Computer Programmer

Create and write code for computer software.
picture of Computer Programmer

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$41,000 – $114,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Computer Programmers do?

Computer Programmers write the code for computer software such as video games, websites, and industry specific programs. Whether you work freelance or for a Fortune 500 company, the job of Computer Programmer uses your creativity and acute technical knowledge so that the rest of us can bank, access our local weather, and play Tetris online.

In order to create new software, you need a vision of the software’s goal. In other words, to be a Computer Programmer you need a clear understanding of exactly how the program is expected to perform. You meet with executives, Managers, and Department Heads to ask questions, evaluate needs, and outline goals. Then you are off to your computer where you create a flow chart.

Kind of like listing the steps of a recipe, you plan the steps of the software from beginning to end. Then you input that information into the computer using one of hundreds of languages a computer understands.

Once you’ve entered the code (language), you run the program looking for bugs. A bug is anything that makes the program freeze, hang up, or redirect. If you beat level six in the newest video game, it shouldn’t then send you to play level four.

Once debugged, you introduce the product to a test group who further look for glitches. After the product is complete, you continue to create newer versions, always seeking ways to improve the product.

Should I be a Computer Programmer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • High Achiever: You love the challenge of tackling difficult work.

  • Also known as: Bioinformatics Specialist, Computer Game Programmer, Computer Graphic Artist, Computer Graphic Designer See More

    How to become a Computer Programmer

    Most Computer Programmers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aeid9a&chl=|no+college+%286%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29|associate%27s+%285%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2878%25%29|&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,78
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