Computer programmers should be passionate about technology with strong analytical and troubleshooting skills. Being detail-oriented with the ability to deeply concentrate for long periods of time is also a plus for this career path.

What Does A Computer Programmer Do?

It’s the chief responsibility of computer programmers to write code with the intent of creating new software programs. They typically work closely with software developers and engineers to turn program designs into directions a computer can follow, using a variety of computer languages like Java, HTML and .NET/C#. In addition to creating new software programs, daily tasks may include:

Programmers will find that some assignments are simple and may take just a couple of days to create; mobile applications for smartphones are one example of a small program assignment. On the other end of the spectrum are programs that take up to a year, and sometimes longer, to complete; computer operating systems, for example, are considered complex, long-term assignments.

Largest Employers of Computer Programmers

Computer systems design and related services 38%
Software publishers 7%
Finance and insurance 7%
Manufacturing 5%
Administrative and support services 5%

Work Environment

Computer programmers typically work full time. It’s normal for them to work in offices for computer systems design companies, but telecommuting is frequently an option. They usually work on their own, but it’s important they have the ability to work with a team too, as it is sometimes necessary to work alongside developers, testers and engineers. Solid communication skills, both written and verbal, will be helpful in working with a team and explaining any successes or challenges.

Expectations: Salary and Career Advancement

While the salaries of computer programmers vary based on location, experience and the size of the employer, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that they earn a median annual wage of $79,840. There are projected to be more than 300,000 jobs for computer programmers by 2024.

Promotion opportunities are available for experienced programmers. Many go on to become software developers or computer systems analysts. Common promotions include managerial positions — such as senior developer, software architect or chief information officer — where the programmer is managing a team of programmers or testers.

Education and Other Qualifications

Experience in specific languages is important to employers. Bootcamps like The Software Guild give students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the languages most desired by companies. Graduates will have a portfolio of work to demonstrate their skill, as well as continued access to peers and instructors for help on the job.

This bootcamp is intended to help students master the techniques they’ll need to create software programs from the ground up, for companies in a number of industries — health care, finance, retail, manufacturing, e-commerce, insurance and more — in a collaborative, hands-on way. In addition to learning a valuable and marketable programming language, graduates of The Software Guild also learn skills like communication and teamwork, which will help them thrive and grow within their careers.