Why do some developers say they’re not IT?

It is an interesting question that has been debated among developers and IT professionals: why some developers claim that they are not IT workers? What is not readily understood is the logic behind such a statement and its implications. Does this mean that developers are not technologically skilled enough or that their focus is not on technology? Can we consider professionals beyond traditional definitions of information technology workers?

The professional IT landscape is rapidly evolving with the rise of artificial intelligence, automation, and other advanced technologies. This evolution has created a gap between standard IT work and more technical, skill-based software development. Many software developers no longer associate themselves with the duties and tasks of standardized IT professionals. While these professionals are still very much involved in technology and engineering, their skill sets and training could be more accurately aligned with information security, database design, and data analytics.

The notion that software development is different than IT has been around for some time, but it’s become increasingly more apparent in recent years with the onset of new technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence. According to a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers accounted for a 24% increase in IT jobs from 2016 to 2018, while IT jobs overall decreased by 2%. This difference speaks to the need for aruond technical skillsets to configure computer systems, processes, and networks in the IT industry.

In this article, you will learn about the different roles and skillsets for both traditional IT professionals and software developers; the implications that developers not identifying with IT may have; and, what steps can be taken to further bridge the gap between the two roles. Furthermore, the article will discuss the merits of certifications, educational requirements, and other areas in which the IT and software development industries can be further aligned.

Why do some developers say they're not IT?

Definitions: IT and Developers

The acronym IT stands for Information Technology and usually refers to the various types of technologies used for the storage, exchange and manipulation of data in computer systems. Such technologies include hardware, software, networking, and telecommunications among many others. It is the framework that allows individuals and organizations to communicate and store data securely.

Developers are the people who use these technologies to design, build and implement computer systems. They must have an in-depth understanding of the technologies in order to create applications, websites, and networks. Typically, developers have specialized knowledge in coding languages, databases, and operating systems to develop applications, websites, and networks.

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Despite their professional involvement in IT, some developers choose to not identify themselves as “IT,” instead preferring to be “developers.” This is because the term “IT” often carries a negative connotation in the software industry, as it implies someone who is mainly concerned with maintenance and support duties rather than creating useful software. As such, developers may choose to use the term “developer” to show their commitment to developing innovative solutions.

Therefore, IT and developers are related yet distinct professions. While developers are typically involved in the implementation of IT, they remain distinct from the field of IT as a whole.

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Many developers don’t consider themselves IT professionals, despite the fact that they are involved in technology-related areas such as creating computer programs and computer applications. The best definition of IT (Information Technology) is the use of computers, networks, and other technology to manage and store information. Developers, on the other hand, often craft software, applications, and programs that either require no direct contact with computer hardware or rely on systems engineers to customize and deploy them. As a result, developers consider themselves to be professionals in the software engineering field rather than IT professionals.

Reasons for the Distinction

The distinction between developers and IT professionals is largely due to the different skills and qualifications required for the two professions. Although both require an understanding of computers and networks, IT professionals are typically knowledgeable in hardware and network setup. They are also often responsible for troubleshooting computer systems and managing the implementation and use of new technologies. On the other hand, software engineers must have the ability to design, develop, troubleshoot, and debug computer programs and applications.

Different Skill Sets

IT professionals typically possess technical skills such as systems administration, computer programming, database management, and computer security. They must also be familiar with networking protocols and methodologies, operating system design, data models, and programming languages.
Software engineers, on the other hand, usually possess skills in software design, software development, project management, and testing. Additionally, they must possess a good understanding of software development cycles, as well as of programming languages. Many developers may have a background in computer science but may not have detailed technical knowledge of hardware and networking systems.

Different Levels of Expertise

The distinction between IT professionals and developers can also be seen in terms of their expertise and experience. IT professionals typically possess a higher level of expertise in their field and are trained in more advanced hardware, networking, and software technology. They are also usually more likely to be familiar with IT-related regulations and standards. Software engineers, on the other hand, often require less specialized skills and are more likely to be found working in the software engineering departments of large companies and organizations.
The clear distinctions between IT professionals and developers are why many developers choose not to identify as IT professionals. This allows developers to separate themselves into a distinct profession with unique skills and expertise. As such, it is not uncommon to find developers focusing on software engineering, rather than IT, when describing the roles they play in the industry.

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Defining Developer and IT

IT is a term used to refer to the use of computers, software applications, and other technology-related tools in organizational settings. IT is an umbrella term for the use of any technology to perform business tasks. In contrast, a developer is someone who uses programming and other technical skills to create and maintain software applications, websites, and other tools that use technology.

The Role of IT in the Workplace

The primary role of IT in the workplace is to provide the technical infrastructure that supports business goals and objectives. From servers to desktops to software applications, IT is responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting the technical components of a business. As part of their role, IT professionals must be knowledgeable about the latest technology, identify potential solutions to technical problems, and make recommendations for future technology investments.

Responsibilities of Developer

While the focus of IT professionals is on the infrastructure and technical side of the business, developers focus on the development and maintenance of software applications. They use programming languages to create applications that deliver value to businesses by streamlining tasks or processes, communicating data, or connecting businesses to customers or markets. In addition to writing code, developers also debug, test, and maintain applications, ensuring they are accessible and secure.
The roles of IT and developers may overlap in some cases, but they are distinct jobs with different focuses. Developers focus primarily on writing, developing, and maintaining software applications while IT professionals are responsible for supplying, maintaining, and troubleshooting the technical infrastructure of a business.

Different Skill Sets

When discussing IT and software development, the two are often used interchangeably, however, they require different skills and produce different results. IT professionals tend to be responsible for the networks, hardware, systems, and services that keep businesses running smoothly, while developers are more focused on creating software applications, databases, and websites.

Different Processes

The development process is typically broken down into individual tasks that need to be completed in order to produce a functioning program or application. This requires problem-solving skills and the ability to think logically. The tasks for an IT professional, however, require a different set of abilities. IT professionals need to audit hardware and software, diagnose and troubleshoot issues, configure devices, and manage networks.

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Different Responsibilities

The responsibilities for IT and development professionals can also differ greatly. Developers usually work in teams, and must collaborate to come up with solutions to complex programming problems. They often work independently, and have to maintain their own code. IT professionals, on the other hand, often have to work with other departments and vendors, run diagnostic tests and troubleshoot systems, and provide technology training.
The differences in the processes and responsibilities between IT and development professionals explain why some might not identify as IT professionals. Many developers may not know enough about hardware and networks, while IT professionals may not be comfortable with writing and testing code. The broad scope of IT means that every IT or development role requires a slightly different skillset.


To wrap up, it’s safe to say that the question of why some developers say they’re not IT can only be answered by developers themselves. What we can take away from this is that having an understanding of the different divisions of IT and the main differences between the two will help us make informed decisions when approaching any project.
If you found this article interesting and would like to know more about the distinctions between IT and development, then be sure to follow this blog for more new releases. We have already published many more question-raising articles about the different divisions of IT, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the field deeper.
What makes IT different from development? IT is focused on the creation, storage, retrieval, and maintenance of databases, whereas development is focused on the creation and deployment of individual computer applications such as websites. Development also requires a deep understanding of specific programming languages which is usually not needed for IT.
Where can I read more about these distinctions? We recommend following this blog for more in-depth analysis of the differences between IT and development. We also recommend doing your own research to gain a better understanding of the topic.
Are there any existing resources for exploring the field deeper?Yes, there are plenty of online resources that can help you gain a better understanding of the differences between IT and development. You can find material ranging from blogs to online courses and more.
Who should I contact if I need help understanding these differences? You can reach out to a software engineering professional for advice and further consultation on the topic. Additionally, IT professionals would also be a good source of information.
What type of qualifications do the IT and development professionals need? IT professionals usually need certifications such as a CISSP or an MCSE. On the other hand, developers usually need a software engineering degree or equivalent qualifications, as well as a detailed knowledge of the specific coding languages they use.