Web Developer vs. Software Developer: Which Is For You?

With proficiency in computer languages, you can expect to land positions in various industries. Yet, you want to use it in an area you’re passionate about.

Website and software development are known to have the same skill set. However, it is essential to understand the differences between the two fields to determine which one is right for you.

Today, we will compare them to help you answer the question, web developer and software developer: which career is best for you?

Both of these areas have excellent prospects. No matter what area you choose, you will have a bright future, as long as you’re good. Choose based on your interests and passions.

However, it seems that website development is in higher demand. This location may allow you to work remotely, possibly even from home.

So, is it correct to say that finding a job as a web dev is more attractive?

What is a Web Developer?

As an expert in the field, you will likely need to use your computer programming and coding skills to create and develop websites.

In particular, you may be responsible for writing the computer code for the user interfaces of web pages.

You will often have to utilize various coding languages to create multiple digital designs and frameworks for designing individual pages. In addition, you will also navigate how the pages are linked together to make the entire website.

A team of web developers

You’ll probably work as a team with a web designer who focuses on graphic design and user experience.

You may also have to coordinate with the marketing team to determine the website’s needs to serve the customers better.

You may have to be proficient in using coding languages, such as JavaScript, CSS, or HTML, to create webs, apps, and their functionality.

What is a Software Developer?

These developers primarily use computer languages to create and develop complex applications and databases.

The fact is that computer software has always consisted of interlaced computer programs, forcing these developers to adapt to learning new coding languages.

To succeed in this field, you must master tactics and languages to create the most concise and practical code for programs.

Freelance Software Developer

As an expert in the field, you will likely have to conduct research and exploration on similar programs or designs to learn and discover how data flows through computer programs.

Besides, you also need to perform testing. In particular, you will have to run the program to check the code to detect and eliminate any errors.

You will also likely have to work on programming, applications, computer systems, embedded software, etc.

You may create helpful programs that can make it easier for people without technical knowledge to access computer technology.

Key Differences

Both fields rely heavily on coding and computer programming skills to fulfill their job responsibilities. Therefore, some may think they are interchangeable.

However, there are significant differences between these two domains.


If you want to pursue a career in software development, you may have to go to school a bit more.

You have to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science. It is a place that allows you to learn computer languages and familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of software architecture, data structures, and computer hardware.

This knowledge is crucial to give you the background and skills to create new programs.

Average Salary

Software developers often get higher salaries as they possess more extensive skills and knowledge.

However, the job market for web developers is vast. Meanwhile, they are usually paid per project, so they can earn more money thanks to their massive workload.

The fact is that the average annual salary of a software developer is $126,146. Meanwhile, a web developer’s average annual salary is $86,949.

Job flexibility

The market demand for these positions has a significant influence on the work flexibility of professionals.

As a website developer, you can play an essential role in many industries and work for many different clients to make tweaks to their websites.

In this field, a lot of professionals work as freelancers. The opportunity to choose between working for a web development company and freelancing gives these professionals a lot of flexibility.

If you pursue software development, you will have fewer options for freelance work, resulting in less flexibility in your work. You will often have to join large companies that specialize in software development.

You can also work for the government in a software security position. Along the way, you will likely work in groups with other computer programmers.

Job Growth

According to the BLS, the growth rate of job openings for software developers will reach 22% over the next decade, significantly faster than the average job growth predicted for other industries.

Website developers’ predicted job growth rate is around 8% over the next decade. It is also at a rapid rate.

Comparison Table

Web DeveloperSoftware Developer
ProgrammingLanguages utilized are CSS, JavaScript, HTML, etc.Languages utilized area Java, C++, Python, etc.
ArchitectureApplication development for client-server basedApplication development for the client or client-server based
HostingWeb Application requires to get hosted via intranet and internet.Developed software may/may not need to be hosted.
PlatformApplications are developed to be compatible across browsers.Applications are developed to be compatible across various OS/platforms.

The Bottom line

Both of these fields will grow stronger in the future. So whatever your choice, you will have a bright career future if you put in a lot of effort.

Picking a specific area is the first step to embarking on a career. You should carefully consider your interests and the specifics of each field before choosing.