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Computer Programmer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Computer Programmers Career Video



Converts project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develops and writes computer programs to store, locate and retrieve specific documents, data and information. May program websites.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Programming and Software Engineering pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Corrects errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Conducts trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • Writes, updates, and maintains computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Writes, analyzes, reviews, and rewrites programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Performs or directs revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
  • Consults with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
  • Performs systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.
  • Compiles and writes documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
  • Prepares detailed workflow charts and diagrams that describe input, output, and logical operation, and converts them into a series of instructions coded in a computer language.
  • Consults with and assists computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • .NET Developer -- Has specific skills using Microsoft .NET and related programming tools to develop software and computer applications.
  • Computer Game Programmer -- Turns the ideas and specifications of games designers into games that people can actually play, by writing computer code or using a range of programming tools that generate code for them.
  • Database Developer -- Designs, develops, tests, implements and maintains new and existing databases. Creates management methods and systems to access efficiently the information stored in databases.
  • Internet Webmaster -- Designs, develops and maintains websites, ensuring that the websites are secure from all types of perils.
  • Java Developer -- Works closely with team members, end-users and vendors to test and create websites, using JavaScript, that are easy to navigate for web visitors.
  • Object-Oriented Programmer -- Uses object-oriented programming (OOP) languages to develop user-friendly software for a variety of platforms and uses, such as mobile applications, games and website tools.
  • Programmer Analyst -- Develops and maintains software applications and databases.
  • Report Developer -- Designs and develops reports using various software reporting tools.
  • Website Developer -- Works with programming and scripting languages to create applications and dynamic content for Internet users.
  • Client Server Programmer --
  • Operating System Programmer --