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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

  • $70,000

    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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Software Programmer Career Paths

Software Programmer
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Systems Analyst Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Information Technology Manager Chief Technology Officer
President & Chief Technology Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Software Developer Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Senior Programmer Analyst
Application Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Programmer Analyst Consultant Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Consultant Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Consultant Information Technology Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
Programmer Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Programmer Network Administrator Information Systems Manager
Director Of Information Services
9 Yearsyrs
Programmer Oracle Database Administrator SAP Basis Consultant
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Manager Applications Development Application Development Director
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
NET Developer Developer Information Technology Analyst
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Developer Technical Consultant Senior Technical Consultant
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 3.5 years
Lead Programmer 3.2 years
Software Designer 3.2 years
Software Engineer 3.0 years
Software Developer 2.6 years
Programmer 2.5 years
Junior Programmer 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Software Programmer
Programmer 11.9%
Internship 4.3%
Developer 4.0%
Consultant 3.4%
Trainee 2.1%
Top Careers After Software Programmer
Consultant 5.1%
Programmer 3.8%
Developer 3.5%

Do you work as a Software Programmer?

Average Yearly Salary
$70,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$53,000
Min 10%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$70,000
Median 50%
$94,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Salient CRGT
Highest Paying City
Bellevue, WA
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Software Programmer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Software Programmer in the United States is $70,857 per year or $34 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $53,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $94,000.

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 TK20, Inc. Austin, TX Sep 01, 2015 $71,386
Software Programmer IBM Corporation Austin, TX Aug 11, 2015 $71,386 -
$136,548
Software Programmer Adroix Corp Phoenix, AZ Nov 28, 2016 $71,000
Software Programmer Architect BLU Age Corporation Plano, TX Sep 22, 2015 $71,000
Software Programmer Architect BLU Age Corporation Plano, TX Sep 15, 2015 $71,000
Software Programmer Data Systems Integration Group Inc. Charlotte, NC Jul 20, 2015 $63,128
Software Programmer Sigmasoft LLC Herndon, VA Dec 08, 2016 $63,000
Software Programmer Hylee LLC Wilmington, DE Sep 03, 2015 $63,000 -
$90,000
Software Programmer Zaspar Technologies, Inc. Beaverton, OR Sep 15, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Object Frontier, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Mar 24, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer II Ms International, Inc. Orange, CA Aug 24, 2015 $63,000
Software Programmer Object Frontier, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Feb 20, 2015 $63,000

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Top Skills for A Software Programmer

  1. Web Application
  2. Pl/Sql
  3. Database
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained and developed VB.NET / ASP.NET intranet/internet web application utilizing Active Directory Security Interface objects to validate non-employee users.
  • Developed back-end PL/SQL procedures for implementing business processes.
  • Developed Database Triggers to enforce Data integrity and additional Referential Integrity.
  • Led implementation and testing of developer environment to support migration from Windows XP to Windows 7.
  • Designed and developed a web-based time-card application for collecting and reporting software development metrics using Oracle/Java/HTML implementation.

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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)

Software 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 2,759 Software 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 Software Programmer Resume

View Resume Examples

Software Programmer Demographics

Gender

Male

59.4%

Female

25.7%

Unknown

14.9%
Ethnicity

White

44.4%

Asian

30.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Black or African American

8.8%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.1%

French

9.4%

Korean

9.4%

Hindi

7.8%

Chinese

6.3%

Carrier

4.7%

Mandarin

4.7%

German

3.1%

Hebrew

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Russian

3.1%

Tamil

3.1%

Arabic

3.1%

Portuguese

1.6%

Khmer

1.6%

Telugu

1.6%

Malayalam

1.6%

Marathi

1.6%

Kannada

1.6%

Thai

1.6%
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Software Programmer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

8.1%

University of Phoenix

8.1%

University of Texas at Dallas

7.2%

University of Houston

7.2%

University of Texas at Austin

6.2%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.3%

George Mason University

5.3%

Illinois Institute of Technology

4.8%

University of Southern California

4.8%

More Tech Institute

4.8%

National University

4.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.3%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.3%

Purdue University

4.3%

University of California - Irvine

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.8%

George Washington University

3.3%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.3%

Western Michigan University

3.3%

Colorado State University

3.3%
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Majors

Computer Science

36.3%

Computer Engineering

9.5%

Computer Applications

8.7%

Electrical Engineering

7.9%

Information Technology

5.9%

Business

5.8%

Computer Information Systems

5.0%

Engineering

4.2%

Information Systems

2.5%

Mathematics

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Finance

1.7%

Management Information Systems

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Computer Programming

1.2%

Computer Networking

1.1%

Accounting

1.1%

Project Management

1.0%

Mechanical Engineering

0.8%

Marketing

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.2%

Masters

38.6%

Other

7.7%

Associate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.0%

Certificate

1.8%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.0%
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