong attention to detail, and critical thinking skills; however, they have various work processes, support necessities, and complexity levels.
Suppose you're keen on learning programming as a foundation to get better job opportunities. In that case, you should perceive that although software and web development both rely on coding, the required skill set associated with each is reasonably different.
For instance, web developers regularly work closely with business and marketing specialists to guarantee their organization's site is proficient, easy to use, and aesthetically satisfying. Software engineers work with other tech-oriented co-workers, operating system, and mobile application projects that probably won't need contribution from different business units.
Compared to software development, the road to web development may seem a lot easier.
Eventually, the career path you pick ought to line up with your career objectives and individual interests, which is why it's significant to explore each role in detail before committing the time and resources.
Whether you pick web development or software development, the world has a huge demand for both software engineers and web developers, so pick your career wisely. Once you decide on your career path, be it a web developer or a software engineer, you can apply to a web and software development company, respectively.
Hope you find this article useful. Still, if you have any queries, feel free to reach out to us!