A programmer writing code on their laptop
Computer programming is a process of building and designing executable software to achieve a particular computing outcome. It involves tasks like analysis, profiling algorithms resources, and executing algorithms in the selected programming language. So, if you want to become a computer programmer, join any computer science degree program or coding academy (Source: Unsplash)

Computer programming is one of the fastest-growing and most important fields in our contemporary tech-driven world.

The programmers make operating systems and software that every computational system depends on. This includes PCs, laptops, smartphones, and various other devices.

In addition to that, software programmers also check software for bugs, debug any issue in coding, and write upgrades for current programs.

Since programmers are required for almost everything – from mobile apps to web design, video games, and more – there are numerous career choices available for those proficient in software programming.

It’s a perfect option for those with a solid background in maths and who have a working capacity with logical, sequential processes that all computers rely on.

Computer programming uses various programming languages like Java, KTML, or C++ to make different software programs.

Additionally, programming is more open-ended than other CS fields emphasizing graphic images, videos, engineering, and visual arts.

So, do you want to know how to embark on a career as a programmer? If so, then read on!

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How To Become A Computer Programmer

If you intend to study computer programming in the US and become a professional programmer, knowing some essential steps will help you achieve your goal.

Though the goals may differ, based on whether you’re seeking a profession in operating systems, mobile apps, video games, or web design, planning out your future is crucial, regardless of which path you’ll take.

Nevertheless, here are the five key steps you need to take to become a computer programmer:

  • Decide which training is perfect for you
  • Select the best degree/major for your future career goals
  • Get an apprenticeship/internship in a technology-related field
  • Consider earning a certificate
  • Build a professional job experience

Computer Programming Responsibilities And Duties

Typically, computer programming jobs require you to do these tasks:

  • Write software programs
  • Understand various computer programming languages
  • Update programs
  • Fix software
  • Test programs
  • Work together with other computer programmers

Programmers write coding using various programming languages like Java, C++, etc. Then, they make instructions that allow computers to produce meaningful output.

They closely collaborate with information tech managers, staff, and end-users in their companies or client companies to maintain, develop, and check software programs.

Alongside their primary duties, they rewrite programs, check for malfunctioning code and flaws in software.

Software organizations actively recruit programmers. However, as there’s a surge in the tech field, many private-sector and governmental institutions like law firms and banks require their help too.

Apart from that, it’s also not unusual to see coders working independently.

Salary Of A Computer Programmer

The pay scale for programmers can differ significantly based on their academic institution, experience, and work nature.

For example, computer programmers working for publishers earn more than those employed in other sectors.

Nevertheless, the approximate salary of computer programmers is:

  • Median yearly salary – $80,550
  • Top 10% yearly salary – $135,035
  • Bottom 10% yearly salary – $50,050
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Education, Certification, And Training

Each employer has different criteria for hiring employees. However, getting a certification from a reputable institute usually is essential to start your career in the programming world.

Education

Aspirants can consider getting an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in CS from any known academic institution.

In addition to the formal college/university training in computer programming, various private institutes, popularly known as “coding academies,” have also emerged.

They provide a thorough and comparatively shorter immersion experience than formal institutes in programming.

Additionally, most academies offer little to no tuition fee in return for a particular share in salary once the job is secured.

Certification

Certifications are available for almost all computer programming languages. Whether the employer requires them or not, having them makes a computer programmer more demandable.

Training

Training is highly recommended for programmers looking to pursue their careers in this field.

Whether they have graduated from a reputable college or university or attained education from coding academies, training is essential.

Programmers must complete one or two internships to realize their skills and interests. This is important because computer programming is highly detail-oriented and can be unsatisfying and tedious for most individuals.

Critical Soft Skills Every Programmer Should Have

Man wearing headphones while sitting on a chair in front of his MacBook, observing code
If you want to be a programmer, you should have two types of skills: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills include but are not limited to CSS, C++, JavaScript, Python, etc. On the other hand, soft skills involve effective communications, problem-solving, teamwork, positive attitude, among others. If you’ve got both these skills, you can become a proficient programmer. Not to mention, the salary of a computer programmer is more than enough, compared to most other professions (Source: Unsplash)

Apart from hard skills such as CSS, SQL, HTML, JavaScript, etc., softs skills are equally crucial for computer programmers to excel in their careers.

But what are soft skills exactly? Soft skill is a skill that can’t be taught or measured and can only be gained through experience.

Without required soft skills, it’s pretty challenging to progress in your profession, even if you’ve got exceptional coding skills.

Here are a few soft skills that all computer programmers must have to succeed in their future careers.

Communication

Knowing how to communicate successfully with people you work with – your boss, clients, and co-workers – is integral to being a professional computer programmer.

As a result, it’s one of the most in-demand skills from programmers these days. With practical communication skills, you can present your advice and ideas in meetings and project collaborations.

Moreover, it’s also helpful in explaining to the clients about things you did and how they work. All in all, effective communication is paramount to minimize conflict and achieving what you desire.

Problem-Solving

Believe it or not, but uncertainty is a fundamental facet of life. Regardless of how learned you’re or how accomplished you’re as a computer programmer, you’ll ultimately find yourself encountered with a project that stuns you.

Your setbacks may result from a specific knotted code or a request that is new and hard to build. Due to this, you’ll be annoyed and confused.

However, if you work hard, there’s no chance that you don’t overcome it. Therefore, problem-solving abilities are equally important as technical skills for computer programmers.

Additionally, most experts are of the view that problem-solving skill is a must for every coder.

That’s because as you become a senior in an organization, more and more people will turn you to undertake complicated, poorly defined issues, often without any context.

A big secret to becoming a successful coder is knowing how to address problems inside the program you’re using.

It doesn’t matter what career you choose; one thing is sure: you’ll face many problems – some will be easy, others will be tough to crack – therefore, understanding how to overcome them is highly crucial.

Positivity

Everybody knows one individual who’s always complaining. This type of attitude is the actual drain, and not only in a psychological way.

According to the “American Psychological Association,” workplace strain costs a staggering $500B in the US economy.

In addition to that, various other studies have proved that 80% of workplace incidents are due to at-work stress.

Moreover, one report by “Harvard Business Review” noted that workplace stress is one of the primary reasons for higher mortality risks and cardiovascular disease.

All these different studies and their numbers show how vital it is to maintain positivity at work. Everyone wants to be around a positive person, especially during their career.

That’s because even when the job gets stressful and frustrated, staying positive makes it a lot easier to deal with more challenging times, both for the team and yourself.

Teamwork

Sure, stating the significance of teamwork may sound like a kindergarten thing. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t relevant in the job market or workplace.

According to one research conducted by Norwegian academics, productively collaborating within the group is vital for attaining success.

Quite obviously, they found out that efficient collaboration is the key to success and workplace satisfaction.

When you work with a team, your individual performance doesn’t matter much, no matter how good. However, if you’re unable to support and share ideas, neither your team nor you will reach your set goal.

Also, integrated teams don’t mean they agree perpetually; instead, it tells how you utilize varying ideas to attain a common objective.

Career As A Computer Programmer

Woman wearing a black t-shirt sitting on a chair in front of the coding computer screen
Computer programming is a vast field with plenty of career opportunities in the job market. Wondering what programming careers do you have after graduation? Programmers have a comprehensive career choice to make, including data analyst, software engineer, systems analyst, IT consultant, web developer, web designer, database administrator, etc. (Source: Unsplash)

Here are some programming careers that you can pursue after your graduation:

Data Analyst

Choose to become a data analyst only if you’re highly analytical, curious, and have solid mathematical skills.

They’re in demand across various sectors like consulting, finance, government, education, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.

Additionally, some skills you need to become a data analyst include effective communication, organization, and attention to detail.

Data analysts have to figure out the data and have to offer analysis and insights through verbal, written, and visual communication.

Data Analyst Types

As data analysts, you’ll work across different areas such as:

  • Business intelligence
  • Data quality
  • Finance
  • Data assurance
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Higher education

And here are some responsibilities you’ll have to perform:

  • Create records management policies and processes
  • Determine areas to improve automation and efficiency of processes
  • Establish and maintain data processes
  • Identify, implement and assess external services as well as tools to back data validation
  • Produce and monitor KPI (key performance indicators)
  • Develop and uphold reporting processes

Systems Analyst

System analysts evaluate a business’s IT infrastructure and systems and figure out how to enhance them. 

Being a system analyst, you’ll employ computers and other systems to:

  • Make new information technology solutions
  • Alter, improve, and adapt current systems
  • Incorporate further improvements or features to increase company productivity and efficiency

To do this, you’ll require advanced insights and technical expertise in contemporary business practices.

Moreover, you’ll analyze the costs and agree on a time to implement a system. Additionally, you’ll shape and specify the system operations and requirements according to client directives.

During its implementation and report phase, systems analysts work with the customer’s team, including software developers and commercial managers.

Here are a few responsibilities that you’ll have to execute as systems analysts:

  • Liaise with internal as well as external clients
  • Analyze customer’s current business models and IT systems
  • Document and map interfaces between new and legacy systems
  • Know software development life-cycles
  • Translate customer needs into particular project briefs
  • Determine options for possible solutions and evaluate them for business and technical suitability
  • Carry out requirement analysis
  • Prepare detailed proposals for replacement or modified systems
  • Make solutions and other related products
  • Produce project costings reports and feasibility
  • Work with testers, developers, and end-users to guarantee user satisfaction and technical compatibility

IT Consultant

An IT consultant is meant to be a great communicator with exceptional organizational skills and a sound understanding of information technology systems.

Being an IT consultant, you’ll work jointly with clients, counseling them about ways to utilize IT to meet their company goals or surmount problems.

Additionally, you’ll improve the efficiency and structure of different systems in several organizations. Here are some of the duties you’ll have to carry out as IT consultants:

  • Meet with customers to identify requirements
  • Work with customers to determine the nature of the project
  • Plan timeframes and the required resources
  • Explain a customer’s system specifications, know their working practices and business
  • Travel to client sites
  • Liaise with other staff
  • Define hardware, software, and network needs
  • Analyze IT needs within businesses and provide independent and targeted counsel on the usage of IT
  • Create agreed solutions
  • Apply new systems
  • Offer solutions in oral as well as in written reports
  • Help customers with change management activities
  • Buy systems where suitable

Embark On A Computer Programming Career With An Expert’s Help

Becoming a Computer programmer is an arduous task; if you want to get into it and be successful, you must develop a collection of hard and soft skills.

Unfortunately, most people would have trouble knowing how to get started on learning these skills. For those who are in this predicament, visit Superprof!

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