Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the instructions (programs) that tell computers how to do what they do. They write in codes, languages that computers can follow.
What kind of person makes a good programmer?
If you’re good at giving people step by step directions, you’ll be good at computer programming. You need to be logical, patient, and persistent if you want a programming career, but you need to be innovative, too. If you’re the type who won’t give up till you’ve solved a problem, and if you can work well in groups, study programming.
Why study Computer & Technology?
Bottom line? Programmers–real “geeks”–study programming because they love it. Programming isn’t just a job for them. It isn’t even a career. It’s a passion. Read “Micro-Serfs.” Watch “Hackers.” Computer programming can become a career in itself, or the first step toward higher paying careers in computer engineering, systems analysis, or database administration.
How to become a Computer Programmer
Computer programmers may be formally taught or self-taught. However, you’re wise to get as much academic education as you can, since 60% of the programmers now working have at least a bachelor’s degree. You’ll learn the languages that computers know (COBOL, Java, C++), the more the better. Ideally, you’ll get lots of programming experience during your studies.
What’s it like to have a computer programming career?
Study hard, and your career will take you to an office where dress is usually casual. Don’t expect to work 9 to 5. Programming is a career that demands flexibility, long hours, even weekends. So many people already have basic programming skills that you’ll need to do something special to stand out. The programming careers market is projected to be highly competitive, so research job ads that ask for programming skills to get an idea of the many other computing careers you might enjoy.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Exploring Careers. JIST Publishing, Inc.