Computer Programmer Term Paper

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Career of Computer Programmer

Creating the future in the field of Computer Programming

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Creating entirely new software applications used for everything from designing new buildings to defining optimized airline schedules, defining how entire companies will communicate with each other over the Internet, or creating the software that powers a cell phone, MP3 player or Blackberry are just a few of the tasks computer programmers create and perfect. This is the ideal field for anyone who has a natural interest in problem solving, is good at mathematics and finds the process of how the Internet and computers work fascinating. There are many types of computer programmers including programmer analysts, software developers, Internet or Web Programmers and Web Developers. Of these different careers, Web Developers with knowledge of Web 2.0 technologies ('Reilly, 2006) are in the greatest demand. To get an overview of the various Web 2.0 technologies please see Table 1 in the Appendix. Of all careers in programming, Web Developers with the specific skills to work on social networking applications including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendster, Twitter and many others are in the greatest demand and earn correspondingly higher salaries (This year's top five jobs, 2007) also according to industry experts (Agha, 2008) and (Blistein, 2007). This paper explains the aspects of being a computer programmer including how to determine if this specific career area is a good fit for your skill sets and interests, in addition to a series of recommendations on how to get started in this career. There are also recommendations for presenting this information as well.

Aspects of being a Computer Programmer

TOPIC: Term Paper on Computer Programmer Assignment

The key to succeeding in computer programming is finding the right career in this field that perfectly aligns with what you do best. There are so many different careers within the field of computer programming, and the area is growing so rapidly it's been called one of the top five professions globally (This year's top five jobs, 2007) that it's possible to find the best possible career in this field for yourself that capitalizes on your skills. Computer programmers who excel at their work have critical thinking skills, or in other words they like to solve problems and enjoy the challenge of figuring out how things work. They're also very good at troubleshooting problems, and have a natural curiosity to see how to solve complex, difficult logic problems. Many of them are excellent at mathematics and apply these skills to complex programming challenges like designing an entirely new social networking website, creating a new series of Web applications that make it easier for people to stay connected with each other, or develop software that makes it possible to track space exploration vehicles all the way to Mars, as was done with the Lunar Rover. The problem solving, logic, and math skills of software programmers also are balanced with their passion for always learning more about the programming languages they create applications in. People with a passion for continually figuring out how to make applications work better while adding new features excel as computer programmers, while also learning as much as they can about the programming languages and techniques necessary, excel at their work. The unique aspect of computer programming is that these groups of professionals often get lots of personal freedom to do their jobs as they see they need to be done (Glass, 2006). At Microsoft for example programmers are allowed to work the hours they are the most productive. It is very common for members of the programming teams on Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or Internet Explorer to come into work by 10am and stay well into the night. Programmers who are productive early in the morning come in around 7am and work until 5pm. There is great flexibility in programming careers in this regard, with many of them opting to work from home and telecommute in via the Internet on occasion. This is a career were results, not time spent in an office, count the most. As a result, there is much freedom yet also high expectations of results as well. Programmers thrive on achievement and freedom and enjoy working on their own for extended periods of time and respect knowledge over seniority or a person's title alone.

Abilities necessary to excel in computer programming

The best computer programmers and web developers have an innate ability to solve problems through deductive reasoning, or the applying of a common set of rules and concepts to a problem or situation. They also have the ability to create entirely new relationships between seemingly unrelated items, whether they be in software, on the Web or actual products. As a result, programmers who have the ability to order information and create logical relationships between them often advance rapidly in their careers as this is a highly valued skill. What makes programming so unique as a career is that to excel at it there also needs to be a balance of communications skills as well. Being able to present ideas of how to solve programming problems clearly both verbally and in print is essential to succeed in this profession. All of these abilities sound demanding, yet the best programmers have found a passion for their work and it is amazing to see how much a person can accomplish when they enjoy what they are doing and are good at it. Given the extensive demand for these skills and also the ability to quickly learn new programming languages and techniques, many colleges and universities are reorganizing their curriculums to concentrate on a balance of the technical and communication-based skills programmers need to excel in their careers (Denning, McGettrick, 2005)

Salary

Computer programming is one of the most consistently lucrative fields in technology and 2007 was no exception. According to the 2007 Robert Half Salary Guide (Jefferson, 2007) the base annual compensation for new programmers is increasing 5.1% to a range of between $60,250 and $94,740 annually between 2007 and 2008. Web developers, according to a survey completed by TalentZoo (2007) earn $102,000 a year with several years of experience. From starting salaries just over $60,000 to high incomes over $100,000 many companies also offer stock options to programmers and web developers who have the most in-demand skills. Microsoft commonly provides stock options to computer programmers who have the most in-demand skills, as does Google, IBM, Yahoo and many others. For top performing programmers there are also salary bonuses that can be up to 40% of their base salary for completing complex programming projects ahead of schedule and of high quality.

Job Requirements

While there are many different careers within computer programming, they all share for the most part a common set of job requirements as well. As programmers often have several projects going on at the same time a career in this field requires the ability to plan, organize and prioritize often conflicting project deadlines. This career also requires the ability to analyze data and information, learn new programming application programs including XML (Florescu, Grunhagen, Kossmann, 2003) and PERL (Dominus, 1998) and have a strong knowledge of HTTP protocols including HTML, shell script programming in addition to knowledge of how to use code debugging programs as well. Knowledge of Borland and Microsoft Visual Basic, understanding how the Microsoft.NET architecture works (Engelhardt, 2002), SAP NetWeaver, Oracle Fusion application platform are all highly valuable today. There is also the expectation on the part of employers that an entry-level programmer will know how to use and program Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Office, and how to use Active X controls work in web browsers including Internet Explorer. In addition to all these, computer programmers need to understand how operating systems work including all Microsoft Windows operating systems, Linux, and UNIX as well. it's evident from the many job requirements how important anyone considering a career in programming have a passion for learning new techniques and tools for contributing to and completing complex projects.

Characteristics

The essence of any computer programming job is in creating structure and organization to attain a computer programs' goal. Being able to relatively define frameworks and then build software applications around them is also essential to succeed as a computer programmer. Having the latest knowledge of how to use programming languages, techniques and tools is also essential for application programs to be quickly created and defined. There is also the perception that programmers are largely alone in their work, yet in fact they spend much time conversing with and discussing solutions to programming problems as well. This underscores how important it is to have a balanced set of skills between the analytic and problem solving vs. communication skills as well.

Benefits

As Computer Programmers in general and Web Developers specifically are in high demand due to their valuable skill sets, companies develop these jobs to have many benefits available to attract valuable workers. First, there is the benefit in many companies of working the hours when one is most productive. Microsoft allows programmers coming in early or… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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