Software Engineer versus Product Engineer: Who is Who?

Modern Team May 17, 2018

There is always a buzz in the freshers of IT industry to understand which is the most challenging and satisfying software engineering job profile?

What would be more beneficial? Becoming a software engineer or becoming a product engineer?

This hunt of finding the better and becoming the best never ends. You could be a product engineer, an associate software engineer, a senior software engineer, an embedded system engineer or maybe a graphic software engineer, but you will always look for the best and the most rewarding job profile.

I have worked with some of the brilliant product groups at Microsoft, Google. I have worked with start-ups to build exciting technologies. I have worked as a software consultant to world’s best companies. And now, I run a software development company.

Difference between Software Engineering And Product Engineering.
Difference between Software Engineering And Product Engineering.

I have been thinking about the general state of software engineering which majorly boils down to building useful quality software and ship them on time.

You can categorize software engineers in a lot of ways say-programming engineer, system software engineer, application software engineer, software engineer developer, product development engineer and many more.  But In my experience, you can bunch them into two types-Software engineers and product engineers.

What Exactly Is Software Engineering and Is Software Engineering Worth it?

Software engineering aims on creating an efficient software project using well defined scientific principles. It is a deep study of designing, developing and maintaining a software. A software engineering career is WORTH the time and effort. It is interesting, stimulating and offers you growth in all branches of it.

What is Product Engineering and How Good Product Engineering Is?

Product engineer takes care of the process from product ideation to professional services. In short, the entire product life cycle from the innovation phase to the testing phase. Being a project engineer allows you to have a continues involvement from the technical part and also understanding the needs and deliver an appropriate solution. This career option is always in demand and offers you a stepping stone to project management.

What Is The Best-Practice Ratio of Engineers vs. Product in Software Companies?

“For early-stage teams, the golden ratio of engineers to product managers is usually about 5:1,” says Jack Krawczyk of Pandora. “It facilitates a close enough relationship with the developers that product managers know instinctively what makes each developer tick.

Among many, these are high-level differences I experienced on how they approach their work.

Software Engineers vs Product engineers

In a nutshell, product engineers take ownership of the feature end to end rather than delegating to others. That’s the biggest difference I have observed which results in a great software product. It’s a habit, and just like any habit, take years to develop.

This has been guiding principle to me and my team at JTC.

What’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with right now that we as a technology consulting company can help you with? Feel free to reach out to us at We hope our assistance will help!


Jaikishan Jalan

12+ years of experience building native apps, websites, backend @microsoft, @google, @startups. ISU PhD dropout, IIT Dhanbad Alum

Great! You've successfully subscribed.
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.