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What Is The Difference Between Programmers And Software Developers?

Home Articles What Is The Difference Between Programmers And Software Developers?

Although the terms "programmers" and "software developers" are often used interchangeably, there are critical differences between the two roles, especially in the area of AV control. For many people, companies and organisations there is no such difference. But there are differences between these two terms.

When we refer to the programming of the AV control system, we are substantially defining the process of creating a program that allows the user of space to interact with audiovisual equipment in that location from a single user-friendly interface.


A programmer uses different programming languages (the process is known as "writing a code") to develop these programs. These languages are commonly, but not always, autonomous of some owner and manufacturer. A good programmer tends to be patient, highly detail-oriented, and excellent at solving problems. When a Programmer (or Engineer) with no experience in the areas decides to take the role of Software Engineer; generally, projects are delivered late, do not meet all the requirements or exceeds the initial budget of the project and the project enters a software crisis.


Software developers are often generalists in a wide variety of software-related areas.

Software Engineering is a discipline that deals with the design, development, operation and maintenance of software. The big difference between a software engineer and a programmer is that the programmer usually only worries about debugging errors, implementing new features, and giving general maintenance to the application. The programmer has no notion of budget, planning or project requirements. The job of a Software Engineer is precise to avoid the software crisis. For example:

  • It is responsible for collecting the elements.
  • Analyze the requirements.
  • Create the application specification.
  • Validate the requirements.

The above process is known as Requirements Engineering:

The result of Requirements Engineering is a set of behaviour models, contextual models and business process models that the Software Engineer analyses to understand the problem, design a solution and create a work plan/milestone calendar.

Software Engineers typically have a plan that allows them to control and monitor the progress of the project. This enables Software Engineers to deliver projects on time, with the budget initially agreed and that meets the initial requirements.

It is until the end of the "chain" where the role of the programmer enters: the implementation of the project (programming).

The big problem with software engineering is that given that it is a field that hardly emerges (or at least does not have hundreds of years of existence, such as business administration), many programmers call themselves "Software Engineers" when they are only programmers.

The software engineers usually have the same skills as a programmer, and technically also "program.” However, in the AV industry, its role is focused on the development of solutions, products or customised, single-use creations that solve problems, unlike programmers, who create more fundamental programs to support user interaction.


The scope of programming work for control systems tends to vary a lot. The problematic space for programmers of control systems is a physical one. Your product is a fully functional system that allows an end user to interact with their environment quickly. The software development usually focuses on the tools as such, what finally makes it easy for programmers to do their work.

These tools, although generally found in the area of AV control, solve a greater variety of problems that may be beyond the scope of traditional control systems programming projects. An example of this is the development of control module solutions, which are tools that help simplify programming for AV equipment manufacturers and help increase adoption and integration. These tools can also make it easier for a programmer to simply delete their existing system program without having to spend time writing new code.

Other development projects include customised web applications using Node.js, HTML5, and CSS, as well as customised middleware solutions that act as intermediaries between calendar services such as EMS Software and Assure Software products and resource management applications such as AMX RMS and Crestron Fusion.


In contrast to the role of the control systems programmer, where the knowledge of the devices and the specifications of the AV industry are crucial, custom software engineering can succeed with much less industry knowledge (although this will be achieved with the weather).

A strong foundation in computer science and experience using more common programming languages such as Java or Python are probably more useful, particularly when you are just beginning in this role.


They tend to be more involved in the signal flow, AV system functionality, problem-solving methods, and user interaction with technology. In the case of software development, the team tends to focus on solving specific problems and needs, and on working on applications that take care of those requirements. Very few programmers evolve to a developmental role or dominate the change mentally. That is why it is uncommon to find AV programming integrators and signatures that provide both custom development work as well as traditional control programming.


Despite the current change to more agile solutions, which radically reduce the role of the programmer, there will always be systems and problems that are very complex for these types of solutions where "apparently" no programming is required, will require programmers and software developers.

Also, devices and systems are becoming more and more complex and intertwined, continually requiring a set of improvement skills from the developer, as well as the developer, who can work to solve problems and take care of specific needs.

While the influence of more standardised programming languages continues to grow in the audiovisual industry, there will be a growing demand to apply the software development approach and skill set to traditional control systems programming and custom applications.

Firms that provide a mix of control system programmers and traditional software engineers, with a focus on commitment to both, are positioned to address the growing needs of customers and the general complexities of today's world of AV control.

Now that you know the difference between software developers and programmers you need to be informed about the different approaches used to create successful software, download the e-book "Software Development Methodologies” to know all the methods that are used in this solution.


Neither of the two!

Both careers are equally exciting and focus on different areas of Software development.

As a Software Engineer, you will spend most of your working day in a meeting with marketing and business teams. Later, you will spend another good part of your day managing projects, designing diagrams, making Gantt charts, etc.

The software engineer has to be a multi-disciplinary person who serves as an "interpreter" between technical and non-technical employees in a company.

On the other hand, the programmer spends most of the day; redundancy is valid, programming. So if you prefer to spend most of the day programming, experimenting languages, learning new technologies, among other things; Then the programmer's career is a much better option for you.

However, the real world is very different from the academic world.

It is very likely that, regardless of the career you choose, you start working as a programmer and eventually transitions as Software Engineer.

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