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How to Become a Computer Programmer and What Computer Programming Is

Professionals use computer programming to create code that specifies how a computer, application, or software program operates. Computer programming is essentially a set of instructions that make certain actions possible. If you’re not sure what a computer programmer is, it’s someone who writes and tests code to make it possible for software and applications to run. They generate instructions for a computer to follow.

From small laptops that can perform basic word processing and spreadsheet activities to highly complicated supercomputers that process millions of financial transactions daily and manage the infrastructure that supports contemporary living, computers are capable of incredible things. However, a computer cannot act until a programmer instructs it to do something, which is the fundamental idea behind computer programming.

Computer programming is a set of instructions designed to make certain operations easier. Computer programming can be as easy as adding two numbers, depending on the specifications or goals of these instructions. As difficult as sifting data to complete sophisticated scheduling or important reports, interpreting data from temperature sensors to control a thermostat, or guiding players through multi-layered worlds and difficulties in video games.

According to Dr. Cheryl Frederick, executive director of STEM programs at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), computer programming is a collaborative process in which numerous programmers contribute to creating a piece of software. Some of that growth may take decades. Programmers have been tinkering with and enhancing software for years, such as the 1983 introduction of Microsoft Word.

According to Frederick, “the hope is that the computer program would be so widely used that it needs long-term upkeep, especially to increase its current functionality.” Except that software might grow to be quite large, the phrases computer software and computer programming are interchangeable.

How Do Programmers Spend Their Days?

Computer programmers write and test code that enables apps and software programs to run correctly, creating instructions for a computer to follow. To instruct computers and computer networks to carry out tasks, computer programmers connect with computers, applications, and other systems using specialized languages. Building applications that enable “search, surfing, and selfies” is made possible by programmers using languages like C++, Java, Python, and others, according to ComputerScience.org.

Although many programming languages exist, a few have become the most widely used. Based on job opportunities, CareerKarma compiled a list of the top programming languages for 2021.

O*Net has produced a list of some of the typical jobs a computer programmer must be proficient in, including:

  • software performance evaluation.
  • We are tackling software-related issues.
  • We are enhancing the performance of software programs.
  • I am writing program code for computers.
  • We are working together to address information technology problems.

How Can You Become a Programmer in a Computer?

Many computer programmers start as self-taught enthusiasts, and since computer programmers must constantly learn new things, a true passion for programming can benefit your career.

According to Curtis George, a technical program facilitator for computer science at SNHU, earning a degree is a fantastic approach to launching a career and provides a framework for organizing your experiences. “However, your experience is ultimately what makes you a successful programmer. A competent programmer always stays current on the newest programming languages, algorithmic techniques, and software industry trends and has experience.”

Fred concurred. Before deciding to pursue a career in education, she worked for the Department of Defense and the banking and telecommunications industries. She said, “It takes a lot of guts, and you need job experience; a degree isn’t enough.” We provide students a foundation in arithmetic, logical engineering, data structures, and algorithms, but you also need to be able to plan, write, build, test, and manage software. You must be proficient in at least two or three programming languages, including C++ and Java.

However, computer programmers also need to recognize that building a program is a process that never yields the desired results the first time. “This field involves patience and the capacity to identify and troubleshoot problems. According to Frederick, you must be self-disciplined, motivated to study on your own, collaborate with others, and have a lot of practical experience. “You must practice what you preach and adjust to the times.”

Students are urged to compile a portfolio of their software work while pursuing a computer science degree. According to Frederick, students can present this portfolio to prospective employers as evidence of their coding skills even though it is not graded. “The entire degree program gives students broad exposure and proficiencies in traditional and trending technologies, including such specialties as computation graphics, software testing, and writing code for widely used programs, as well as deeper, more specific skills,” according to the program’s description.

Is Earning a Certificate in Programming Valuable?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most computer programming occupations require at least a bachelor’s degree, and numerous higher degree programs are also offered. There are countless professional and nonprofit certifications in addition to those academic options. The BLS points out that there are certificates for particular programming languages, and some companies can demand that programmers obtain certifications for their business’s products.

Among the professional certificates offered are:

  • CISCO’s Certified Network Professional Routing and Switching, Certified Network Associate Security Credential, and Certified Network Associate
  • Microsoft – Certified Solution Associate for Windows Server and Certified Solution Developer for Web Applications
  • Professional Organizations: CompTIA Security+, CompTIA A+, CompTIA Linux+, Software Development Associate Certification
  • Nonprofit – Credentials for Certified Information Security Managers, Certified Information Systems Security Professionals, and Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

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