Choosing to do a research on a career can be a little easier to do when you have some or a
general knowledge a particular field of work. There are many different types of jobs one
can decide to undertake, one of which is in the most popular line of work today: Computer
Programming. Although this line of work might seem a little tiresome but you might find it
enjoyable by people with lots of patience and the will to do long and tidious work. Most
programmers in large corporations work in teams, with each person focusing on a specific
aspect of the total project(AOL). Programmers write the detailed instructions for a
computer to follow. A computer programmer carefully studies the program that best suits
the employer needs. They may also work for a large computer corporation developing new
software and/or improving older versions of these programs. Programmers write specific
programs by breaking down each step into a logical series of hours of writing programs, the
programmer must follow. After long hours of writing programs, the programmer must
thoroughly testing and revising it. Generally, programmers create software by using the
following a basic step-by-step development process:
(1) Define the scope of the program by outlining exactly what the program will do.
(2) Plan the sequence of computer operations, usually by developing a flowchart (a
diagram showing the order of computer actions and data flow). (3) Write the code--the
program instructions encoded in a particular programming language. (4) Test the program.
(5) Debug the program (eliminate problems in program logic and correct incorrect usage of
the programming language). (6) Submit the program for beta testing, in which users test
the program extensively under real-life conditions to see whether it performs
Programmers are grouped into two types: Application programmers and systems programmers.
These programmers write the software that changes a basic machine into a personal tool
that not only is useful for increasing productivity but also be fun and entertain the user.
Applications programmers write commercial programs to be used by businesses, in scientific
research centers, and in the home. Systems programmers write the complex programs that
control the inner-workings of the computer. Application programmers are focused primarily
on business, engineering, or science tasks, such as writing a program to direct the
guidance system of a missile to its target (Information Finder). A systems programmer
maintains the software that controls the operation of the entire computer system. They
make changes to the instructions that controls the central processing unit, in turn,
controls the computers hardware itself(FL View #475). They also help application
programmers determine the source of problems that may occur with their programs. Many
specialty areas exist within these two large groups, such as database and telecommunication
programmers. Computer programmers can attend really any college or school because the
employers needs vary. All programmers are college graduates and have taken special courses
in the programming field. Most employers prefer experience in accounting, inventory
control and other business skills. Employers look for people who can think logically and
can have patience when doing analytical work(Information Finder). Then entrance salary of
a new fresh out of college computer programmer ranges in the area of $30,000 in 1989(Occ.
Outlook Handbook 115). The little more experienced programmers that have five to ten
years experience earn about $40,000+ annually, but the professionals get nearly $60,000 per
year (S.I.R.S. CD-ROM). Employers are looking for ways to cut costs, and minimizing
on-the-job training is one way to do that. Many employers prefer to hire with previous
experience in the field. To have the best chance of becoming a skilled computer programmer
they must learn many computer languages to land the job of their choice. The Shuttle
program, for example, consist of a total of about half a million separate instructions and
were written by hundreds of programmers.) For this reason, scientific and industrial
software sometimes costs much more than do the computers on which the programs run.
Programmers work mostly at a desk in front of a computer all day. They usually work
between 40 to 50 hours a week and more if they have to meet crucial deadlines. Programmers
might arrive at work early or work late occasionally, depending on the circumstances at the
work place. The employment outlook of the computer programming field is very good and
growing fast through the year 2000(Occ. Outlook Handbook 115). Most of the job openings
for programmers will probably result from replacement needs. The need for computer
programmers will increase as business, government, schools, and scientific organizations
seek new applications for computer software and improvements already in use. The computer
programming field is not an easy line of work to be successful in nor is it a easy one to
get into. This job requires a lot of demands as a person such as: working late hours,
writing complex programs that sometimes don't always work properly, the patience, and the
time needing to be a successful computer programmer.
Florida View 1990: Careers Black & White. Florida Dept. of Education. 1990, occ. #475.
Florida View 1991: Careers Black & White. Florida Dept. of Education. 1990, occ. #362.
Information Finder by World Book. Chicago .World Book, Inc., 1992.
Occupation Outlook Handbook. 1990-91 edition; United States Department of Labor, 1991.
Social Issues Resources Series. SIRS Combined Text & Index, 1993 SIRS, Inc. Spring 1993.
America Online Database. America Online, Inc. 1995.