How To Become A Computer Programmer

Gina L | July 22, 2009

Computer ProgrammersBehind the scenes of your PC or Mac there are dozens of programs working to ensure that all runs smoothly. The people responsible for creating and updating these software programs are known as computer programmers and may specialize in one type of computer programming language or more. But where do they get this knowledge and where does it take them? Read on to find out.

How do I become a computer programmer?
If you’re thinking about a computer programming career, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of computer codes from a reputable school of higher education or program. Although you maybe able to land a position as a computer programmer with a certificate or two-year associate degree, most computer programmers hold bachelor’s degrees or higher. As with most professions, the more you learn, the more job mobility you’ll enjoy.

If you’re looking to earn a certificate or two-year associate degree, you’ll probably end up attending either a career school or community college. However, if you want to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher, you’ll most likely need to finish your schooling at a traditional four-year college or university. (In some cases you can complete an associate degree at a community college and then spend two years at a traditional college to earn your bachelor’s.)

Once you have the proper credentials, you should be able to land a job in any of a number of software- and computer-related industries. Most of today’s companies need computer programmers on staff, whether it’s because their business is creating software or because they need specially designed software to cater to their business’ needs.

What will I learn in a computer programming school?
At their roots, computer programs are intricate lines of code used to call up other programs and data from a computer’s resources. Over the years, a variety of codes have been created evolving into either essential computer programming tools or passing fads.

Depending on whether the computer programmer works on software in general, or a specific program or type, she or he may learn and work in a few different code languages. Computer programmers are also tasked with seeking out bugs in programs, fixing them, and updating/replacing them as needed. When you attend a computer programming school you’ll learn everything you need to know about these computer languages, how to work in them, and how to maximize their effectiveness. You’ll practice writing lines of codes, programming computers, and debugging various computer programs.

Your lessons and exams won’t be exclusively on the computer, though. Many teachers will expect you to be able to code by hand (using just a pen and paper) as well as by computer. This helps ensure that you know your computer programming codes inside and out and aren’t relying upon cheats or the auto-correcting abilities that many computer programs come with these days.

Once you have your computer programming degree or certificate in hand, you’re well on the way to getting hired!

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