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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.

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


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