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Programmer vs. Developer

Sean Casey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2000
Posts: 625
Could someone define the day to day duties of a programmer vs. a developer in java? I know this is a rather general question, but I'm not looking for a very specific answer. Any input would be helpful. Thanks.
Peter Tran

Joined: Jan 02, 2001
Posts: 783
I use the terms interchangeably. I think SUN just use the terms for convenience to differentiate the two tests (SCJP2 and SCJD).
If you twisted my arm and asked me to give you example of how I think they would be different I would say the following:
Programmer - codes and test.
Developer - Does what a Programmer does plus gathers requirement and does high-level design. (NOTE, I'm not saying a Programmer doesn't do any design.) A Developer may do the design at a higher level.
My $0.02.
Tony Alicea

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 3226
In the old days it would have been the difference between
Programmer and Programmer/Analyst

Tony Alicea
Senior Java Web Application Developer, SCPJ2, SCWCD
B Hayes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 61
In my experience, developers don't normally support applications. That job is handed off to the "coders" or "maintenance programmers" who are generally equipped to do minor changes and enhancements.
Developers have the expertise to quickly and efficiently craft large or complex applications from scratch. Because of that trait, they aren't generally called on to do the work of a maintenance programmer... but are, rather, moved on to other bigger projects.
This might be cliche, but I look at Developers as Artists and Programmers as Craftsmen.
Ko Ko Naing
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 08, 2002
Posts: 3178
Originally posted by R Hayes:
This might be cliche, but I look at Developers as Artists and Programmers as Craftsmen.

I look at developers as captains and prorgammers as fishermen...

Co-author of SCMAD Exam Guide, Author of JMADPlus
Marc Peabody
pie sneak

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

It's about the same as the difference between a dweeb and a geek - most people don't know the difference and those that do know the difference have probably been both at one time or another.

A good workman is known by his tools.
B Hayes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2003
Posts: 61
Head-hunters are aware of the difference, even if clients or sub-contractors aren't.
If you are a "developer" and a head-hunter bills you out at "programmer" rates, then you better get the definition straight because you are taking a big cut
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
The terms are often used interchangably, but in theory a developer indeed has broader responsibilities than just to code.
Effectively that makes most programmers with some experience developers, as we've probably all made some design decisions and done some research into new technologies to use instead of just blindly punching in code to follow some super detailed design document.

Billy Tsai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 23, 2003
Posts: 1304
i like the title software developers more than programmer

BEA 8.1 Certified Administrator, IBM Certified Solution Developer For XML 1.1 and Related Technologies, SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCDJWS, SCJD, SCEA,
Oracle Certified Master Java EE 5 Enterprise Architect
Prakash Dwivedi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2002
Posts: 452
i think Software Engineer is better, non IT person can understand who you are if you tell him that you are S/W Engineer. Otherwise work-wise all are same to me, even if there was some difference between these designation in early days it doesn't exist now.
Wheneever theer is a boom, IT companies give some attractive names to the designation to attract candidates, but the work remains the same be it S/w Engineer, Developer , Programmer.

Prakash Dwivedi (SCJP2, SCWCD, SCBCD)
"Failure is not when you fall down, Its only when you don't get up again"
Sanjay BS

Joined: Mar 30, 2004
Posts: 1
Yes Prakash, what you told is right....
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Programmer vs. Developer
It's not a secret anymore!