Computer Programmer – Job Description

Computer programs essentially refer to a set of commands and/or instructions that compel a computer to carry out a set of standardized tasks and processes. For this reason, it is very evident that a computer cannot function without the associated programs that dictate to it what operations to execute and when to do it. A computer programmer is simply a professional that writes computer programs or software applications through the use of a wide range of universal computer programming languages.

A computer programmer is charged with the responsibility of planning, designing, creating, testing, evaluating, modifying, troubleshooting, maintaining and reviewing computer programs. These professionals are expected to work in liaison with a host of affiliated professionals such as software developers, web developers, information security analysts as well as network and computer systems administrators. These collaborations help to improve the efficiency and range of coverage of the final product. The major factor bedeviling the growth of the computer programming profession is the fact that since programming is not a location-specific job, companies can outsource for cheaper labor at the detriment of the localized professionals.


Computer Programming Job Duties

  • Test runs computer programs and software applications in order to ascertain how congruent the command input is with the information output.
  • Creates, modifies and writes unambiguous and user-friendly computer programs and software applications aimed at performing a wide range of tasks.
  • Liaises with other computer program developers in order to review and fine-tune the existing programs for increased efficiencies.
  • Informs the relevant authorities about the results of the process of testing and evaluation of the computer programs and software.
  • Documents and keeps records of processes involved in the writing of the program for ease off reference and review.
  • Constantly researches and gets familiar with the newest innovations and reviews in order to remain relevant in the profession of computer programming.
  • Reviews, simplifies and integrates new functionalities into inherent programming processes in order to amplify productivity.
  • Educates and attends to whatever questions/ enquiries (if any) of the end users of the created computer programs for more comprehensive conceptualization of the product.


Alternative Names

  • Coder
  • Programmer
  • Software engineer


Job Projections

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2016), the number of employed computer programmers was 328,600 in 2014, while the projected employment in 2024 was 302,200. These figures represent a predicted 8% decline in the employment of the professionals over the stated time-frame.


Computer Programmer Skills and Qualifications

  • Good ability to discharge the job duties independently and also working as a team when duly necessary.
  • Excellent comprehension of the underlying concepts of information technology and the general computer operating process.
  • Superb ability to multitask and perform optimally under pressure is an essential quality of a computer programmer.
  • Outstanding problem-solving and troubleshooting skills are very crucial in effectively accomplishing the responsibilities of being a successful computer programmer.
  • Profound organizational and time-management skills are essential in order to fulfill set obligations in a diligent and punctual manner.
  • Remarkable communication and interpersonal relationship skills needed to promote the spirit of teamwork and encourage productive interactions amongst the needful stakeholders.
  • Significant flexibility and creativity skills are important attributes a computer programmer should possess in order to be able to exploit a wider range of computer programming options so as to consequently reach an equally wider range of end users.


Computer Programmer Salary Details

Computer programmers receive an annual median wage of $85,180 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2016).


Education and Training

Most computer programmers are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science and/or other related computer-based disciplines. However, some organizations give opportunities to candidates with associate’s degrees or even high school diplomas depending on their experience and proficiency in the knowledge of computer science. Some of the training is often received on-the-job. This implies that the more the experience gained by a computer programmer, the more competent he/she becomes. Further acquisition of educational qualifications and dynamic memberships of professional bodies helps to pave the way for career progression opportunities in most cases.

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