What you should know about a Computer Programming Career

Computer programming is one of the most important and exciting careers today.  It is also a field that offers plenty of job opportunities for graduates.  It’s one of the best fields of endeavor for people who love technology and are willing to try out new things.  If you’re considering pursuing a computer programming career, here are some things that you should know:

What is computer programming?
Computer programming is basically the process of writing codes to create a computer program.  A programming language is used to write this code, also known as the source code.  Computer programming is actually an umbrella term that encompasses all types of programming involving the use of computers.  The design and method utilized to write a source code will depend on the type of computer language used for the job.  Some of the most common computer languages include BASIC, COBOL, FORTRAN, C++, Java, Visual Basic, Python and PHP.

The job of computer programming also includes testing the source code, debugging it to check for flaws and weaknesses and maintaining it to ensure optimum performance.

Creating the code
The soul of computer programming is the creation of the source code, which can either be brand new or something created to modify or improve upon an already existing code.  The object of the source code is to build a program that will perform a particular series of tasks based on a specific set of commands.  This is called customization.

The end result of writing the source code is a computer program.  In software engineering, computer programming is an important initial phase.

What does a computer programmer do?
The main job of a computer programmer is to write the codes that serve as the foundation of software programs.  He is also tasked to test, troubleshoot, debug and maintain the program to ensure its quality and reliability.

Generally, the tasks that a computer programmer must perform are assigned by another person, usually the system analyst.  The computer programmer’s job is then to write the program, test it, modify it if necessary and ensure that it passes compatibility and quality standards.  If errors are found, it is the computer programmer’s job to ensure that they are corrected.

The job of a computer programmer usually requires hours upon hours spent in front of a computer to design and write a computer program.  Depending on the type of program being written, its purpose and the complexity of the commands required in order for a computer to execute the series of steps involved, writing a program can take several months to several years to complete.

The length of time it often takes for a program to be completed often necessitates having a single program broken down into a smaller series of steps.  These steps will then be assigned as tasks to a group of programmers who will work on them independently.  The final step is to put the end results and produce one coherent and useful computer program.

Computer programming is a very dynamic field and involves plenty of imagination and discipline.  Although there are set standards for the tasks involved, the profession itself does not require certification tests from government agencies.  There are also no state and federal licenses to obtain.

How much does a computer programming job pay?
That will depend on the experience and level of expertise of the programmer.  Most entry-level programmers earn a minimum of about $33,000 a year while mid-level programmers earn approximately $50,000 a year.  For senior level programmers and those who have several years of experience behind them, their typical take-home pay averages at about $65,000 a year.  Consultants, some managers and those who have advanced well in their computer programming career are often paid more.