I worked on a project where I did everything from

  • talking about how the software should be and how they are doing the stuff at the moment with the client (end users) ...
  • choosing technology to be used
  • typing code
  • installing the application on the web server

previously I was writing in my cv that I worked as a software developer

what should I write now ?

it's a 16 people Non-profit organization sponsored by USAID, I did a country-wide system for managing and paying subventions to farmers

  • 1
    It depends. What size company do you work for? Jan 25, 2011 at 13:12
  • @Mark, I guess the company has a size of 1...
    – P Shved
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:14
  • @Mark Freedman @Pavel Shved I've added the info
    – Omu
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:14
  • Those activities are part of the job of "software developer" in many organizations. Just make sure your resume / CV describes what you actually did in this organization to make your experience clear.
    – Marcie
    Jan 25, 2011 at 20:47

5 Answers 5


The key word is, probably, "Developer" - the interesting question is to what extent you can decorate that word.

The one I like is Principal Developer, the other that suggests a "higher" level is Lead Developer (though that implies followers which isn't appropriate in this case).

"Software Engineer" is an odd one - in some circles it has fairly specific meaning relating to work on low level, engineering related applications I don't really like it (though I would once have aspired to be what I believe it was coined to describe).

Right now, as a 1 man band, I use Technical Director or CTO (based on my previous employment in which that was a reasonable description unlike being a 1 man band where one is de-facto director of everything...)

  • Personally, I'd see something like "Principal" as a bit snooty.
    – ozz
    Jan 25, 2011 at 16:06
  • just like in Phil Haack's resume, I see CTO he sais there that he did some projects, but doesn't mention managing other team members haacked.com/Docs/PhillipHaack_Resume.html , I guess this is what I need
    – Omu
    Jan 25, 2011 at 18:10
  • @james - principal as in first as in head developer in a company and the one who sets the direction. The real puffed up title was Principal Technologist" - which I loved (-: the boss having said, "you need a job title"... so I went and found one which fit. Latterly I got more responsibility so CTO/Technical Director was a better fit
    – Murph
    Jan 25, 2011 at 19:49
  • Hey Mon, it's inspiration: youtube.com/watch?v=Jpu5_3qk4KM Jan 25, 2011 at 23:17

Software engineer

Prior to the mid-1990s, software practitioners called themselves programmers or developers, regardless of their actual jobs. Many people prefer to call themselves software developer and programmer, because most widely agree what these terms mean, while software engineer is still being debated. A prominent computing scientist, E. W. Dijkstra, wrote in a paper that the coining of the term software engineer was not a useful term since it was an inappropriate analogy, "The existence of the mere term has been the base of a number of extremely shallow --and false-- analogies, which just confuse the issue...Computers are such exceptional gadgets that there is good reason to assume that most analogies with other disciplines are too shallow to be of any positive value, are even so shallow that they are only confusing."1 The term programmer has often been used as a pejorative term to refer to those without the tools, skills, education, or ethics to write good quality software. In response, many practitioners called themselves software engineers to escape the stigma attached to the word programmer. In many companies, the titles programmer and software developer were changed to software engineer, for many categories of programmers. These terms cause confusion, because some denied any differences (arguing that everyone does essentially the same thing with software) while others use the terms to create a difference (because the terms mean completely different jobs).

Link to Source

  • Do be aware that "Engineer" is often a protected word, used to define a specific set of professions and can only be used by appropriate license holders. IANAL and YMMV, but wanted to mention it.
    – sdg
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:43
  • @sdg Agree! Read this. examiner.com/life-the-cubicle-in-national/… Jan 25, 2011 at 13:47

My personal preference would be "software engineer", but it is just my definition that a "developer" is someone who knows how to write/debug/fix code, and a "SW engineer" is one who understands the whole development lifecycle from inception through requirements gathering, design and implementation to testing, bug fixing, patching, versioning etc. etc. However, there is no widely accepted definition to these terms. So whatever you pick, you should add a brief explanation after it.



On a more serious note, this is what u usually get when working for smaller companies, you actually are a one man project team.

However, you are still a software developer, just mention that on your resume. In the section where you put your project experience, detail what you did on the project. When they ask about it in an interview, you'll have a proper chance to explain the kind of experience that gave you.

If you feel the project helper you in getting to the next level, like software designer, use that.

  • 1
    I was tempted to answer Chuck Norris
    – Raphael
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:21
  • 1
    That's what I had first. Seriously.
    – Syg
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:24
  • lololololololol
    – Omu
    Jan 25, 2011 at 13:47

I put very little value on a title or position, but you're describing a typical, more well rounded software developer. Without a couple of the bullets in your list, you'd be a "code monkey," and the value of someone who can only code is very limited in most companies. Those are the first jobs to be outsourced.

As @Syg mentioned, put "Software Developer" on your resume, mention a few of those points on the resume, and explain more at the interview.

  • I kind of agree with Mark. I know guy whose title on LinkedIn is "Senior Lead Developer" - senior and lead just weren't enough I guess!
    – ozz
    Jan 25, 2011 at 16:07

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