Cloud Engineer vs. Software Engineer: Which Is For You?

Cloud engineers and software engineers are both important professions in information technology. Even the above two domains can support each other in software application development.

However, cloud and software engineers still have different work and the necessary skills. And if you are wondering about the difference between a cloud engineer vs software engineer, here is some information you can refer to.

What Is A Cloud Engineer?

Cloud technology in recent years has developed strongly, attracting investment from leading technology companies such as Google, IBM, and Microsoft,…

Cloud engineers are experts in this field.

They will work with the virtual cloud system, perform technology infrastructure assessments, and migrate certain functions and information to the cloud-based infrastructure. The above tasks will ensure the data connection between the company and external systems.

Cloud computing

Other tasks of a cloud engineer include developing plans and solutions to optimize the cloud.

In addition, engineers are also responsible for ensuring system information security and debugging critical errors throughout the development cycle.

What Is A Software Engineer?

From word processors to web browsers, all the applications you use today are created by software engineers.

Software engineers are experts with extensive knowledge of computer systems and programming languages. They will work with businesses to create valuable programs to solve complex problems.

Software Engineering

Software engineers are not simply programming builders. They also play an essential role in developing information systems and evaluating the effectiveness of solutions. Professionals in the field must be adept at testing and debugging the application’s code before it goes live.

They also must regularly collaborate with different departments to make the necessary technical changes. Software engineers are sometimes the prominent people responsible for programming-related issues.

Key Differences

Both are experts in the field of computer science, with the ability to solve problems and think logically. This does not mean that these two jobs are similar.

To make it easier for you to distinguish, here are some of the differences:

Skills Required

The essential knowledge that any cloud-based engineer needs to have a firm grasp of is how the service providers work. They also need to understand virtualization and the rules of virtual network management.

A cloud engineer needs to understand Linux architecture, administration, and maintenance deeply. This operating system is the primary environment that companies use to develop computing systems.

Cloud engineers must also know about data and issues like data security, data backup and recovery, MySQL, and Hadoop.

Finally, these engineers need a basic understanding of programming languages ​​and web services. Unlike a cloud specialist, understanding programming languages ​​is a programming engineer’s most essential and required skill.

With the main task of creating software and web interfaces, those who do this job need to grasp the principles of object-oriented design firmly.

Object-oriented programming will help people who do this work to create flexible, reusable products and modules.

The programming engineer’s end products must solve the customer’s problem. Therefore, those who do this job need to understand users’ needs and constantly improve and repair products to meet those needs well.

The soft skills needed to work with customers and colleagues will likely be communication skills, teamwork, and problem-solving and detection skills.


A cloud specialist will provide the cloud architecture shaping services for businesses and facilities with needs. They will also provide simple instructions for end-users to adapt to storage.

But not all businesses have the same infrastructure. Hence another task of the cloud specialist is to determine the project’s cost. This job is also responsible for ensuring security and recovering data if something goes wrong.

A programming engineer is also a service provider but focuses on delivering computer programs and applications.

They cooperate with programmers to develop and maintain the software. Their most important task is to bring applications that match users’ needs and support and resolve the errors of those applications.

They also analyze the customer’s requirements for the software, giving the design project clear time and cost.

Job Opportunities

Cloud and software engineers are jobs with a wide range of career opportunities.

According to our reports, in the ten years from 2018 to 2028, the demand for cloud engineer positions increased by more than 5%. Graduates of this field will receive an average salary of $126,282 per year.

Demand for software engineers is significantly higher, growing 21% over the 10 years from 2013 to 2023. The average salary for a bachelor’s degree in this field is slightly higher, at about $133,722 per year.

Related Careers

A cloud engineer will have extensive knowledge of data and methods of keeping information secure. Therefore, they can develop careers in the direction of data security and information security engineers.

Meanwhile, software engineers work with computer information systems and build solutions for businesses. Related careers would be systems manager or IT solution provider.

Cloud engineerSoftware engineer
Skills requiredUnderstand cloud service providers
Data recovery, information security
Virtual network management
Programming language
Object-oriented design
Capturing customer needs
ResponsibilitiesShaping cloud architecture
Guide end-users to adapting to storage
Restore data if something goes wrong.
Design programs and applications
Improve the program to fit user needs
Job opportunitiesFrom 2018 to 2028, employment growth will reach 5%From 2018 to 2028, employment growth will reach 21%

Which One Is For You?

Cloud and software engineers are both exciting careers, with career opportunities and attractive salaries. However, if you have to choose a path to develop your career, which is the ideal choice for you?

Although specialized in working with services, cloud engineers will need many complementary skills. Some essentials can be programming languages and planning ability.

If you have a computer science and information technology background and understand many programming languages, you may be suitable for the position of cloud engineer. In addition, it will be a big plus if you have cybersecurity skills.

Meanwhile, the job of a software engineer will require you to be proficient in using programming languages. You can try this job if you have received at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or science.

Yet, you need to gain experience in computer systems and programming languages to go further. You must update the information to test and modify the application according to customer requirements.

Final Thoughts

Computer science and programming are promising career paths. And whether you want to enter this path as a programming engineer or a cloud engineer, you can have success with enough skill and passion.

We hope the above information has helped you solve your doubts about the difference between a cloud engineer vs software engineer.