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Become An Applications Programmer

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Working As An Applications Programmer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $81,400

    Average Salary

What Does An Applications Programmer Do

Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly. They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results. If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.

Duties

Computer programmers typically do the following:

  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java
  • Update and expand existing programs
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code responsible
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE)
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing

Programmers work closely with software developers, and in some businesses their duties overlap. When such overlap occurs, programmers can do work that is typical of developers, such as designing the program. Program design entails planning the software initially, creating models and flowcharts detailing how the code is to be written, writing and debugging code, and designing an application or systems interface. Programmers often use an IDE, which allows them to create, edit, and test code.

A program’s purpose determines the complexity of its computer code. For example, a weather application for a mobile device will require less programming than a social-networking application. Simpler programs can be written in less time. Complex programs, such as computer operating systems, can take a year or more to complete.

Software-as-a-service (SaaS), which consists of applications provided through the Internet, is a growing field. Although programmers typically need to rewrite their programs to work on different system platforms, such as Windows or OS X, applications created with SaaS work on all platforms. Accordingly, programmers writing SaaS applications may not have to rewrite as much code as other programmers do and can instead spend more time writing new programs.

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How To Become An Applications Programmer

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related subject; however, some employers hire workers with an associate’s degree. Most programmers specialize in a few programming languages.

Education

Most computer programmers have a bachelor’s degree; however, some employers hire workers who have an associate’s degree. Most programmers get a degree in computer science or a related subject. Programmers who work in specific fields, such as healthcare or accounting, may take classes in that field to supplement their degree in computer programming. In addition, employers value experience, which many students gain through internships.

Most programmers learn a few computer languages while in school. However, a computer science degree gives students the skills needed to learn new computer languages easily. During their classes, students receive hands-on experience writing code, testing programs, fixing errors, and doing many other tasks that they will perform on the job.

To keep up with changing technology, computer programmers may take continuing education and professional development seminars to learn new programming languages or about upgrades to programming languages they already know.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Programmers can become certified in specific programming languages or for vendor-specific programming products. Some companies require their computer programmers to be certified in the products they use.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in computer programming by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Advancement

Programmers who have general business experience may become computer systems analysts. With experience, some programmers may become software developers. They may also be promoted to managerial positions. For more information, see the profiles on computer systems analysts, software developers, and computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Computer programmers must understand complex instructions in order to create computer code.

Concentration. Programmers must be able to work at a computer, writing lines of code for long periods.

Detail oriented. Computer programmers must closely examine the code they write because a small mistake can affect the entire computer program.

Troubleshooting skills. An important part of a programmer’s job is to check the code for errors and fix any they find.

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Applications Programmer jobs

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Applications Programmer Career Paths

Applications Programmer
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Lead Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Lead Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Business Analyst Quality Assurance Lead
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior .NET Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst Senior Software Engineer
Senior ETL Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Programmer Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Senior Java Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Database Administrator Data Analyst SAS Programmer
Senior Programmer
5 Yearsyrs
Systems Programmer Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Senior Programmer Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Project Leader Business Analyst
Senior Quality Assurance Analyst
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Analyst
Senior Systems Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Interactive Developer
Senior Web Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Systems Programmer 5.2 years
Programmer Analyst 4.0 years
Senior Programmer 3.4 years
Software Engineer 3.2 years
Lead Programmer 3.1 years
Software Developer 2.7 years
Programmer 2.6 years
Lead Developer 2.5 years
Contract Developer 2.3 years
Java Developer 2.3 years
Developer 2.2 years
Web Developer 2.1 years
Web Programmer 2.0 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Java Programmer 1.7 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
PHP Programmer 1.3 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 12.9%
Consultant 5.3%
Internship 2.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.5%
Programmer 4.0%
Developer 3.9%

Applications Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

70.5%

Female

25.9%

Unknown

3.6%
Ethnicity

White

71.2%

Asian

17.1%

Hispanic or Latino

8.1%

Unknown

2.7%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.9%

French

14.6%

Chinese

7.3%

German

7.3%

Portuguese

4.9%

Mandarin

4.9%

Vietnamese

2.4%

Filipino

2.4%

Greek

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Thai

2.4%
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Applications Programmer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.5%

New York University

7.4%

Texas Tech University

6.8%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.2%

University of Houston

6.2%

University of Georgia

5.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.9%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.9%

Johns Hopkins University

4.9%

University of North Texas

4.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.3%

Florida State University

4.3%

National University

3.7%

Wayne State University

3.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.7%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

3.7%

Marist College

3.7%

Stanford University

3.7%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%
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Majors

Computer Science

36.5%

Business

10.4%

Computer Information Systems

9.8%

Information Technology

4.8%

Computer Engineering

4.7%

Computer Programming

3.8%

Electrical Engineering

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.5%

Information Systems

3.5%

Mathematics

3.2%

Computer Applications

3.1%

Management

2.4%

Finance

1.9%

Project Management

1.6%

Engineering

1.6%

Accounting

1.3%

Physics

1.2%

Education

1.0%

Economics

1.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.4%

Masters

26.5%

Other

13.1%

Associate

6.9%

Certificate

3.2%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.7%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Applications Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Application Programmer Norgate Technology Jersey City, NJ Aug 17, 2015 $177,395
Application Programmer Norgate Technology Warren, NJ Aug 28, 2015 $177,395
Application Programmer V Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC Charlotte, NC Dec 12, 2016 $166,960
Application Programmer/Developer Ciber, Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Jun 30, 2016 $156,000
Principle, Applications Programmer PICS Auditing, LLC Irvine, CA Dec 15, 2015 $150,000
Applications Programmer Apex It Services, LLC Columbia, MD Dec 12, 2016 $136,635
Applications Programmer IBG LLC Greenwich, CT Jul 29, 2016 $135,000 -
$145,000
Applications Programmer, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Apr 10, 2015 $135,000
Applications Programmer/Developer Spectrum Systems, Inc. Manassas, VA Apr 06, 2015 $134,000
Applications Programmer/Developer Spectrum Systems, Inc. Manassas, VA Jun 17, 2016 $134,000
Application Programmer V Signature Commercial Solutions, LLC Charlotte, NC Dec 19, 2016 $132,378
Applications Programmer, Principal Broadcom Corporation Irvine, CA Aug 02, 2016 $132,288
Applications Programmer Lead University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Nov 24, 2016 $132,240
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Mar 09, 2016 $77,334 -
$86,807
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 27, 2016 $77,334 -
$83,375
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Raritan, NJ Feb 07, 2015 $77,334
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Houston, TX May 26, 2015 $77,273
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Dallas, TX Jun 29, 2016 $77,273 -
$81,837
Applications Programmer University of California, Los Angeles Oakland, CA Nov 25, 2016 $70,554 -
$123,000
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Windsor, CT Jul 13, 2016 $70,533
Application Programmer Fintech Consulting LLC Edison, NJ Jun 15, 2015 $70,500
Application Programmer Fintech Consulting LLC Edison, NJ Jun 08, 2015 $70,500
Application Programmer IBM India Pvt Ltd Schaumburg, IL Sep 08, 2015 $70,494 -
$70,658
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Schaumburg, IL Sep 05, 2015 $70,494 -
$70,658
Application Programmer IBM India Private Limited Piscataway, NJ Jul 26, 2016 $70,304 -
$70,985

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Top Skills for An Applications Programmer

DatabaseDesignSQLServerWebApplicationCobolProceduresHtmlWindowsJavascriptXMLWebCoreUserInterfaceJSPASPUnixJCLC#.NETDB2ServletEJBCicsWebServices

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Top Applications Programmer Skills

  1. Database Design
  2. SQL Server
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist in architecture of database design and creation of tables.
  • Managed the storage and retrieval of user information in iDisburse with the use of a MS SQL Server database.
  • Project scope was to maintain internal audit related web applications and provide support for the vendor invoice management system.
  • Designed relational database tables, developed database forms and functionality, and created reporting using COBOL, NATURAL and ADABAS.
  • Developed automated FTP procedures of files to the remote fulfillment vendor.

Top Applications Programmer Employers

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