What Does A Computer Programmer Do?

Computer programmers are responsible for coming up with the code that will translate the computer program designed by a software developer into instructions that can be followed by the computer. It is also part of their job to come up with a graphical user interface that will allow laypeople who don’t have knowledge of computers to operate the program even if they don’t know the technical language used to design it. Regular folks rely on user-friendly computer programs that tell them what to do through easily understandable menus. Computer programmers play a huge role in ensuring that these graphical user interfaces are designed with the end-user in mind.

When computer programmers are asked to work on a project, their first order of business is to make consultations with those who will be utilizing the product. They need to conduct interviews with the executives and employees and ask them questions about how the software is going to be used and the purpose it is meant to achieve. It is crucial for computer programmers to understand this part carefully so that they can design the program correctly.

The planning stage follows after the consultation stage. Computer programmers create a flowchart that lays out the result if a user gives a particular command. The programmers will also incorporate into the design the emergency measures that will be undertaken in the event that the program fails or other circumstances cause it to not perform as it should.

The next stage is the actual code writing process. Using programming languages like Visual Basic, Java or others, the programmer then makes the computer code following the flowchart designed in the second step. Small-scale projects can be completed by only one programmer but for larger endeavors, many programmers will be working together. This is also the lengthiest part of the programming process.

The work of computer programmers doesn’t end when the code gets written. They will have to undertake a review of their work to iron out the bugs in the system. The review is a two-part process. First, they will have to spend a lot of time testing and debugging the program so that problems are addressed. To do this, they will be subjecting the program to rigorous testing procedures so that it will fail. Based on what they find, they will be able to design solutions that would anticipate these potential issues. The second part of the testing process is known as beta-testing. Here, they will roll out the program to a limited number of users, for example, with the employees of the company only. The object of beta-testing is to help identify problems with the program when it is already used in actual environments. If there are errors or bugs in beta testing, the programmer will work to fix them before the actual mass release is done.

After the programmers are certain that the program will work as intended, they will then officially release it to the public. That won’t be the end of their work. They will continue to monitor the program for issues and work towards fixing and refining them. They will also make improvements and upgrades to the initial program to ensure better performance. The product is the programmer’s brainchild and in future upgrades, he could add features that would make it more user-friendly or more optimized for mobile. If necessary, the programmer will also be responsible for coming up with technical drawings that would help in efforts aimed at documenting and supporting coding.

Doing constant reviews of computer programs that they have made is part and parcel of the job of computer programmers. Part of the review process entails finding ways to lower costs for the company through the creation of new programs or incorporating better functionality to existing ones.

In order to be able to keep up with the latest computer trends, computer programmers need to constantly educate themselves by participating in professional development seminars. They also have to stay updated on the different programming languages, especially if there are new ones that are being released or if there are upgrades to the programs that they are using.

For a programmer to be in demand these days, it is highly-recommend that he constantly adds to his repertoire of programming languages by becoming proficient in those that he does not know yet. The good thing about these courses is that many of them can be learned online so they don’t have to stop work just to be able to do so.

Career Spotlight: Computer Programmer

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