computer programmer working

What does a Computer Programmer do?

A computer programer codes instructions for a computer to follow. They create software programs by writing code and test the programs to be sure they are free of error and working optimally. They also correct bugs in the code when necessary.

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How to Become a Computer Programmer

A computer programer usually needs a bachelor’s degree in computer science that will teach programming various computer languages. An employer may accept an applicant with an associate’s degree if they have experience in programming. Experience is highly valued by employers so it’s important to find an internship opportunity while going to college or taking a part-time job that will give you hands-on experience. A computer science degree is also useful for other careers in Information Technology. For example, you will learn how to program using various languages while pursing your bachelor’s degree in computer science. These languages can also help you become a software developer, software engineer, or software quality assurance engineer. The opportunities are endless.

Languages are constantly updating to keep up with the technology that is constantly changing. There are also more IoT (Internet of Things) being connected each day. Because of this, computer programmers must continue professional development to remain competitive long after earning their degree.

Job Description of a Computer Programmer

A computer programer uses a variety of computer languages such as Java and C++, in order to write software programs. They manipulate the program designs made by engineers and developers into a language that the computer can understand and follow. They must expand and update current programs and run testing to find any errors or bugs in the program and confirm that the program software runs smoothly and correctly.

A computer programmer uses various code libraries to simplify the transcription of the code and they can write code for mobil phone applications or computer operating systems. A programmer will also need to re-design their programs to adapt to other systems platforms such as OSX or Windows. A computer programmer is typically found working in an office environment. They may telecommute though as all they need is a computer and internet connection to do their job. A computer programer requires troubleshooting skills, analytical skills, and must be detail oriented. They require concentration to writing code for long lengths of time.

Computer Programmer Career Video Transcript

The 21st century has already seen a storm of technological progress. In the eye of the tornado sit computer programmers, with the skills to navigate the whirlwind of the new millennium. It’s the job of computer programmers to turn designs created by software developers and engineers into sets of instructions that computers follow, which result in the word processing programs, social media platforms, browsers, and more that people use every day.

Computer programming is a very detail-oriented occupation. Programmers must be able to focus on code for long periods without losing track of their progress and they must persist to solve the often small but critical code issues that can have a big impact, and prevent the program from operating. Most computer programmers work full time and though many work in offices, programming can be performed from almost any location.

Most programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject, though some find work with a two-year associate’s degree. Computer programming is a career that requires cutting-edge skills, persistence, and a vision for creating new possibilities with code.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Computer Programmers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 15-1131.00. O*NET OnLine.

The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.

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