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At larger companies there seems to be a distinction between the two positions. How exactly do they differ?

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The analyst postfixes increase the salary. –  DavRob60 Oct 7 '10 at 19:41
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4 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here is a sample job description for an analyst position. Note that none of these tasks involve any actual coding/programming:

  • Interact with customers to learn their requirements.
  • Write requirements documents.
  • Interact with designers to understand their concerns/constraints.
  • Help programmers during system development.
  • Maintain the traceability matrix to track requirements through all stages of development.
  • Do some sytem testing.
  • Assist in deployment.
  • Contribute to user manuals and/or user training.

So a developer-analyst would also do some (or all) of the coding/programming in addition to the tasks listed above.

EDIT: SDLC is usually schematized like this:

  1. Planning ->2. Analysis ->3. Design ->4. Development ->5. Testing ->6. Deployment ->7. Maintenance ->1.Planning (again)

Presumably a developer-analyst concentrates on phases 2 & 4, and leaves the other phases to others.

BUT, in my personal experience, at smaller firms, you tend to be responsible for all phases (1-7), regardless of your title. While at large companies, there's more of a division-of-labor and specialization.

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Another way to say what I think you're trying to say is: a developer analyst gets hired for the job at requirements/risk analysis time, and a developer gets hired when implementation begins. –  Steve Evers Oct 7 '10 at 21:03
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@SnOrfus: Yes! I've actually been in this exact situation--hired at the outset of a project as a developer-analyst, worked with clients to develop the SRS first, then chose the development team and worked with them on the actual development. Its kind of a "Transitional" role that brings more continuity to the process. –  A. N. Other Oct 7 '10 at 21:24
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In my experience, "Analyst" tends to imply a more advisory capacity. That is, an analyst might spend more time evaluating and presenting information relating to the company's internal development and/or external activity in the development world.

Of course, in some companies it's just another name for the same thing.

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They can often be used interchangeably. The addition of -analyst in the title means some business/domain knowledge is needed. Many places just have developers or developer-analyst. In organizations that have developers and analyst the analyst would be responsible for more functional knowledge/design where the developer would be just responsible for implementing the functional design technically

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People who call themselves "developers" are less pretentious.

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