WHAT DOES A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER DO?
COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS write, test, and maintain programs or software that tell the computer what to do. They convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. They develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. They may program Web sites.
Computer Programmers perform some or all of the following tasks:
* Write programs creating a logical series of instructions the computer can follow, applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
* Code instructions into programming languages and test and debug programs to get intended results.
* Analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow charts and diagrams.
* Convert detailed logical flow charts to language that computers can process.
* Prepare flow charts and block diagrams and encode resultant equations for processing.
* Develop programs from workflow charts or diagrams, considering computer storage capacity, speed, and intended use of output data.
* Prepare detailed workflow charts and diagrams from programs to illustrate sequence of steps to describe input, output, and logical operation.
* Write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions.
* Revise or direct revision of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
* Consult with managerial and engineering and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
* Write instructions to guide operating personnel during production runs.
* Prepare records and reports.
* Collaborate with computer manufacturers and other users to develop new programming methods.
* Assist computer operators or system analysts to resolve problems in running computer programs.
* Assign, coordinate, and review work and activities of programming personnel.
* Train subordinates in programming and program coding.
Computer Programmers are also commonly called Programmer Analysts, Scientific Programmers, Software Programmers, Systems Programmers, and Business Programmers.
WHAT SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT?
Programmers require and use some or all of the following skills, knowledge, and abilities to perform their work:
* Programming - Writing computer programs for various purposes.
* Writing - Communicating effectively with others in writing as indicated by the needs of the audience.
* Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
* Critical Thinking - Using logic and analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
* Information Organization - Finding ways to structure or classify multiple pieces of information.
* Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of electric circuit boards, processors, chips, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
* Mathematics - Knowledge of numbers, their operations, and interrelationships including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
* Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
* Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
* Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
* Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
* Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to come up with logical answers. It involves deciding if an answer makes sense.
WHAT’S THE WORK ENVIRONMENT?
Computer Programmers generally work in an office environment. Programmers are known to work long hours with intense workloads against tight deadlines. The "debugging" phase of programming can be the most stressful. Most Programmers work alone but some are expected to work in teams and interact directly with users. A growing trend in the field of computer programming is the virtual office, also known as telecommuting.
While union membership is not common in this occupation, Computer Programmers who work for government agencies often belong to a union.
As part of the large computer and data processing industry, the number of jobs in data processing firms, software houses, and computer consulting businesses are numerous. Due to new technologies, Programmers will be needed to update new languages in outdated systems. However, Programmers will face increasing competition from overseas businesses where work is done at a lower cost.
Answered By: Rmprrmbouncer - 2/18/2007