8 Ways Software Engineers Differ from Web Developers – Revature

When it comes to the tech world, there are a lot of different roles and titles. And while there may be some overlap between various positions, it’s important to understand the distinct differences between them, according to the experts at Revature. After all, you wouldn’t want to accidentally apply for a job as a web developer when what you’re really interested in is becoming a software engineer (or vice versa).

So, what exactly is the difference between a software engineer and a web developer? Let’s take a look at eight key ways they differ.

Education and training requirements

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the education and training requirements for software engineers and web developers. A software engineer typically has a degree in computer science (or a related field), while a web developer may or may not have completed any formal educational training.

However, both roles require a strong understanding of programming languages and development tools. In addition, soft skills such as communication and problem-solving are also essential for success in either role. As technology evolves, it is important for software engineers and web developers to keep up with new trends and best practices. While there is no strict educational path that leads to a successful career in either field, ongoing learning is essential for anyone wanting to pursue either role.


A software engineer needs to be proficient in multiple programming languages, be able to develop complex algorithms, and have a strong understanding of computer science fundamentals. A web developer, on the other hand, only needs to know how to code in one or two programming languages and build basic websites.

Job Duties

A software engineer designs, develops, tests, and maintains software applications, while a web developer builds and maintains websites.

Work environment

Software engineers usually work in office environments, while web developers can either work in an office or remotely.


According to data from Payscale.com, the median salary for a software engineer is $85,000 per year, whereas the median salary for a web developer is $75,000 per year.

Employment Outlook

The employment outlook for both positions is positive; however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for software engineers will grow much faster than average (17 percent from 2018-2028), whereas employment for web developers will only grow about as fast as average (13 percent from 2018-2028).

Growth potential

Because of the complexity of the systems, they work on, software engineers usually have more room for growth within their careers than web developers do.

Stress level

Because they often work on tight deadlines and need to troubleshoot complex issues, software engineers typically experience higher levels of stress than web developers do.

The final word on the differences

As you can see, there are quite a few differences between software engineers and web developers—more than you might’ve initially realized! So now that you know what sets them apart, which one sounds like the right career path for you? If you’re interested in pursuing a career in tech but don’t necessarily want to commit to getting a degree in computer science, then becoming a web developer might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a challenge and want to have the potential for upward mobility within your career, then becoming a software engineer might be better suited for you.