Making a Career in Computer Programming

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Among various curriculum and degree programs, there are many aspirants who seek to master computer programming. Computer programming is used in software development. The immense popularity of the profession of a computer programmer has soared in recent times with almost every industry in need of a software application made according to their needs. There are some educational institutions that use their programmers specifically for designing video games while others make web applications or desktop applications for various types on industries ranging from accounting applications and banking applications to shopping cart and HR applications. A career in computer programming is highly lucrative.

Job Profile of a Computer Programmer

The job of the computer programmer involves writing, testing and preserving detailed instructions of codes which is required for executing a particular task. The programmer also devises reasonable structures which are used on the computer to get the problems solved. They also send updates, or do repairs and expansion and also look into the modification of the programs. They should know several programming languages and can easily decode new languages. There are application programmers and system programmers. Application programmers write the code to handle a special task which will be applied by the user of the computer, but the system programmer writes codes which are used by the operating system of the computer.



Using project specifications, they do project documentation and make application flow flowcharts for writing codes that does not need rework later. Develop and write computer programs for hospitals, schools, banks and more industries. They work independently to write code for software or as part of the team. Senior programmers need to do work allocation, maintain discipline and also conduct trainings. They also communicate with clients to discuss project details. They also need to brainstorm in case any functionality in the program is not working and find suitable solution. They should be a part of the knowledge sharing process and give insight in the course of reviews. A successful computer programmer must update themselves with the latest technical developments and trends. Programmers are also required to work long hours to meet deadlines.

Requirements to be a Computer Programmer

Academic

Employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, physical sciences or information systems from a recognized university and who are proficient in certain major programming tools. Most of the employers make it necessary for the candidates to have a two year degree or diploma in the applicable programming area. In order to be a computer programmer, one needs to have the knowledge of computer languages as well as platforms. They should know about working with various databases like Oracle or Sybase along with various computer programming languages like, C++, Java, .Net, XML, PHP, HTML and more. The computer programmer should have the knowledge of the entire process of software development as they will have to bring to the table something more than technical knowledge.

Skill Sets

They should work as part of the team and should be effective in communicating with people at all levels in an organization. They must possess technical documentation skills, interpersonal skills, analytical abilities, team management skills and most importantly patience to understand project scope and solving problems that may occur during programming.

Training

There are several computer programming courses that teach aspirants the basics of programming. This training program helps students to update themselves with the latest computer programming languages. Internships are also available to give the aspirants the experience of working in a real time project. Employers often hire inexperienced programmers to send them over to specialized computer training schools for updating their skills.

Prior Experience

Most employers demand two years experience in the applicable programming language along with a bachelor's degree. Also, there are employers who provide on-the-job training to new people after recruitment.

Employment Outlook

Career Prospects

The computer programmers will be able to enhance their careers by moving into supervisory roles and specializing in more skills. Those with a bachelor's degree in science who always update themselves with the latest changes in technology will be able to find abundant opportunities. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, about $455,000 people took up jobs as computer programmers in the year 2004, although the growth rate of this profession is expected to average.

Salary

Computer programming is one of the high paying jobs in the industry which requires merely a bachelor's degree or an associated degree. They earn about $65,000 – $75,000 annually. Programmers with professional documentation, practice and any kind of specialized knowledge will be able to claim higher salaries. Even the entry level programmers will be able to earn a satisfying salary.

With the advancement of technology, people who prefer this area of expertise will be required to update their skills. There are several companies who do not allow programmers to be a part of projects until they have updated the latest certifications. As there is a vital increase in the requirement for the latest computer programs, the demand for programmers will stay higher. Good computer programmers will continue to be in demand.
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