To answer the question what does a computer programmer do? Let’s put it this way, a computer programmer writes the code which enables software applications to offer functionality. Computer programmers ensure software programs respond appropriately to users and offer the desired functionality.
Computer Programmer Duties & Responsibilities
- Knowledge of computer languages
- Writing computer programs
- Computer programs update
- Troubleshoot programs
- Software programs test
- Collaborate with other programmers.
Computer programmer’s job description entails writing code via the use of computer languages like C++ and Java. They also create instructions for computers to generate meaningful output. On the whole, it is the job of a computer programmer to write code and manipulate it into a language that computers can understand and follow.
Computer programmers work closely with information technology staff managers and end-users in their organizations or client organizations to develop, maintain and test computer programs. They respond to alerts users of flaws in programs, identity malfunctioning code as well as rewrite programs.
Software companies, governmental and private sector companies, like banks and law firms, commonly employ computer programmers and is not also uncommon to see computer programmers working as freelancers, moving from project to project within the technology consulting firms or as independent contractors.
Computer Programmer Salary
The salary for computer programmers can differ significantly based on experience and the nature of the work. Note that those working for software publishers tend to earn more than those working in other industries.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018 the following is the salary structure of a computer programmer;
- Median Annual Salary: $84,280 ($40.52/hour)
- Top 10% Annual Salary: $134,630 ($64.72/hour)
- Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $48,790 ($23.45/hour).
Computer Programmer Education, Training & Certification
There are specific requirements needed by different employers, but completing a degree program or a coding academy is essential to start a career as a computer programmer.
Bachelor’s degrees and associate degrees in computer science are both available at most institutions. Private institutes known as coding academies have sprung up as another option for those without formal college training in programming. Coding academies provide an intensive and relatively short-term immersion experience in programming and some academics offer low or no tuition in exchange for a percentage of salary once a job is gotten.
There are certifications for nearly all programming languages or vendor-specific programming products. Whether or not they are needed depends on specific employers, but a computer programmer who has them becomes more marketable.
Computer Programmer Skills & Competencies
Apart from having knowledge of computer languages and familiarity with relevant commercial products, there are other soft skills that computer programmers need, to be successful.
A computer programmer should be an analytical thinker to be able to understand, manipulate, and repair complex computer code. This entails sometimes trying to isolate a problem that could be buried somewhere in thousands of lines of code, so computer programmers need to be able to think through the problem and narrow down where to look.
Paying attention to details is very essential if you are a computer programmer because you need to pay attention to every line of code written. This is because any wrong command can malfunction the entire program.
Collaboration is necessary, as computer programmers may need help from another department or colleague to fix a software issue. Thus it is important that they have a collaborative mindset. Work programmers often entail writing software to streamline work or solve a workflow problem, and it is necessary they collaborate with those who will be using the software.
Since writing computer codes involves long hours of writing code or troubleshooting problems, to succeed, programmers need to focus on the work they are doing.
The work of a computer programmer can be quite tedious as it involves spending hours at a computer poring over lines of computer codes. Some programmers may desire to work from home since the work can be done alone, while some work in the offices of their employers, especially when involved in larger projects with other programmers.
Computer Programmer Work Schedule
Computer programmers that work from home, can set their own schedules, while those who work in the office, may be required to put in full-time work. Some projects typically have deadlines that must be met, thus programmers might need to work additional hours as those deadlines approach, especially if they’ve run into problems that need solving.
How to Get a Computer Programming Job
You can get experience thorough internships or training programs.