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Become A Lead Programmer

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Working As A Lead 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

  • $100,322

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead 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 A Lead 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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Lead Programmer Videos

Scott Pitkethly, Lead Programmer at Creative Assembly talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Massive Knowledge // Lead Programmer Chad Dawson

How to become a game designer

Lead Programmer Jobs

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Lead Programmer Career Paths

Lead Programmer
Software Developer Systems Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Senior Business Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Infrastructure Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Development Manager
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Lead Software Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Systems Manager MIS Manager
MIS Director
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Field Engineer Estimator Project Manager
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Senior Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Business Analyst Senior Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Technical Consultant Network Administrator
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 5.2 years
Senior Programmer 3.4 years
Software Designer 3.1 years
Lead Programmer 3.0 years
Programmer 2.6 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Lead Programmer
Programmer 22.9%
Consultant 8.4%
Developer 3.1%
Internship 2.2%
Top Careers After Lead Programmer
Consultant 9.4%
Programmer 7.7%
Developer 3.8%
Owner 2.3%

Do you work as a Lead Programmer?

Lead Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.9%

Female

12.7%

Unknown

3.3%
Ethnicity

White

57.5%

Asian

15.1%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

10.0%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.1%

Chinese

9.5%

Mandarin

7.1%

Swahili

4.8%

German

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%

French

4.8%

Korean

4.8%

Ukrainian

2.4%

Cantonese

2.4%

Cherokee

2.4%

Gujarati

2.4%

Armenian

2.4%

Polish

2.4%

Italian

2.4%

Shan

2.4%

Russian

2.4%
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Lead Programmer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.6%

University of Washington

7.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.1%

Full Sail University

6.1%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.2%

DePaul University

5.2%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.2%

University of Arizona

5.2%

New York University

4.3%

George Washington University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Texas A&M University

4.3%

Old Dominion University

4.3%

George Mason University

4.3%

University of Central Florida

4.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.3%

University of New Mexico

4.3%

University of Alabama

3.5%

Appalachian State University

3.5%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

3.5%
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Majors

Computer Science

36.4%

Business

9.4%

Computer Information Systems

8.0%

Computer Engineering

6.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.4%

Information Technology

5.0%

Computer Applications

3.3%

Computer Programming

3.2%

Mathematics

3.2%

Management Information Systems

2.5%

Engineering

2.5%

Graphic Design

2.3%

Communication

1.8%

Accounting

1.7%

Finance

1.5%

Information Systems

1.5%

Physics

1.5%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Information Sciences

1.4%

Project Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.4%

Masters

22.0%

Other

16.8%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

1.1%
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Lead Programmer Videos

Scott Pitkethly, Lead Programmer at Creative Assembly talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Massive Knowledge // Lead Programmer Chad Dawson

How to become a game designer

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Real Lead Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR) Merrill Lynch Houston, TX Dec 29, 2014 $180,000 -
$200,000
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR) Bank of America Jersey City, NJ Feb 19, 2016 $175,000
Lead Backend Programmer Sparkypants Studios, LLC Baltimore, MD Dec 14, 2015 $160,000
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts Bank of America New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $155,126
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts Bank of America N.A. New York, NY Jun 17, 2014 $150,000 -
$170,000
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts (MGR) Bank of America N.A. Jersey City, NJ Jun 30, 2016 $150,000 -
$170,000
Lead Analyst/Programmer Idea Integration Corp. Jacksonville, FL Sep 06, 2013 $145,000
Director; Programmer Lead Mtks Merrill Lynch New York, NY Aug 19, 2014 $140,000 -
$160,000
Lead Programmer Arenanet, LLC Bellevue, WA Mar 09, 2015 $138,550
Lead Programmer Arenanet, LLC Bellevue, WA Sep 03, 2015 $138,550
Lead Programmer Arenanet, LLC Bellevue, WA Dec 19, 2013 $132,496
Programme Lead, Economics and Finance World Economic Forum USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 15, 2016 $130,000
Programmer/Developer Lead Capgemini America, Inc. Burbank, CA Sep 01, 2014 $107,973 -
$150,000
Lead Statistical Programmer Acceleron Pharma, Inc. Cambridge, MA Nov 18, 2014 $106,200
Lead Programmer Carbo Ceramics Inc. Houston, TX Oct 10, 2014 $105,107
Lead Analyst Programmer New York Power Authority White Plains, NY Sep 21, 2015 $105,000
Lead Analyst Programmer New York Power Authority White Plains, NY Jun 22, 2015 $104,500
Lead Biostatistical Programmer II Incyte Corporation Wilmington, DE Sep 01, 2015 $102,250
Programmer/Developer Lead Capgemini America, Inc. Irving, TX Nov 27, 2016 $101,000
Lead Biostatistical Programmer 1 Incyte Corporation Wilmington, DE Aug 09, 2013 $100,930
Technical Lead Programmer Software Technology Inc. Richardson, TX Jun 10, 2013 $90,000
Technical Lead Programmer Software Technology, Inc. Allen, TX Apr 11, 2014 $90,000
Lead Programmer SNS Technologies Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 06, 2013 $90,000
Lead Programmer Es3, Inc. Rochester Hills, MI Aug 22, 2013 $90,000
Lead Programmer Iberdrola USA Management Corporation Augusta, ME Aug 26, 2015 $89,651
Lead Programmer Orion Systems Integrators LLC Monmouth Junction, NJ Jul 01, 2015 $89,000
Programmer/Developer Lead Capgemini America, Inc. Atlanta, GA Sep 23, 2016 $89,000
Lead Programmer Yaobid Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 01, 2013 $85,296

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Top Skills for A Lead Programmer

  1. Web
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and used web services across the application for information exchange between different modules.
  • Worked extensively writing functions, triggers in PL/SQL.
  • Develop Entity-Relationship diagrams, Data Flow diagrams and participate in Database Design.
  • Developed methodologies and procedures that were later adapted by county offices statewide.
  • Implemented ASP.NET security using Forms authentication and functionality related to user authentication and authorization.

What is it like to work as a Lead Programmer

5.0

Working as a lead programmer

June 4, 2019 on Zippia

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Lead Programmer.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Lead Programmer?

The opportunity to take lead and mentor junior programmers.. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Working with Junior programmers who won't take your advice/direction even if you have a sound argument.. Show More

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Programmers

  1. Washington
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Virginia
  5. Colorado
  6. District of Columbia
  7. North Carolina
  8. Connecticut
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Texas
  • (6,043 jobs)
  • (3,485 jobs)
  • (3,101 jobs)
  • (4,241 jobs)
  • (1,989 jobs)
  • (709 jobs)
  • (1,953 jobs)
  • (766 jobs)
  • (245 jobs)
  • (5,384 jobs)

Top Lead Programmer Employers

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Jobs From Top Lead Programmer Employers

Lead Programmer Videos

Scott Pitkethly, Lead Programmer at Creative Assembly talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Massive Knowledge // Lead Programmer Chad Dawson

How to become a game designer

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