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Developers are from Mars, Programmers are from Venus

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Many of us use the terms "programmer" and "developer" interchangeably. When someone asks me what I do for a living I tend to describe my vocation as "computer programmer" rather than "software developer", because the former seems to be understood more readily by those unfamiliar with IT. Even when writing pieces for this site, I tend to swap back and forth between the two terms, to try and avoid sounding repetitive. But in truth, there is a world of difference between a computer programmer and a software developer.

The term "programmer" has historically referred to a menial, manual input task conducted by an unskilled worker. Predecessors of the computer, such as the Hollerith machine, would be fed encoded instructions by operators called "programmers".

Developers like to code as well, but they see it as being only a part of their job function. They focus more on delivering value than delivering program text, and know that they can't create value without having an awareness of the business context into which they will deploy their application, and the organizational factors that impact upon its success once delivered.

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