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fmp17 Filemaker Developer or Filemaker Programmer?

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Hello guys, good afternoon from the Philippines here.

Which is which, Filemaker Developer or Filemaker Programmer? Which is right?

I'm excited to hear your answers gurus. 


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When you pass the FileMaker certification exam, FileMaker calls you A Certified FileMaker Developer. So I guess that would be a FileMaker Developer.

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Many people use "developer" and "programmer" interchangeably. Many other people distinguish between "developer" and "programmer" different ways. One way to distinguish between them that is somewhat unique to the FileMaker community is that a "programmer" just does programming logic (data schema, scripts, calculations), whereas a "developer" is also skilled at user interface design.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does make a distinction in it's Standard Occupational Classification (SOC):



15-1251 Computer Programmers

Create, modify, and test the code and scripts that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software and web developers or other individuals. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.


15-1252 Software Developers

Research, design, and develop computer and network software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions, applying principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis. Update software or enhance existing software capabilities. May work with computer hardware engineers to integrate hardware and software systems, and develop specifications and performance requirements. May maintain databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.


In short, according to the BLS, a "computer programmer" implements a specification written by someone else, whereas a "software developer" is also involved in the discovery and design that would lead to such a specification. Most of the FileMaker community falls solidly in the "developer" category, according to this scheme. (Note that I'm using the 2018 revision to the SOC scheme, which does not make a distinction between "applications" and "systems" developers like the 2010 SOC did. FileMaker developers would definitely be "applications" developers in the older scheme.)

Please don't take the BLS definition as an authoritative tie-breaker. Like modern dictionaries, the SOC system is more descriptivist than prescriptivist: it tells you what the BLS tends to observe in the wild; it's not a mandate for what the "correct" difference is.

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