How to become a Programmer

£30,000

estimated salary

What do they do?

Looking for a ‘beta’ career? You should become a Programmer…

Programmers develop computer systems, websites, software, and games by writing and modifying code.

The code they create is used to help business systems and consumer products run more efficiently. Depending on the specific needs of the client, Programmers may be involved in many stages of the development process, from analysis and application, to testing and technical support.

To ensure the development is viable and will work within set guidelines, their job may also involve a fair amount of analysis.

Typical duties for a Programmer generally include:

  • Inspecting current systems
  • Writing code
  • Documenting each stage of development
  • Testing and debugging programmes
  • Working closely with analysts and designers to ensure the product fits specifications
  • Building and using specialist software and code libraries to automate code
  • Keeping up-to-date with new programming languages and technologies


Is it right for me?

Excellent knowledge of computer systems, as well as the ability to understand complex programming languages, are essential skills for anyone looking to become a Programmer.

You’ll also need to be a great problem solver, with an analytical mind and a methodical work ethic.

And, because even a minor mistake could cause code to break or malfunction, a keen eye for detail is absolutely essential. If complex maths isn’t your thing, this career probably isn’t for you…

Programmers will also need to be:

  • Logical
  • Able to follow technical procedures
  • Good at concentrating
  • Meticulous
  • Resourceful
  • Understanding of clients’ needs
  • An excellent communicator

Career Progression

Programmer

Up to £30,000

Senior Programmer

Up to £45,000

IT Architect

Up to £55,000


What's it really like?

I’ve been a Programmer for 5 years now, and I can happily say there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. In a nutshell, it’s like solving complex puzzles for a living – and every puzzle needs a different programming language to solve. It’s no doubt a challenge at times, and you have to be really motivated to stay sane throughout the various bug fixes, but the outcome is definitely worth it. Whether it’s from designing a new algorithm that improves the functionality of a system, learning something new, or realising the code you’d spent days writing has successfully fixed a technical issue – the rewards are pretty great.



Get qualified

You will normally need a degree in a computer based field to become a Programmer. However, candidates with degrees in other subjects, who can demonstrate a strong understanding of programming languages and operating systems may also be considered. Experience and/or qualifications in project management could additionally improve your chances.

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