Web Development vs Software Development

Is there any difference between web development and software development?

Software development is mostly associated with desktop applications. When people search for “web development” they think about the service in terms of website creation, and with close relevance to web design. Web design however is mostly graphic design or visual representation of information. Web coding/web coder is a term referring to a programmer who does web related programming. Code/script is a more narrow term than programming, or software development. Software development encompasses the full cycle of developing a software product, from creating specification to testing and launch. Programming is a an act of writing a code realising some particular functionality or algorithm transforming data. Why do we use term “web coding” for web programming? Coding, it seems to me, is a more lightweight programming: just insertion of some code (which can be ready-made) in some places of a web page. Maybe a script (written in JavaScript) that displays current date and time, or a script that creates a drop down menu. To do such things you do not need to be a software developer, or even a programmer. People with design skills who move to web design, can pick up web programming swiftly.

Some web sites are more like software, rather then a website in a traditional sense. They store data/interact with a database on the back end, they execute some business logic, and process information in a more intricate way. Sure they have an web interface, but although it is the part of the web software application we can see, it is not the most significant part (in terms of programming effort at least). Web development is a job of creating a web-based software rather just designing a pretty interfact/website. And it should be done by a professional with background in programming and software development, rather then design.

With modern web development tools and frameworks, one can go a very long way in creation of functionality, without even releasing what goes on behind the scene. Without thorough understanding of software design principles it is impossible to achieve solid software architecture  that leads to reliability, scalability and application security.

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