Difference between Software Engineer and IT Programmer

Thread Starter

Lambo Av

Joined Apr 24, 2019
I came across the 2 positions mentioned above. It is a fully software engineer and a full programming IT position. May I know what are the differences in the roles and responsibilities of the 2 positions, thank you.


Joined Feb 24, 2006
IMHO a software engineer is familiar with the methods and tools used to create a functional software system from scratch that will perform to a set of specifications.
An IT professional knows how to use an existing software system to manage information to achieve corporate purposes. It may or may not involve any actual programming.
I don't think there is much overlap between the two skill sets.


Joined Jun 8, 2013
I came across the 2 positions mentioned above. It is a fully software engineer and a full programming IT position. May I know what are the differences in the roles and responsibilities of the 2 positions, thank you.

A Software Engineer designs software applications from specifications. They are familiar with software Standards/Tools/Disciplines to do so.

The "Full Programming IT professional" is too broad a title to define specific roles and responsibilities.

Deleted member 115935

Joined Dec 31, 1969
My experience of the market,
ignore the title, at best it might give you an idea of the work they might want you to do.

Engineer implies a more deeper degree of autominary than IT , which is more of a script jocky position,


Joined Jan 27, 2019
The standards for job titles vary from place to place. While some organizations attempt to make them regular and meaningful, others just use whatever someone thought sounded good.

If the organization is bigger than a tiny shop, there will be an available job description to sort out what they mean, though I have found those are often fantasies and the reality is quite different.

"Engineer" in the software business has no governing body that regulates who can be one. It's not like, say, a mechanical engineer, with certification and licensing. Sometimes "engineer" is thrown in for prestige or because they think it will attract "better" candidates.

Sometimes there is a clue like tossing "programming" into an IT position. This has the potential to mean you are are expected to do two jobs: maintain the infrastructure as an "IT" person, and write software for a product or service. This is a warning sign, though not necessarily a problem.

The bottom line is that whatever the position, you need to get a job description, and if you can, you need to talk to people in that organization doing that job.

Deleted member 115935

Joined Dec 31, 1969
Remember people who collect our trash ( god bless them ) are called refuse engineers.


Joined Apr 3, 2014
IMHO an IT Programmer sounds like a narrow subset of Software Engineer.

Look at the job descriptions for the two positions. There should be enough detail there for you to come to a conclusion as to the difference. Titles can be misleading.


Joined Mar 16, 2021

my job title is "Software Engineer". My major job responsibility is writing programs (from scratch) for embedded systems for Marine industry (which are devices installed on seagoing vessels). I am using for this purpose "STM32 CubeIDE" or MCUXpresso IDE . Very often I also design the hardware controllers (all or partially). Hardware is often based on ARM Cortex-Mx MCUs (STM32 variouse series or "NXP Semiconductors" MCUs). Sometimes PLC controllers are used (Mitsubishi or Siemens). I design controller and draw a schematic and my colleague design PCB because he is better in this task then me. Sometimes I have to write application for PC computers which are connected in some way (for example by RS485, CAN bus etc.) with embedded system (for example for diagnostics purpose or data logging). On Windows OS I am using in such case "Visual Studio" (C# and Windows Forms) and for Linux I am using C/C++ (gcc compiler) and "GTK" or "QT" frameworks.

Sometimes I have to go for delegation to shipyard on particular ship in order to help with embedded system installation.

BTW: sometimes (for various purpose) I am also using Python programming language.

Best Regards


Joined Apr 11, 2010
I was an IT professional for 50+ years. I never heard of a title of IT Programmer.

In my experience, any title containing IT would refer to a position responsible for maintenance of computers (including servers), the network and installation and maintenance (patches and upgrades) of software. But typically, no programming or software design.

Software Engineers would design and document software and program to those specifications. The software would then be put into production. The actual programmers would report to the Software Engineers and may have a title of Junior Software Engineer or just Programmer.

In a larger company, putting the software into production would entail Quality Assurance Engineers and IT.

IT Programmer sounds like a title in a small company responsible for both functions.