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Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Which is Better?

21st Nov, 2023
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    Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Which is Better?

    To boost sales, foster trust, and enhance brand reputation, excellent products or services must be provided. A company's product or services depend on both business analysts and software developers. If you are interested in managing a company's business operations, a job as a business analyst may be right for you. If you enjoy programming and want to work with IT systems, such as databases, networks, and software, a job as a software developer might be right for you.

    This comparison between the two will clarify the routes that lie ahead, whether you're thinking about changing careers, considering taking your initial steps into the tech business, or are simply curious about the always changing world of tech professions. You can choose which role to pursue by being aware of the differences between them. In this post, I have tried to distinguish between the jobs of a business analyst vs software developer to make you better understand each role.

    Business Analyst vs Software Developer [Head-to-Head Comparison]

    Let's see the Business analyst vs developer analysis in terms of a table:                                                                     


    Business Analyst 

    Software Developer 

    Job Duties 

    Analysing business operations and processes, spotting potential for change, and working with the IT team to put improvements into place. 

    Writing, testing, and debugging code to create software that complies with industry standards and meets the requirements of the client. 


    Business administration, information management, economics, or a closely related discipline 

    Computer science, information technology, or a closely related discipline 


    Data Analysis, Project management, Risk Management 

    Programming, Problem solving, Knowledge of Tools 


    Business Analysis methodologies 

    Command over programming and optimization techniques 

    Value delivery 

    Ensure projects delivery align with business objectives 

    Translating requirements into functional software 

    Work Environment 

    Spends more time in meetings with stakeholders 

    Spend more time in technical setting and development 


    - Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP) 

    - Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) 

    - Project Management Professional (PMP) 

    - Certified Product Owner (CSPO) 

    - ITIL Foundation 

    - Certified Analytics Professional (CAP) 

    - Six Sigma Green Belt

    - AWS Certified Developer 

    - Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate 

    - Google Professional Cloud Developer 

    - Certified Scrum Developer (CSD) 

    - Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) 

    - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

    Average Salary (USA)

    $84,829 per year

    $104,286 per year


    Growing demand, particularly in industries like IT, healthcare, finance, and e-commerce.

    Strong demand in various industries, including technology, finance, healthcare, and more.

    Common Job Roles

    - Business Analyst 

    - Systems Analyst 

    - Product Owner 

    - Business Systems Analyst 

    - Data Analyst 

    - Requirements Analyst

    - Software Developer 

    - Software Engineer 

    - Full-Stack Developer 

    - Front-End Developer 

    - Back-End Developer 

    - Mobile App Developer 

    - DevOps Engineer

    Difference Between Business Analyst and Software Developer

    You can choose which professional route to pursue by being aware of the distinctions between a business analyst and a software engineer. Software developers design, develop, test, and maintain software based on the requirements of clients, whereas business analysts concentrate on improving a company's procedures or operations. Let’s delve deeper to understand the differences between the business analyst vs software developer on various parameters.

    1. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Job Role

    Business Analyst: Business analysts are tasked with analysing business operations and processes, spotting potential for change, and working with the IT team to put improvements into place. They evaluate the efficiency of the adopted solutions and, if necessary, recommend adjustments. Making sure that a company's projects are in line with its short- and long-term business objectives is another responsibility of a business analyst. The major duties of business analysts are mentioned below:

    • Collecting and analysing the requirements for new projects or evaluating current systems to spot areas for improvement
    • Carrying out in-depth analysis to find trends and patterns to support decision-making
    • Using a variety of tools to model and assess business processes, such as process mapping and flowcharting
    • Making sure the solution is tailored to meet corporate goals and organisational objectives
    • Recognising potential hazards and creating ways to mitigate them

    Software Developer: A software developer is in charge of writing, testing, and debugging code to create software that complies with industry standards and meets the requirements of the client. They create software for a range of sectors, including banking, healthcare, manufacturing, defence, and business. Along with technical writers, they also provide technical documentation that explains how the software and its many parts operate. Duties of a software developer are as follows:

    • Collecting user requirements and doing a feasibility analysis to spot potential issues when creating the program or application
    • The use of a variety of tools and approaches in the design and development of the program
    • Rigorous testing and debugging to make that there are no bugs or problems and the software functions as expected
    • Working together with front-end and back-end designers, database administrators, network engineers, and other IT staff to integrate various software components
    • Creating comprehensive documentation on various software components, how they individually work, and typical troubleshooting methods
    • Maintaining the software on a regular basis and improving it depending on customer feedback

    2. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Education

    The typical undergraduate degree for business analysts is in business administration, information management, economics, or a closely related discipline. These degrees provide a good Business Analyst overview and place a strong emphasis on subjects including operations, management, marketing, and finance. To enhance their professional possibilities, some may also hold advanced degrees, such as master's degrees. They might be in possession of an MBA or a Master of Science in Business Analytics, for instance. Their data analytics, strategic decision-making, team management, and leadership abilities all increase as a result.

    Most software developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a closely related discipline. These degrees aid in the development of their knowledge and abilities in a variety of fields, including operating systems, databases, and programming. To focus on their areas of interest, some developers may additionally obtain advanced degrees, such a master's degree.

    They could, for instance, pursue a Master of Science (MSc) in Computer Science with a focus on something like cybersecurity, computer networking, or artificial intelligence. Some may also pursue an MBA to broaden their knowledge and skill set in areas like operations, marketing, and business management.

    3. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Skills

    Business Analyst Skills

    Business Analyst Skills

    • Data Analysis: To study data unique to a certain domain, detect trends, and turn it into commercial value, business analysts need in-depth training and experience in statistics, data analysis, and visualization. Another crucial aspect of the work is communicating these findings to management through data stories and visual aids. Business analysis in software development is the job of Business analyst as well,
    • Project Management: Business analysts work in close collaboration with product managers, clients, and other team members to gather requirements, assess their viability, and manage their implementation. They can plan, schedule, and monitor project progress with the aid of strong project management abilities to ensure timely completion within the designated budget.
    • Risk Management: Business analysts may identify risks, categorize them according to their severity, and develop ways to minimize them with the use of good risk management abilities. For the position, it is also required to be able to develop preventative and corrective risk management methods. You can learn key risk management skills by undertaking Business Management courses online.

    Software Developer Skills

    Software Developer Skills

    • Programming: Programming knowledge is necessary for software developers to write, debug, and test code.
    • Analytical thinking and Problem solving: Software developers can examine difficult problems and come up with effective and optimal solutions by having strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
    • Knowledge of Tools: They can expedite their development process with the aid of expert tool knowledge. For instance, using automated software development tools to create low-level code can assist them in concentrating on architecture, design, and problem-solving.

    4. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Experience

    Business analysts in their early to mid-career stages typically have knowledge of business analysis methodologies like process mapping or requirements gathering, as well as project management and data analysis experience. They are accustomed to working independently or in a larger team on smaller assignments. Large-scale projects and initiatives for process improvement fall within the purview of senior business analysts. Depending on the industry, their areas of expertise may differ.

    Mid-level and junior software engineers typically have a solid command of a variety of programming languages, optimization strategies, and software development approaches. Typically, they are engaged in medium- to large-scale projects. Large teams are overseen by senior software developers as they design, create, and launch sophisticated systems. They are skilled at coming up with solutions that enhance the scalability, performance, and reliability of massive systems. They might also support the chief technical officer's (CTO) efforts to build out or modernize a business's IT infrastructure.

    5. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Value Delivery

    Business analysts contribute to value delivery by ensuring that software projects align with business objectives. They elicit, analyze, and document requirements, translating business needs into actionable insights for software developers. By facilitating effective communication between stakeholders and development teams, they help create solutions that truly address business challenges and opportunities. 

    On the other hand, software developers deliver value by translating those requirements into functional software. Through coding, testing, and problem-solving, they transform concepts into tangible applications that meet user needs. Together, business analysts and software developers form a collaborative partnership, bridging the gap between business goals and technical implementation to maximize the value delivered by software projects. 

    6. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Work Environment

    Business analysts and software developers typically work in distinct but interconnected environments. Business analysts often spend more time in meetings and workshops with stakeholders, gathering and refining requirements. Their work environment may involve office settings, client sites, or remote work, focusing on documentation and communication tools.

    In contrast, software developers primarily work in technical settings, coding, debugging, and building software solutions. They utilize software development tools, IDEs, and collaborative platforms, with a strong emphasis on programming languages. While business analysts engage in client-facing interactions, developers work within development teams, sharing code and expertise. Both roles adapt to agile methodologies and remote work, aligning their work environments with project needs and industry trends. 

    7. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Certifications

    Both Business Analysts and Software Developers have access to a range of certifications that can enhance their skills and career prospects. Here's a comparison of certifications for both roles:

    Business Analyst Certifications

    Certified Business Analyst Professional (CBAP): This certification from the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) is for experienced business analysts and demonstrates advanced knowledge and expertise.

    • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM): While typically associated with Agile development, ScrumMaster certification can be beneficial for Business Analysts working in Agile environments.
    • Project Management Professional (PMP): While not specific to business analysis, PMP certification from PMI can be valuable for Business Analysts who manage projects.
    • Certified Product Owner (CSPO): CSPO is another Agile-related certification that can be useful for Business Analysts in Agile teams.
    • ITIL Foundation: This certification focuses on IT service management and can be relevant for Business Analysts involved in IT projects.
    • Certified Analytics Professional (CAP): For Business Analysts involved in data analysis and analytics projects, CAP certification demonstrates expertise in analytics.
    • Six Sigma Green Belt: Six Sigma is a methodology for process improvement, and the Green Belt certification can be valuable for Business Analysts working on process optimization.

    Software Developer Certifications

    • AWS Certified Developer: Offered by Amazon Web Services, this certification demonstrates expertise in developing applications on the AWS platform.
    • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer Associate: For software developers working on Microsoft Azure, this certification validates their Azure development skills.
    • Google Professional Cloud Developer: This certification is for developers working with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and showcases their proficiency in building cloud-based applications.
    • Certified Scrum Developer (CSD): For developers working in Agile teams, CSD certification emphasizes Agile principles and practices.
    • Oracle Certified Professional (OCP): This certification is for developers working with Oracle technologies, such as Java or database development.
    • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): While primarily a networking certification, CCNA can be beneficial for developers working on network-dependent applications.

    8. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Salary

    The salary for Business Analysts and Software Developers can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, location, industry, and specialization. On average, Business Analysts in the USA earn $84,829 per year, with senior professionals earning higher. In contrast, Software Developers typically command higher salaries, with an average salary of $104,286 annually. Software Developers' earnings can be influenced by their level of expertise in programming languages, technology stacks, and the demand for specific skills.

    9. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Demand

    Both Business Analysts and Software Developers are in demand, but the nature of their roles and the industries they serve can affect the level of demand. Here's a comparison of demand for these roles:

     Business Analyst Demand

    •  Growing Demand: Business Analysts are increasingly in demand, particularly in industries like IT, healthcare, finance, and e-commerce.
    •  Adaptation to Change: Business Analysts are vital in helping organizations adapt to technological advancements, regulatory changes, and evolving market trends.
    •  Project-Centric Demand: The demand for Business Analysts often correlates with project-driven initiatives, such as system implementations, process improvements, and software development projects.
    •  Cross-Industry Relevance: Business Analysts are needed across various industries, making their skills transferable and in demand in diverse sectors.

    Software Developer Demand

    • Strong and Consistent Demand: Software Developers consistently experience strong demand, driven by the continuous growth of technology-driven solutions across industries.
    •  Tech-Driven World: In a tech-driven world, Software Developers are sought after in fields like software development, web and app development, AI, machine learning, and cybersecurity.
    •  Global Opportunities: The demand for Software Developers extends globally, offering opportunities for remote work and international employment.
    •  Rapid Technological Advancements: Constant technological advancements fuel the need for skilled Software Developers to create and maintain software applications and systems.
    •  Industry-Specific Demand: Different industries require Software Developers with specialized knowledge, such as healthcare IT, fintech, gaming, and more.

    10. Business Analyst vs Software Developer: Common Job Roles

    When comparing Business Analysts vs Software Developers job roles, while the roles are distinct there can be some overlap in positions, especially in Agile or cross-functional teams. Here are common job roles associated with each profession:

    a. Common Business Analyst Job Roles

    • Business Analyst: This is the primary job title for professionals specializing in analyzing business processes, gathering requirements, and facilitating communication between stakeholders.
    •  Product Owner: In Agile development, the Product Owner represents the business and is responsible for defining and prioritizing product features and requirements.
    •  Business Systems Analyst: These professionals bridge the gap between business needs and IT solutions, ensuring that technology aligns with organizational goals.
    •  Data Analyst: Data Analysts focus on collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data to inform business decisions and strategies.
    •  Requirements Analyst: Requirements Analysts specialize in gathering, documenting, and managing project requirements to guide development efforts.

    b. Common Software Developer Job Roles

    • Software Developer: This is the primary job title for professionals who design, code, and maintain software applications or systems.
    • Software Engineer: Software Engineers focus on the design, development, and optimization of software solutions, emphasizing engineering principles.
    • Full-Stack Developer: Full-Stack Developers have expertise in both front-end (user interface) and back-end (server-side) development, allowing them to work on entire software stacks.
    • Front-End Developer: Front-End Developers specialize in creating the user interfaces and user experiences of web and software applications.
    •  Back-End Developer: Back-End Developers primarily work on server-side logic, databases, and APIs, ensuring the functionality of applications.
    • DevOps Engineer: DevOps Engineers focus on automating and streamlining the software development and deployment processes, emphasizing collaboration between development and IT operations.

    How are Business Analyst and Software Developer Similar?

    We have discussed major business analyst vs developer differences. Now let’s get to know the commonalities. Business analysts and software developers share a common thread in their commitment to delivering successful software solutions. Both roles are integral to the software development lifecycle. Thеy collaborate closely with BAs articulating business needs and requirements, while developers translate these into functional software. 

    Effective communication skills are vital for both, ensuring a shared understanding of project goals. Additionally, they often adapt to agile methodologies, emphasizing iterative development and continuous improvement. Problem-solving abilities are a shared trait, with BAs identifying business challenges and developers solving technical issues. Ultimately, their shared commitment to dеlivеring value aligns their efforts in creating software that meets usеr needs and business objectives. 

    What Should You Choose Between Business Analyst and Software Developer?

    The choice between a carееr as a Business Analyst or a Software Dеvеlopеr largely depends on individual interests, skills, and carееr goals. So, the answer to the question, ‘Which is better, business analyst or developer?’ depends more on personal choice.  Neither role is inherently better than the other; rather, they serve different purposes in the software development process. BAs еxcеl in understanding business needs, ensuring alignment with technology solutions, and facilitating effective communication. 

    Software developers specialize in coding, problem-solving, and technical implementation. Thе better choice depends on onе's passion; if you prefer bridging the business-technology gap and working closely with stakeholders, BA might bе idеal. If you'rе drawn to hands-on coding and technical challenges, Software Development could bе the better fit. Both roles offеr rеwarding carееr opportunities in the tеch industry.


    An in-depth knowledge of systems and software systems is advantageous to both professions. Once this crucial task is finished, though, the routes diverge. It takes a lot of responsibility to work as a software developer in this highly specialized field. As a result, they frequently invest more time in learning specialized programming languages and may even pursue a graduate degree in the area. Due to these factors, business analysts may decide to pursue a management information systems degree or a business specialization, which focuses on bridging the gap between technology and business. If you are keen on learning core competencies of a Business analyst, I would recommend to checkout KnowledgeHut Business Analyst overview of different courses.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1Do software engineers make more than business analysts?

    When it comes to business analyst salary vs software developer salary, in many cases,  software engineers tend to earn highеr salaries than business analysts duе to their specialized technical skills,  high demand in the tеch industry,  and the complexity of their work.  Howеvеr,  salary differences can vary basеd on factors like location,  industry, experience,  and education. 

    2Can a business analyst switch to a software developer?

    Software development can be pursued by data analysts. Before you can realistically hope to combine your knowledge from the two fields, you will need to learn and become an expert in the use of programming, data structures and algorithms.

    3Does business analyst involve coding?

    Business analysts can function without knowing how to program, but due to growing employment competition and corporate demands, it is essential to develop a fundamental understanding of how coding works.

    4Can a business analyst work in IT company?

    Yes Business Analysts work in IT industry. It is desirable for an IT business analyst to come from a technical background and have a fundamental understanding of the required tools and technology.


    Mansoor Mohammed

    Business Agility Expert

    Mansoor Mohammed is a dynamic and energetic Enterprise Agile Coach, P3M & PMO Consultant, Trainer, Mentor, and Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in Strategy Execution and Business Agility. With a background in Avionics, Financial Services, Banking, Telecommunications, Retail, and Digital, Mansoor has led global infrastructure and software development teams, launched innovative products, and enabled Organizational Change Management. As a results-driven leader, he excels in collaborating, adapting, and driving partnerships with stakeholders at all levels. With expertise in Change Management, Transformation, Lean, Agile, and Organizational Design, Mansoor is passionate about aligning strategic goals and delivering creative solutions for successful business outcomes. Connect with him to explore change, Agile Governance, implementation delivery, and the future of work.

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