Web Development vs Software Development: What is the Difference?



The tech industry has seen a surge in newer jobs and opportunities since 2010. Software and web developers are terms that we’ve been acquainted with since then. But have you ever tried to learn the difference? No! Don’t worry. We’ve heard many confusions between the two and so we decided to write a dedicated Web Development vs Software Development blog. This read brings you all the necessary information that one needs to understand the distinguishing characteristics of the two.

Web Development vs Software Development: What is the Difference?

To one who doesn’t ever want to deal with the technical jargon, software and web development can mean the same thing. For them, they’re just different domains where a programmer writes code. And they won’t get worked up even when they find that one of these services is specifically related to the web. However, these differences really matter to career-minded individuals. 

Software Development

Software development is mainly related to software or programs that are used in computers or devices. If we talk about software developers, they are supposed to design, create, code, document, test, and improve the software.

Developers working in this domain create stand-alone mobile and desktop solutions. The software created by them is used by customers to interact with computers and perform various activities. 

To achieve this goal, software developers keep track of many interrelated programming languages and master one of them to the core. They need to learn best development practices and the theory behind them. You can also estimate custom software development cost for your project.

To attain a high level of proficiency developers need to master a broad range of skills. Nowadays, developers prefer working in an Agile environment also known as Scrum. Another culture that has shaped software developers is DevOps. A method to unite software development and operation services. 

Web Development

Software developers are focused on creating computer programs while web developers design user-facing software known as Websites or Web Apps. You should note that web and mobile development also have many differences. 

Web developers write markup and code to develop interactive websites. They can be as simple as landing pages and as complicated as eCommerce websites. In a nutshell, if you’re using the end product on a web browser there is a high chance that it was partially designed by a web developer. 

There are two sides to web development i.e. front-end or client-side and back-end or server-side. Client-side development is responsible for all the elements that a user can interact with on a page. While server-side programming is to create a digital infrastructure that supports all the front-end functionalities. A user interacts with the client-side of your websites and orders what to do, and the server-side fetches the required information to perform that particular task. Their services also account for a huge chunk of your website development cost.

If you are proficient at both front-end and back-end development, you will be known as a full-stack developer. But both client and server-side are dependent on code. However, it can be said that web development is a limited skill as compared to software development. A clear understanding of JavaScript, CSS, and HTML can easily float your boat with web development.

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Difference between Web Developers and Software Developers

If you wish to learn to program for better job opportunities you should know that web and software development both rely on code. But both are different sides of maybe similar coins. As the process of learning each skill is different. 

There also lie many differences between being a software engineer and a developer. One of the distinguishing factors is that becoming a software developer requires dedicated schooling. To become one the least is that you should have a bachelor’s degree. During the same, you will not only learn to code but also data structure, architecture, and other computer fundamentals. If you’re willing to be one you can try for software engineering or start working as an intern with a software development company to gather experience for a full-time developer.

As opposed to this there is a much simpler road to becoming a web developer. Yes, one can easily become a web developer by mastering the three basics i.e. JavaScript, CSS, & HTML. 

Here’s a list of responsibilities and a roadmap to both these professions. 

Roles and Responsibilities of Web Developers

Starting from the user interface and page layout to how a website gathers data and functions on the back end, everything is coded by web developers. They are the core members of the team that works with stakeholders to develop engaging websites for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. There are many web development frameworks that one can master to get into the market. 

It’s a web developer’s responsibility to keep a website up and running effectively. They ensure that a user has a consistent browsing experience. Other common responsibilities of web developers include:

  • Developing new web projects by coordinating with businesses/clients.
  • Developing website features and web applications.
  • Having a working knowledge of other programming languages such as XML, JavaScript, and CSS/HTML.
  • Experience with integrating graphics, written copies, videos, and other content into websites.
  • Design websites that technically support the long-term functionalities of a website.
  • Create secure web solutions that protect confidential business and client data.
  • Keeping a track of website performance and traffic management.

If we dive a bit deeper to classify this professional domain, you would learn that it can be classified into 3 parts. Being front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers. Let’s gain a brief understanding of the preceding. 

Front-End Developers

They are design experts that master the art of developing a website from a user’s perspective. Every user doesn’t possess the same level of computer skills. Therefore, website developers design websites that are intuitive to interact, browse, and easy to access for a user with limited computer skills. They must design websites that are compatible with a wide array of operating systems, devices, and browsers. This would prevent functionality and display errors. 

Back-End Developers

They are professionals that take care of the technical sides of a website’s front end. They hold administrative components such as application logic, website architecture, database, integration with APIs, developing new UI, and more. Their job is to break down how a website or web app functions at the primary level. 

Full-Stack Developers

As you learn from the title, these individuals are proficient with both front and back-end development. Most of these professionals are experienced individuals with extensive knowledge of user experience, application design, MySQL, JavaScript, HTML, XML, and more. They also work as consultants as they can fulfill both roles i.e. technical and advisory for businesses. This profile is gold for web development services as they get to catch two birds with one stone.

Software Development

Roles & Responsibilities of Software Developer

A Software developer holds a different job profile. They are required to invent, manage, and optimize software solutions for smartphones, laptops, desktops, and other computing devices. Languages like Java, C#, Python, & SQL, these developers write complex code that makes applications work. Software developers can get huge opportunities in companies like Microsoft & Oracle, to create new products or maintain existing applications.

This also includes update UI, fixing bugs, coding new in-app tools, and more. These are the following responsibilities for software developers:

  • Designing software-based solutions by studying different client or business needs.
  • Designing software updates for existing systems and programs.
  • Develop niche applications for specific audiences.
  • Build detailed diagrams and models the foresee the code that is needed.
  • Documenting different aspects of system design for future references.
  • Enhance efficiency and consistency by testing code for new applications.
  • Ensuring compatibility between existing software and data management systems.

Software developers have the maximum involvement in developing any application, i.e. from the initial planning to the final rollout of new software. However, they are also categorized into different categories. 

Software System Developers

According to NCOD, these coding professionals tend to design system-level software for enterprise consumers rather than the public. From manufacturing to aerospace and more, they’re hired to use their precious programming languages for a range of industries. The applications they build can be used to manage critical infrastructure like corporate networks, and database management systems.

Software Application Developers

They focus on designing and developing specific mobile/desktop applications, games, tools, and more for consumer audiences. They can get larger and longer projects and have to make sure that their software is engaging, functional, and efficient. 

Wrapping Up

Being a web development company we are well aware of the roles and responsibilities that accompany this service sector. If you wish to learn more about the same you can try our beginner’s guide to creating a website.

Technource has been serving the web and mobile app development domain for more than 9 years now and has considerable experience in working with complex projects. You can learn about the same from the case studies that we’ve posted on our website. Also, getting in touch with us is fairly easy. You can sign up for a free consultation over our website.

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Mr. Sanjay Singh Rajpurohit, An early-aged entrepreneur who always leads his team from the front and achieved success. As the founder & CEO of Technource, a top AngularJS development company, he made a global presence in a short time by offering custom software development, premium mobile apps and website development services.

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