Web Developer or Software Developer: Which Service Provider Do You Need?

Gone are the days when programming, very tedious, was done with a soldering iron! With the advent of computers and programming languages, the situation has changed a lot. Today, developing web applications and software has never been easier and faster. While these terms convey rather different realities, this is often not the case in the eyes of the layman. But what is it really? What is the difference between these two concepts?

Web development: what is it?

The main activity of the web developer, web development consists of programming and setting up websites. This can range from the simple creation of a web page to the development of a more complex web application, or even a social network.

Thus, some web developers create sites via the installation and configuration of CMS (A content management system intended for the creation of a website) while working on CSS.

Others, on the other hand, realize complex and tailor-made applications on behalf of their clients, using MVC frameworks and development platforms to boost their productivity.

In addition, web development is usually divided into two main areas, namely: front-end, or client-side development, and back-end, or server-side development. In the first case, the developer works on the visible part of the website. He is also responsible for the various functionalities that will allow users to easily navigate the platform.

With back-end development, the focus is on the processes that represent the digital infrastructure of the web page. It is the latter who are responsible for responding to commands issued by users.

Web developers who master these two aspects are called full-stack developers. Either way, they are creative people who also take care of the maintenance of the websites and web applications they create. Their activities require coding and they mainly use languages ​​such as Java, PHP, JavaScript…

As we will see below, whether they are web or software developers, these two professionals can work independently or within established companies in the digital ecosystem. These have the advantage of offering you services within more reasonable timeframes. However, to make sure of their professionalism and skills, do not hesitate to check if they have any certifications.web developer or software developer

Understanding software development

Software development is essentially the writing of a series of codes intended for the creation of software in a given programming language. The process that culminates in software development is known as the software development lifecycle or SDLC. It has several stages namely: market research, needs analysis, software design, development and implementation, testing, and finally, deployment and maintenance.

Likewise, within the community of software developers, some are responsible for the design of software architectures from APIs, frameworks, or design patterns. Others code applications through a selection and collection of SaaS components. These developers use different programming languages ​​to achieve their goals. These are very numerous and include among others Python, Java, Fortran, C, C ++ or C # …

In addition, the software designed by these developers can be classified into several categories. First of all, there is a distinction between system software that performs various functions such as hardware management, operating systems, and other services. Programming software is another category and provides programmers with valuable tools, such as compilers, text editors, link editors, debuggers …

With regard to applications, they refer to software that allows users to perform certain tasks. This is the case, for example, with office suites, multimedia players, security systems, or word processing tools.

Web and software developer, certain similarities

Web development and software are certainly two distinct professions, but they nevertheless converge on certain aspects. This is, for example, the case with the methodologies used. Indeed, the development of a website or software is above all a project. 

As a result, it always meets a need (usually expressed by the customer), follows a schedule, respects constraints, and includes various production stages.

Likewise, whatever the profiles of the web or software developer, these two professionals have to ensure the maintenance (corrective and evolutionary) of their design.

… but also great disparities

There are great disparities between the activities of web developers and that of software developers. These differences are so clear that it is not possible in absolute terms to call on a web developer to design software and vice versa.

First of all, there is a big difference between engineering and architecture. Software development only focuses on the client. This is not always the case for web development, which can also be server-based.

Likewise, software development does not usually involve hosting, unlike a website. Security protocols are also generally stronger for web applications that need better protection against viruses and other malware. These same applications also offer a wider range of customization options.

Ultimately, web and software developers are two professionals whose jobs require distinct skills and tools. If in their methodology they can make a certain rapprochement between them, their core targets are clearly distinct.

Depending on the case, you might need one or the other. To do this, it is important to determine the requirements of your project upstream before you start looking for a service provider. It is for this reason that you should never ignore the preliminary design phase, which allows you to precisely define your specific needs. But the simplest still remains to call upon an expert in the development of software and web applications. They will be able to support you in all stages of your project.

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