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
and improvements already in use. The computer programming
field is not an easy line of work to be successful in nor
is it a easy one to get into. This job requires a lot of
demands as a person such as: working late hours, writing
complex programs that sometimes don't always work properly,
the patience, and the time needing to be a successful
Florida View 1990: Careers Black & White. Florida Dept. of
Education. 1990, occ. #475.
Florida View 1991: Careers Black & White. Florida Dept. of
Education. 1990, occ. #362.
Information Finder by World Book. Chicago .World Book,
Occupation Outlook Handbook. 1990-91 edition; United States
Department of Labor, 1991.
Social Issues Resources Series. SIRS Combined Text & Index,
1993 SIRS, Inc. Spring 1993.
America Online Database. America Online, Inc. 1995.