Web Developer Vs. Software Developer: What’s The Difference?

In this age of globalization, internet usage is growing rapidly. Currently, there are around 5.03 billion internet users. Since the past 5 years, there has been an addition of 640,000 new internet users, on average. The use of e-commerce is expanding exponentially, leading to the growth of the IT industry. Moreover, the scope of web development and Software development emerges. Hence, Web development and software development depict similar areas of expertise but they are not the same. Web development is the process of building and maintaining a website. On the other hand, Software development is the process of creating a computer program. 

The brains behind the website’s creation and computer softwares are web developers and software developers, respectively. However, before getting into a deeper analysis of web developers and software developers, it is crucial to understand who they are. 

Web Developers

Web developers are the IT experts who create and maintain websites and applications using coding and programming languages. They are responsible for designing interactive layouts that must be appealing and user-friendly. They operate the website from its layout design to the complicated data processing. They create a simple website for fully customized and rich-featured websites. 

How to be a web developer?

A firm grip on coding is required to be a web developer. Web development skill primarily depends on writing code. But, the web developer’s expertise is acquired from learning the programming languages and coding. The soft skills and programming languages include;

  1. A web developer must have a good command of Python, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Bootstrap, and PHP programming languages. It is helpful for the web developer to translate English into these programming languages that the computer can easily understand and operate. 
  2. The website developer must have good expertise in UI/UX programming that helps to design a user-friendly and appealing website. 

However, it requires a lot of time to understand and operate these programming languages and coding skills. Some web developers are not all-rounders but specialize in one or two skills and work in collaboration with other specialized web developers for long and complicated projects. 

Software developers

Software developers are also known as computer programmers, programmers, coders, and Software engineers. They are the people who create the computer software. They develop, program, and maintain the computer software and Software systems to run devices and networks and maintain those systems operationally. 

How to be a Software developer?

It is not easy to be a Software developer. It requires learning and operating the coding and programming languages. The skills to be a Software developer are;

  1. A Software developer must have proficient knowledge of 1-2 programming languages of HTML, Python, CSS, JavaScript, etc. The choice of these programming languages depends on your specialized degree and the Software project you are working on.
  2. They must know about the operating systems of Windows, Linux, and Mac to develop software and applications for the specific OS-dependent machines. 
  3. A software developer must have a good command of database encryption and security systems, so the users do not suffer the leakage of their information using the specific Software.
  4. Moreover, adequate command over Source control, Networking, Testing, data systems, and algorithms are essential. 

Other than technical Software development skills, there is a need to develop other soft and hard skills, like communication, teamwork, stress-managing, and problem-solving. 

Difference between Web developers and Software Developers

Web development and Software development are both primarily dependent on coding and programming languages, but these are not the same. There are direct distinct differences between web development and Software development. Some of the differences are;

  1. Program difference

Web developers develop websites and applications that run on the internet. On the other hand, Software engineers are concerned with the computer programs that run on the desktop and mobiles. 

  1. Required Education 

A web developer needs an associate degree in computer science, web development, or graphic design. Coding Bootcamps can help you acquire the necessary programming abilities to become a web developer. You might be prepared for the job market after just one Bootcamp.

On the other hand, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer programming. They have exceptional knowledge of coding and programming Software. Coding Bootcamps is not a difficult task for Software engineers. 

  1. Salary difference

Web developers have an average salary of $67,587 in the United States except for a yearly bonus. They do not earn as much as Software developers, but they can enhance their earnings by working as freelancers as well. 

On the other hand, Software developers earn on average $93,944 per year except for the yearly bonus. However, Software engineers earn much higher than website development as it is difficult to develop and operate Software.

  1. Growth in the employment and job

Labor Statistics of Bureau shows that there is a 22% growth in Software developer employment by 2030. On the other hand, for web developers employment is 13% by 2030. The future rate of growth in the scope and employment is more in the Software developers because the reliance of the industries on Software increases with technological advancement. 

  1. Certification

The certificates in Software development help to verify the programming, coding, and database encryption knowledge. Some of the useful certificates are the;

  1. Certified Software Engineer
  2. Microsoft Azure Fundamentals
  3. Professional Software Developer Certificate

On the other hand, the certification in Web development helps to drive you from freelance to salaried projects. Some of the certifications are;

  1. Certified Web Professional 
  2. Google developers certification


The field of web development and Software development is growing at an exponential rate. Both web development and Software development are based on the same coding and programming languages but there are direct and clear differences between these two. The industries increase their reliance on computer Software. Therefore, the Software developers’ employment rate is higher than that of web developers. They have higher salaries than web developers, but web developers can enhance their earnings through freelancing. Both have been evolving rapidly since the end of the 20th century. 


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