16x Engineer

2022-08-23 02:40:45 +0000 - Zhu Liang

Back in the days, IT was synonymous with technology. IT department meant the tech department.

However, with the rise of software industry and huge number of Internet companies, these terms have new meanings now.

The illustration below shows the difference between IT and tech (software engineering) in software industry, as of 2022.


IT work mainly refers to such as software administration, office network management, as well as handling physical assets such as computers, laptop and printers.

In terms of software, IT is mainly about running and upgrading internal software. These software can be developed internally or purchased from external vendor.

IT jobs can be found in any industries, including tech industry. IT jobs in tech industry are not much different from IT jobs in other industries.

For example, you can have an IT role for managing computers for McDonald’s as well as Google or Amazon.

Tech (Software Engineering)

On the other hand, tech or software engineering work mainly involves developing and maintaining software for external users.

Software Engineering jobs can be found in any industries as well. However, the most prestigious ones are in the tech industry.

In tech industry, software is the main product of the company. It can be sold to a customer (B2C product) or a business (B2B product).

For example, Facebook is the main product of Meta. Google Search is the main product of Google.


There are areas where they can overlap a little, especially for internal software and network security.

Both IT and tech department can contribute in these areas. DevOps or Platform seems to be the trendy term for such projects.

Other industries

Tech (Software engineering) jobs can also be found in other industries, albeit playing a more supporting role.

For example, let’s say McDonald’s wants to have a food delivery app.

It can be developed in house with its own tech (software engineering) team.

Alternatively, it can be outsourced to another software vendor company (in tech industry) who can build the food delivery app for McDonald’s.