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Become A Software Programmer

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Working As A Software 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

  • $68,664

    Average Salary

What Does A Software 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 Software 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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Do you work as a Software Programmer?

Software Programmer Jobs

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Software Programmer Career Paths

Software Programmer
Java Developer Business Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Systems Administrator Data Analyst
Data Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Applications Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Programmer Systems Engineer Software Developer
Lead Software Developer
5 Yearsyrs
Systems Analyst Systems Manager MIS Manager
MIS Director
6 Yearsyrs
Java Developer Lead Technician Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Senior Information Technology Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Applications Developer NET Developer
Senior Programmer
5 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Senior Software Engineer
Senior Software Engineer/Architect
9 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Senior Software Engineer Information Technology Project Manager
Service Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Systems Administrator Software Engineer
Software Engineer-Team Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Programmer Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Senior Consultant Information Technology Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Software Programmer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Programmer Analyst 3.8 years
Senior Programmer 3.4 years
Lead Programmer 3.1 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Programmer 2.6 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Java Programmer 1.7 years
Junior Developer 1.4 years
Top Employers Before
Programmer 10.8%
Consultant 5.0%
Developer 4.2%
Internship 3.0%
Trainee 2.2%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.3%
Programmer 4.0%
Developer 3.9%

Do you work as a Software Programmer?

Software Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

67.6%

Female

27.7%

Unknown

4.7%
Ethnicity

White

41.3%

Asian

33.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.7%

Black or African American

8.1%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.1%

French

8.8%

Korean

8.8%

Chinese

7.0%

Hindi

7.0%

Carrier

5.3%

Mandarin

5.3%

German

3.5%

Hebrew

3.5%

Japanese

3.5%

Russian

3.5%

Portuguese

1.8%

Khmer

1.8%

Telugu

1.8%

Malayalam

1.8%

Marathi

1.8%

Kannada

1.8%

Tamil

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Thai

1.8%
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Software Programmer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

8.6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

7.0%

University of Houston

7.0%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

University of Texas at Dallas

5.5%

University of Southern California

5.5%

Western Michigan University

5.5%

National University

4.7%

University of New Orleans

4.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

George Mason University

4.7%

Purdue University

4.7%

Syracuse University

3.9%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.9%

George Washington University

3.9%

University of California - Irvine

3.9%

San Diego State University

3.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.9%

Florida International University

3.1%
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Majors

Computer Science

35.9%

Computer Engineering

9.2%

Electrical Engineering

8.6%

Computer Applications

8.1%

Information Technology

5.5%

Computer Information Systems

5.5%

Business

5.0%

Engineering

4.2%

Mathematics

2.3%

Finance

2.2%

Information Systems

2.1%

Management Information Systems

1.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.5%

Management

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering

1.3%

Chemistry

1.2%

Project Management

1.1%

Communication

1.1%

Education

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.0%

Masters

36.5%

Other

9.3%

Associate

3.6%

Doctorate

2.7%

Certificate

1.6%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Software Programmer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Princeton, NJ Oct 12, 2015 $150,000
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Princeton, NJ Jan 22, 2016 $150,000
Software Programmer Pluribus Networks, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Jun 22, 2016 $140,000
Software Programmer Data Glove Incorporated Princeton, NJ May 17, 2016 $138,994
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 09, 2015 $133,000
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 11, 2015 $133,000
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Princeton, NJ May 23, 2016 $131,481
Software Programmer Data Glove Inc. Princeton, NJ Jul 28, 2015 $130,000
Java Software Programmer Eastbanc Technologies, LLC Washington, DC Jan 10, 2016 $130,000
.NET Software Programmer Eastbanc Technologies, LLC Washington, DC Jan 09, 2016 $125,000
Software Programmer Ubertal Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 18, 2016 $121,046
Software Programmer Eastbanc Technologies Washington, DC Aug 22, 2016 $120,000
Software Programmer Collabrium Systems, LLC Harrisburg, PA Jan 10, 2016 $71,400
Software Programmer CES USA Inc. Bolingbrook, IL Oct 28, 2016 $71,400
Software Programmer IBM Corporation Austin, TX Jul 29, 2015 $71,386 -
$136,548
Software Programmer IBM Corporation Austin, TX Aug 11, 2015 $71,386 -
$136,548
Software Programmer TK20, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 01, 2015 $71,386
Software Programmer Object Frontier, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Apr 09, 2016 $71,000
Application Software Programmer Intellect Business Solutions, LLC Greensboro, NC Jan 01, 2015 $71,000 -
$90,000
Software Programmer Architect BLU Age Corporation Plano, TX Sep 22, 2015 $71,000
Software Programmer Data Systems Integration Group Inc. Charlotte, NC Jul 20, 2015 $63,128
Software Programmer II Ms International, Inc. Orange, CA Aug 24, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Hylee LLC Wilmington, DE Sep 03, 2015 $63,000 -
$90,000
Software Programmer Object Frontier, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Feb 20, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Object Frontier, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Mar 24, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Zaspar Technologies, Inc. Beaverton, OR Sep 15, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Sigmasoft LLC Herndon, VA Dec 08, 2016 $63,000

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Top Skills for A Software Programmer

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  1. Pl/Sql
  2. Database
  3. Web Forms
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed back-end PL/SQL procedures for implementing business processes.
  • Resolved database performance issues, database capacity issues and other distributed data issues.
  • Developed application using ASP.NET Web Forms for server process and user interface and using VB.NET classes.
  • Worked with Win 2000Pro, Windows XP, and Windows XP Pro.
  • Developed the queries and views in SQL for Inserting, Updating and deleting and retrieving the Data from the Database.

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Top 10 Best States for Software Programmers

  1. Washington
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Minnesota
  4. Arizona
  5. California
  6. Maryland
  7. Connecticut
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Utah
  10. North Carolina
  • (5,844 jobs)
  • (671 jobs)
  • (1,236 jobs)
  • (1,014 jobs)
  • (12,885 jobs)
  • (2,440 jobs)
  • (721 jobs)
  • (3,040 jobs)
  • (807 jobs)
  • (1,877 jobs)

Top Software Programmer Employers

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Jobs From Top Software Programmer Employers

Software Programmer Videos

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