Becoming a corporate software developer is not the same thing as becoming a freelance programmer or a systems programmer.
Corporate programmers are hired for coding skills in programming languages like Microsoft .NET (ASP.NET, C#, VB.NET, SQL Server) and they tend to work regular, office jobs as contract or full-time programmers.
Systems programmers tend to work with programming languages like C/C++ and they also work for companies like Microsoft that build operating systems or systems software.
A contract programmer is a software developer who is paid an hourly rate for working on special software development projects for a period. Contract computer programmers are not paid salaries like full-time developers but hourly wages.
Contract programmers tend to be very project focused because they are hired to solve specific problems or code specific features and as soon as that is done, they have to move on to another project or find a new client.
I’ve been discussing how beginner (novice, entry-level or junior) computer programmers can break-through to high paying computer programming jobs with just a little real world experience.
Do you realize this is how I became a computer programmer? Yes, I landed a break-through $76,000/yr. contract programming job within 6 months of beginning my professional computer programming career in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.
Unfortunately, some of my readers still find this hard to believe. I receive questions all the time pointing out why one can not succeed in contract or full-time computer programming this easily. If you are a skeptic, your contrary arguments usually falls into one of these:
Because highly skilled software developers (master programmers) are highly paid (read previous post on software developers), the question is how do you become a master contract programmer if you aren’t?
Here is what I consider to be a common sense guide to becoming a master software developer:
Certify now! Use certifications and test preparation material like transcender to sharpen your overall grasp of your technology
Read books. Read a lot of technical books on your skill set (for example .NET development). You should own a number of these books yourself
.NET Developers (dot net computer software programmers) are in big demand with big pay in the major cities of the USA according to a 2006 survey at CNNMoney.com.
According to the survey, if you are willing to become an expert or highly skilled .NET software developer, you can command between $75,000 to $85,000 as an expert or highly skilled dot net (.NET) Microsoft software programmer and you can get an additional pay hike of 15% or more (which brings your pay to $86,000 to $98,000 and more) if you are willing to specialize in a field and then change jobs.
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