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What does a Computer Programmer do?

Computer Programming as a Career

Computer programming has come a long way since the days of binary basic code. There are many computer languages, and all require a different skill set. They all have one thing in common, a need for a masterful set of math skills and a creative mind. An eye for detail is also important, as coding requires very specific syntax.

computer programmer

There are a variety of coding languages. Programmers often develop on Linux, it is considered a programmer’s platform. Two important programming languages include C++ and Python. Both languages execute very specific tasks unique to their coding.

As with many industries, companies are sending jobs overseas and computer programming is no exception. The industry is expected to experience a 3% decrease in job availability according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Computer Programmer’s Lifestyle

Some employers stress production and push their programmers to produce more, faster and with a 100% accuracy rate. You may need to put in long hours, including nights and weekends while on salary, meaning no overtime pay. Some do thrive on this type of stress. A post graduate degree affords the programmer more flexibility. These computer programmers may write their own ticket for very specialized skills. Finding the right working conditions as a programmer may take several tries. Some experienced computer programmers even end up working primarily from home.

Computer Programmer Common Qualities

The ideal computer programmer qualities include these traits: patience, logic, superior math skills, an almost obsessive attention to detail, patience, a creative knack for design elements and style, and an ability to be precise. Coding can sometimes be monotonous as you comb through thousands of lines, trying to find the one element that is incorrect while debugging. Being able to stay focused and not get distracted is important. Writing code with the anticipation of future changes is a tremendous asset.

Educational Requirements

Degree requirements are generally a bachelors or masters degree in computer science or a related field with programming skills. Significant course topics typically include:

  • Introduction to Commands
  • Defining Commands
  • Iteration
  • Animation
  • Procedure Inputs
  • Pixel Graphics
  • Defining Operators
  • Hierarchy

What does a Computer Scientist do?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a computer scientist as “a research scientist who invents and designs innovative approaches to computer and computational technology while finding original uses for existing technology.” In addition, computer scientists also examine and unravel answers to complex problems involving computational algorithms and equations for science, medicine, business and other relevant industries.

computer scientist

Computer scientists excel in developing algorithms rather than programs. Although they are proficient in writing and deciphering programming languages, computer scientists focus more on the theoretical aspects of computer systems in contrast to what computer engineers study, i.e. computer hardware operations. Specific areas of research pursued by computer scientists include data structure development, database theory, numerical analysis, computer vision and programming language theory.

Computer scientists work in numerous fields where computer algorithms and software programs are necessary to facilitate daily operations. The goal of computer scientists employed in fields as diverse as robotics, shale mining, bioinformatics or government security is to create and validate mathematical models for determining computer-based system properties involving processors, human-computer interaction, computer-computer interaction and finding ways to improve the performance of any computer system.

Education Requirements for Computer Scientists

The minimum degree requirement for a computer scientist is a Bachelor of Science, although most pursue higher degrees such as Master’s and Ph.Ds. Obtaining a four year, B.S. in computer science takes four years, while earning an M.S. takes six to seven years. Computer science doctorate degrees may require students devote another two or three years of research and work experience following completion of their master’s degree before obtaining a Ph.D.

Computer scientists typically excel at mathematics, abstract thinking and have exceptional problem-solving skills. Math courses comprising a computer science degree program include trigonometry, linear algebra, differential equations, abstract algebra, numerical methods, graph theory and combinatorics. Additional elective classes involve computation structures, programming methodology, principles of quantitative analysis, dynamics of nonlinear systems and programming compilers and languages. Depending on whether a student wants to work as a computer science professional or remain in academia and teach computer science at a university will influence the direction of course electives the student chooses to take.

What does a Computer Technician do?

If you are into computers and want to learn more about how they work and what they can do, you might be considering becoming a computer technician. A computer technician is a great job choice for those who have been told that they are good with computers and who are willing to work hard to learn all that they can about this important subject.

computer technician

A computer technician helps to diagnose and solve issues that regular people and businesses have with their computers. A computer technician can solve both hardware and software issues, allowing their clients to accomplish all that they need to do electronically. Working as a computer technician requires you to continue to keep up with education in regard to the field, even as you are working.

If you are going to become a computer technician, you need to know just what kind of training will be required. One way to receive the proper training is to receive a certificate from Microsoft or another accredited certification program. A certificate will prove that you have worked for the education that is required to become a computer technician, and it works well as a way to prove what you have accomplished. If you want to stand above and beyond the competition, you might want to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This level of education would prove that you care about your job and that you have learned all that you need to in order to be successful at your job.