The difference between an engineer and a developer

For a very long time, I considered myself a developer. I knew the term “software engineer”, but always thought it was different. Recently, I came to the realization that “software engineer” is not just a title- it is a way of life. A software engineer is not bound by any one coding language or set of rules. There comes a point when you start to see the similarities between the different coding languages and frameworks.

When I got to that point, I realized that I wasn’t just a “web developer”, or a “PHP developer”. I could spend a few weeks and code in Ruby, or Python. I could invest some time in learning AngularJS or Backbone. I had developed the skills over time to allow me to fit into any one of these languages or frameworks and feel comfortable with them. I went (and still am) language/framework crazy.

I started some courses on Ruby, began playing with Laravel, and experimented with AngularJS and Titanium Mobile. A software engineer is NOT a language specific position. I would see job postings looking for a software engineer and assume they were for C/C++ programmers, because in my head that was what a software engineer was. The same could go for a term like “software architect”. It just wasn’t what I did! I built websites! I didn’t develop software, right? WRONG!

Websites may not be your traditional thought of software, but with all of the web apps that are out, and the ones in production, they might as well be. So- what do you think? Is there really a difference between an engineer and a developer? Are they just titles? Let me know what you think!

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