Web Development vs Software Development
Updated on 01st Oct, 21 572 Views

The difference becomes a concern, especially, if you are looking to start a career in programming. And, this Web Development vs Software Development blog aims to give you clarity about the two career paths which are often confused in today’s world; web development, and software development.

We will be discussing a variety of comparison points on this Web Development vs Software Development blog, such as:

Let’s begin this blog to understand the difference between a software developer and a web developer.

Also, make sure to check out the Web Development vs Software Development video on our YouTube channel:


What is the basic difference between a Software Developer and a Web Developer?

If you are new to programming, upon first glance both of these topics might seem the same to you. Both have the words “programming” in them and it is okay to find similarities as such. Both career paths require programming experience, good attention to detail, and a drive to solve problems.

If you are interested in building your career around these paths, it is definitely worth noting the differences that are present. Read on.


What is Web Development?

Web developers are primarily responsible for designing and developing web applications and websites, right from its user interface, functionality, back-end working, to even how it gathers and processes data. Every company that has to put itself on the map today needs an online presence and what better way to do so than having a strong presence on the internet via an elegant website?

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are some of the common web developer job responsibilities:

  • Developing new web design projects by coordinating with clients and business leaders
  • Designing and testing functionality of web applications and websites
  • Ability to write code in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other programming languages
  • Providing easy methodologies to integrate a variety of content such as images, audio, and video onto the website
  • Providing technical support about website deployment
  • Coordinating with experts to provide top-notch security elements to protect business assets and website data
  • Making use of a variety of tools to monitor website traffic, insights, and performance

Also read: Top 5 Web Development Tools To Use In 2020

The web development field is split into three specialized areas based on professional interests, skill sets, and area of expertise:

  1. Front-end web development
  2. Back-end web development
  3. Full-stack web development

Front-end web development deals with designing the look, the feel of the website and the web applications from the users’ perspective. Hence, all of the things are considered such as the access to content, ease of navigation and elegant functionality of elements on the website, and more.

Back-end web development deals with the technicalities of the website that help in providing the functionality. Database handling, creation of application logic, integrating and creating new APIs based on specifications and development of the overall website architecture is what back-end development is all about.

Full-stack web development, as the title suggests is a career path that involves proficiency at both front-end and back-end development tasks. Extensive experience is required in the field of user experience, programming and application design in general.

It is very vital that you clearly understand the difference between software developer and web developer. Read on.

Also read: Web Development languages


Introduction to Software Development

Software developers are responsible for inventing, managing, and optimizing applications that run on various devices such as desktops, smartphones, and other mobile devices.

The design and development of software are driven by the usage of a variety of programming languages such as Python, C#, Java, and SQL. Code is sometimes complex as it has to govern the entirety of the end-to-end functionality of the software.

Many software technology companies like Oracle and Microsoft have designed products that help in building user interfaces, creating applications, troubleshooting bugs and errors, and even automating many steps in the process of designing.

As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are some of the common software developer job responsibilities:

  • Designing software-based solutions as per users’ needs
  • Collaborating with experts to recommend software updates to existing systems
  • End-to-end documentation of new applications and system design
  • Creating detailed models that outline the programs and its functionality
  • Ability to effectively test programs for consistency functionality and efficiency
  • Ability to merge existing systems with the new software

Next up, let us understand the difference between a software developer and web developer considering a variety of points.

Certification in Full Stack Web Development (IITG)

Web Developer vs Software Developer

As discussed in the above sections, both of these roles are quite unique to each other in many factors. To give you better clarity about the differences, the following section highlights the differences that lie in between these two career paths:

Key PointsWeb DevelopmentSoftware Development
AbilityWeb Developers have the skills and the ability to develop websites and web applications only.Software Developers can work around and build any kind of software that is needed by the organization or client,
ArchitectureWeb Developers are known for creating and working with the development of client-server architectures.Software Developers mostly focus on providing solutions to clients by working on client-based systems.
Development PlatformWeb Developers work with the mindset to develop applications that work flawlessly across a spectrum of web browsers.  Software Developers ensure that their products and applications have the ability to work well in different OS platforms.  
Easy to LearnWeb Development is generally easier to get started with as the tools and techniques are not complicated to learn.    Software Development requires an in-depth understanding of tools, methodologies, and philosophies that govern good software.
Average SalaryWeb Developers get paid around $80,000 annually in the United States and around 7,00,000 INR annually in India.  Software Developers have an average salary of around $120,000 in the United States and 12,00,000 INR in India.  
Programming LanguagesHTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Node, and other web development tools and frameworks  C#, C++, Java, Python, C#, Golang, and more

Want to learn more about Web Development? Read our detailed guide on Web Development Tutorial now!

Which is a better career path?

As you’ve seen from all of the points mentioned, I hope it is quite clear that each of these careers come with their own niche applications, advantages, and disadvantages.

Web Developer vs Software Developer – I hope I have given you clarity on this aspect with this blog.

Web Development is a field that is growing exponentially today and is forecasted to be worth hundreds of billions in terms of market capacity and online presence.

Software Development is extremely vital to any organization on a multitude of levels and it is an important career path that has stood the test of time. It is here to stay and the world of computing definitely loves to see innovative software solutions to problems across the globe!

What is your choice – Software Developer vs Web Developer? Let us know in the comments section. If you are looking forward to becoming proficient in Web Development, make sure to check out Intellipaat’s latest offerings for Web Development Online Course. With these programs, you can become an expert in Web Development and earn a course certificate as well.

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