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What is the difference between a software developer and software engineer?

This is a subject of ongoing discussion as the industry continues to evolve. Some people use the terms interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference between engineering and development:

  • A software engineer applies traditional engineering principles to analyze and solve problems. Their analysis, interpretation and solutions are done through a quantitative, engineering lens.
  • A software developer approaches problems creatively with more flexibility to solve problems outside of the scientific method, applying qualitative practices and patterns learned outside of an engineering-based process.

The Herzing software development program introduces concepts in software engineering but does not provide a full foundation in engineering principles.

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