Computer Programming


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 correctly(AOL)

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