Just as we have Civil Engineers in the housing and infrastructure sector, computer programmers are builders when it comes to the computing world. They convert software designs which must have been created by Software developers to the language that a computer can understand.
Computer programmers build the applications we use and the games we play every day. They equally make sure that software applications are not with any error before rolling them out for public use.
Since the rate of interactions with our computer devices keeps increasing, there is a constant need for computer programmers in every corner of the world. Read on to discover how to become an expert programmer, know your roles, salary structure, and the skills you need to excel.
At first, keep these at the back of your mind!
- Programming is an ideal career for you if you like working alone.
- Over 300,000 programmers were employed in 2014 alone.
- Employers are always looking for programmers in different parts of the world so location is not a barrier.
- It is usually a full-time job.
Roles and Tasks of Computer Programmers
Your typical responsibilities as a programmer will be-
- Developing, testing and activating computer programs on different operating systems, (mobile phones, tablets, laptops).
- Designing the user interface. I.e. creating the layouts, colors and interactive menus of computer programs.
- Checking programmed applications regularly for any error or bug.
- Carrying out periodic updates in order to increase the functions of programmed applications.
- Conducting surveys to understand the user’s perception and opinion about applications.
The two types of computer programmers
As a programmer, you can decide to either work across different fields or be a guru in just one of its two main job categories.
The first category is application programming, while the other is systems programming.
Application programming deals with developing and upgrading software applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, among others.
On the other hand, systems programming involves working on or creating new operating systems such as Android OS, MAC OS, Windows, and many others.
Nevertheless, the two fields are related in many ways. Peradventure you are a systems programmer, you may have to invite a software programmer to help in accessing the functionality of your operating system.
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How to become a qualified Computer Programmer
Programming needs a lot of background knowledge in mathematics and basic computer appreciation studies. This means that you must have been in the sciences in High school or at least enjoy solving mathematics and other types of calculations. Then, the crucial stage is your university education.
A degree in Computer Science or Mathematics will be just perfect for you, as long as the school. (See some trusted schools below) has adequate facilities and qualified instructors that can bring out the best in you. In fact, if you’d like to be the “hottest programmer around, just take a course or two in Business as an addition to your academic degree in Computer science. Every employer would want you on their team.
However, it is important to always practice and enroll for volunteering/ internship jobs where you get to put whatever you have learned into action. On many occasions, employers demand programmers with some level of experience. So, you can start developing programs as you learn in school. You don’t have to wait until you need a job.
In summary, you have to become a specialist in one area you are very interested in and keep learning new innovations to stay relevant in the sector.
Important skills for every programmer
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to think critically
- Reading and comprehension: above average
- Paying attention to details
- Ability to meet deadlines while working in a group or independently.
- Ability to work under pressure
- Good listening skills
The Bureau of Labour Statistics states that the average annual salary for computer programmers is about $77,550.
Although the highest earners in the field still go home with about $127,000 on a yearly basis.
Generally, programmers are well paid but your level of experience knowledge determines how much you earn. So keep learning.
Average Salary in the United Kingdom: £31,901
Average Salary in Canada: CA$59,000
Best schools to study computer science and software development
As mentioned earlier, a computer science course is what you need to become a qualified computer programmer. However, we understand that some universities may not have what it takes to give you all that is needed to excel in the field.
We have carefully done our background checks on the following schools, and we are confident of the quality of education they provide in the field.
For guidance on how to get admission into these schools, you send me an email or click on the chat button below this page.