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Polling my friendslist; A question about terminology. 
26th-Feb-2014 09:46 am
slanty, martha
What do you think of as the difference in meaning between "Software Engineer", "Programmer", and "Coder"? I'm interested in differences in connotation as well as denotation. If you characterize yourself as one of these, which one or ones do you use to describe yourself?
26th-Feb-2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
I characterize myself as a "Programmer". "Software Engineer" is like "Sanitary Engineer" for garbage man. You use it on your business card. It doesn't really mean anything different.

I'm not sure what I think if "Coder." It's not a word I use. It gives me a mental picture of people in rows of desks in front of punch card machines.
27th-Feb-2014 01:33 pm (UTC)
This is far from solid, but I see a continuum from "coder" to "programmer" to "software engineer", where the first is much more "person who writes code and that is all they do" and the last is "person who designs and implements systems in software" from whom I would expect a broader set of skills.

I also have a mildly negative cultural association with many people who use "coder" by preference.
28th-Feb-2014 06:58 am (UTC)
In my vocabulary there is no difference between coder and programmer.

For someone describing themselves as a software engineer, I would not necessarily expect that they spend most of their time at work writing code. where a coder /programmer would.

I don't think these words imply anything about years of experience or pay

The person with punch cards described in another comment, I would call "keyer", or "processor" maybe.
28th-Feb-2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
I usually use "software developer" (or just "dev") but I'm okay with "software engineer". I don't like "programmer" any more (and I've never used "coder") because a developer should be doing more than just programming: talking to the user/product owner, planning architecture & design, writing tests.
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