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Sunday, April 29, 2012

SO YOU WANT TO BE A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER?

The history of computer programming began in 1835 when Lady Ada Lovelace (1815-1852 )  invented the programming loop and the subroutine. Today, there are over 600 programming languages in existence. Aside from this,  there are close to 300 BASIC dialects or variants of the Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code or BASIC programming language. Have you heard of Cola or Tea? How about Cobra or Squirrel? Do you know Ada, Dylan or Joy? Interestingly, these are some of the names of programming languages that are seldom mentioned or heard of. In the realm  of information technology, computer programmers work in government offices, schools and universities, hospitals ,businesses, engineering, industry, and manufacturing. Widely used programming languages for business, science, engineering, and web applications include COBOL, an acronym for Common Business Oriented Language, Fortran, C++, Visual Basic, Perl, Java, JavaScript, PHP, C#, HTML, and XML.

In simple terms, a computer programmer writes a series of logical steps or set of  instructions which tells  the computer what  to do. Aside from writing, a computer programmer has to test, debug and maintain the detailed instructions that computers follow to perform the functions intended. The work of the computer programmer depends usually on the employer. A computer programmer may be asked to write programs to handle a specific application or programs to maintain and control operating systems or data management systems. A systems analyst or a computer software engineer usually guides and instructs the computer programmer to do a project which can either be completed in a few days or could take more than a year to accomplish.

So what does it take to be a successful computer programmer? 

1. A Bachelor's degree in Mathematics, Accounting, Finance, Business, Computer Science or Information Systems would be desirable.  However a two year special course or certificate in computer programming can be adequate. Training provided by vendors would prove to be helpful.
2. A working  knowledge of algorithm,  formal logic and operating systems.
3. An attribute that should not be overlooked is paying extra close attention to every detail.
4. A computer programmer has to be very patient and at the same time persistent.
5. Under pressure, a computer programmer should be able to perform exacting analytical work.
6. Creativity and ingenuity  would come in handy when it comes to designing solutions.
7. A computer programmer should strive to acquire programming skills and experience.
8. A computer programmer should always be updated with the latest technology.

1 comment:

  1. This article almost makes me get started in pursuing a career in programming. And I hate programming!

    ReplyDelete