A few days ago, I granted an interview to a student writing a research paper on The job of a computer programmer. During the interview, I was given ten questions to answer about careers and jobs in computer programming. I’ve decided to post my replies, since a lot of people will benefit from it. You will find this entire interview interesting.
Please read it for your own benefit.
1. How did you get into the field of computer programming?
While studying chemical engineering in college, I observed that my friends studying computer science were having more fun than me. For example, they had part-time jobs working for companies; the entrepreneurial minded ones had founded small software development firms and were creating practical, useable, real world applications.
So, I befriended them and after college, a friend helped me interview for a technical sales job at a computer networking and software development firm.
2. What do you do on a daily basis?
On a daily basis, I do one of the following:
- Design or Architect Software Applications, Websites, Databases.
- Write code for both Intranet and Internet applications, Web Sites, Web Services and other software applications.
- I document code or write technical documentation for existing or new software applications.
- I train and mentor people who want to become a programmer or master computer programming.
- I support or maintain existing software application code.
- I write about my life and career as a software developer.
- I analyze and document requirements for new software projects.
- I plan and manage the development effort of software projects.
3. What is the average introductory salary for a computer programmer?
The average introductory salary for a computer programmer varies. It depends on your country and state of residence, the programming languages, programming experience, negotiation skills and whether you are a full-time or contract programmer. For Saint Louis, USA, I will say it is about $65,000 to $70,000.
4. What are the pros for a career in computer programming?
There are lots of pros. It will take a book to mention or discuss it all, but here are a few:
- Top pay for computer programmers. Computer programmers can earn a high salary easily. This is because programmers are judged by their ability to get the job done. That means that if you are capable of pushing yourself to do hard study, you can earn six figures in no time. In so many other careers, you can’t up your earnings by $20k to $40 k within a single year because your remuneration is not tied to your performance but to your age, experience and other implacable factors.
- High demand for computer programmers. There are thousands of jobs listed on job sites like Monster.com for computer programmers. There are jobs everywhere on local newspapers, job boards, and local recruiting fairs. There are so many programmer job vacancies that programmers from several nations are courted and recruited worldwide to work in countries like USA, Canada, Australia.
- Self Actualization. The need for us to do meaningful work that fulfills us is core to what makes us human. Computer programmers have that opportunity because their work is highly creative and they are highly remunerated. Computer programmers also get to use their mind, personal vision, talents, creativity, skills and initiative at work every day. There are always bugs to quash, new software applications to visualize and develop as well as human and business needs to be satisfied. Furthermore because there’s no cookie-cutter approach to programming, your personal ability, creativity and hard-work will always be appreciated and rewarded.
5. What are the cons of a career in computer programming?<
The major con of being a professional computer programmer is that:
- You spend a lot of time with computers and technology. If you don’t like working with technology that much, you may begin to dislike your career. Also, you may end up spending more time working with computers than talking to people. Again, some people can handle this and others can’t.
- Another con is that computer programming is a fast paced career. New technologies and programming languages are being released yearly which make your current skills partially or completely obsolete. So you have to be constantly learning new technology or your career becomes extinct.
6. What are the recent trends for computer programming careers?
Some of the major trends I’ve noticed is a shift towards object-oriented programming, a shift towards web programming, a shift away from windows programming, a shift towards test driven development, a shift towards better software design and a shift towards mobile software application development.
7. What are the hours for a computer programmer?
A computer programmer typically works a full 9 am to 5pm, 40 hour week. Additional time needs to be set aside to study and stay abreast of technology.
8. Would you recommend a career in computer programming and why?
Read my earlier comments on the pros of a career in computer programming to see the reasons why I recommend a career in computer programming.
9. What is your advice for someone interested in a career in computer programming?
Don’t let the lack of a college degree, your age or the educational conditions existing in your country or state of residence stop you from becoming a computer programmer because none of these is a real barrier. Begin by reading how to master computer programming and get high-paying software development jobs easily to discover the steps you need to take to become a professional software developer.
Next, if you can, begin your programming career early in life, because your investment in programming skills and experience will work for you and before you know it, you are a top-paid consultant. Finally, don’t let anybody or anything deter you from pursuing your career in computer programming because, programming is not as hard as people make it to be. If the fear of the unknown, stops you from pursuing a career in computer programming, conquer your fear and discover a bright new world waiting for you as you begin a career in computer programming
10. Are there opportunities for advancement in a programming career?
Yes. You can start and become a mid-level programmer, senior software developer, software architect, software manager, IT director, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), etc. If you are a contract programmer, you can advance by increasing your billing rate, finding challenging work or contracting for new clients.
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About the Author
Kingsley Tagbo is a Software Developer, a Computer Programming Coach and Author of How to Master High Paying, Highly Sought-After Computer Programming Skills Easily and Quickly. Kingsley’s book “The Street Smart Guide to High Paying Computer Programmer Careers” teaches you how to develop and leverage your ability to master high paying computer programming skills easily.
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