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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

  • $94,000

    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 Career Paths

Lead Programmer
Senior Software Engineer Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Vice President Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Owner Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Senior Project Manager Information Systems Director
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Solutions Architect Network Manager
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Technical Team Lead Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Consultant Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior Systems Engineer Senior Technical Consultant
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Senior System Administrator Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Programmer 4.7 years
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.5 years
Lead Programmer 3.0 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Lead Programmer
Programmer 22.9%
Consultant 6.6%
Developer 4.1%
Internship 3.3%
Machinist 2.0%
Top Careers After Lead Programmer
Programmer 9.0%
Consultant 8.8%
Developer 3.6%
Owner 3.1%

Do you work as a Lead Programmer?

Average Yearly Salary
$94,000
Show Salaries
$74,000
Min 10%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Median 50%
$119,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Salesforce
Highest Paying City
Bellevue, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Lead Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Lead Programmer in the United States is $94,833 per year or $46 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $74,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $119,000.

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 (MGR) Bank of America N.A. Jersey City, NJ Jun 30, 2016 $150,000 -
$170,000
Director; Programmer Lead Mkts Bank of America N.A. New York, NY Jun 17, 2014 $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
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
Technical Lead Programmer Software Technology, Inc. Allen, TX Apr 11, 2014 $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 Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created Content Management/Revision Control/Collaboration web application for enterprise RF engineering teams.
  • Developed and implemented overloaded PL/SQL functions for invoicing utilizing a secure methodology that restricted the database from external systems.
  • Created Data Dictionary in MS Access describing database structures/objects located in a Human Resources database in an Oracle environment.
  • Led implementation and testing of developer environment to support migration from Windows XP to Windows 7.
  • Created comprehensive Invoice management application in VB.NET/ASP.NET.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Programmers

  1. Washington
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. California
  6. Connecticut
  7. North Carolina
  8. Rhode Island
  9. New York
  10. Arizona
  • (6,043 jobs)
  • (709 jobs)
  • (4,241 jobs)
  • (3,101 jobs)
  • (13,003 jobs)
  • (766 jobs)
  • (1,953 jobs)
  • (245 jobs)
  • (3,485 jobs)
  • (1,061 jobs)

Lead Programmer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,510 Lead Programmer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Lead Programmer Resume

View Resume Examples

Lead Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.4%

Female

12.0%

Unknown

9.6%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Asian

13.8%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.1%

Chinese

7.8%

Mandarin

5.9%

Korean

5.9%

Russian

5.9%

Swahili

3.9%

German

3.9%

Japanese

3.9%

French

3.9%

Ukrainian

2.0%

Cantonese

2.0%

Cherokee

2.0%

Gujarati

2.0%

Armenian

2.0%

Polish

2.0%

Italian

2.0%

Shan

2.0%
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Lead Programmer Education

Schools

Full Sail University

11.0%

University of Washington

8.1%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

New York University

5.7%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.7%

University of Central Florida

5.3%

University of California - Irvine

4.8%

University of Southern California

4.8%

University of Texas at Austin

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

George Washington University

3.8%

Texas A&M University

3.8%

DePaul University

3.8%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

3.3%

Macomb Community College

3.3%

Arizona State University

3.3%

Ohio State University

3.3%

Texas State University

3.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

39.2%

Business

8.0%

Computer Engineering

8.0%

Computer Information Systems

6.8%

Electrical Engineering

5.3%

Information Technology

4.2%

Computer Applications

3.4%

Graphic Design

3.1%

Computer Programming

2.8%

Mathematics

2.6%

Engineering

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering

2.2%

Management Information Systems

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

Information Systems

1.9%

Physics

1.6%

Accounting

1.6%

Information Sciences

1.3%

Education

1.1%

Finance

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.9%

Masters

21.1%

Other

15.4%

Associate

7.4%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

2.1%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Lead Programmer

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Working as a lead programmer

June 4, 2019 on Zippia

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Lead Programmer.. Show More

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Updated May 19, 2020