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COMPUTER PROGRAMMER - CAHAYA OKTOBER
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CREATING WORLDS WITHIN WORLD
Mursilalaili Mustapa Sa’di
Do you like computers? Do you enjoy trying out new computer software? If you answered yes to these questions, you may want to consider a career as a computer programmer. Almost everybody have some experienced with computers. Computers help us complete our task more easily. In order for the computer to execute the given task, it need software or programs.
Programs tell computers what to do and which information to identify and access, how to process it, and what other computer equipment (such as printers, modems, etc.) to use. The instructions involved in updating financial records, for example, are often very different from those needed to approximate conditions on board an airplane for flight crew training in a flight simulator. Even though simple programs can be written in a few hours or even a few minutes, software that uses complicated mathematical formulas, whose results can often only be approximated, or that gather data from several existing computer systems sometimes took years to complete the work. Several programmers usually work together as a team under an experienced programmer’s supervision.
Computer programmers usually create programs according to the guidelines and specifications determined by systems analysts and software engineers. After the design is completed, it becomes the responsibility of the computer programmer to develop that design into a logical series of instructions that computers are able to follow. The programmer then can code this information in a programming language, such as COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language), BASIC, C++, Java, or other similar language. A variety of languages can be used depending on the needs of the application. C++ is widely used for scientific or business applications while COBOL, for example, is commonly used for business applications. As an older language, FORTRAN (FORmula TRANslation) is sometimes used in science and enginee
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WORKDESCRIPTION
Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed software programs that list in logical order the steps computers must execute to perform their functions. A computer programmer reviews and understands specifications prepared by the system’s analyst. He/she outlines steps in the program and writes program instructions using programming language that is compatible with the user’s hardware. A computer programmer must check the program for errors and then test and debug the program. Once a program is completed, a programmer must add comments to the program so another programmer can understand it. Additionally, a programmer must maintain the program to fit the users’ changing needs by correcting errors found in the program after its production, updating programs, and rewriting progr
Apart form the basic role of a computer programmer, that is to write, test, and maintain programs, which has the detailed instructions that computers follow to perform their complicated functions. Programmers also conceive, create, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Several technological innovations in computer programming such as advanced technologies, sophisticated programming tools, and new languages have shaped the role of a programmer and brought new attention to much of today's programming work. Job descriptions and titles often vary, depending on the organization. For the most part, computer programmer refers to professionals whose primary function is programming. This group typically has a wide range of responsibilities and educational backgrounds.
Most computer programmers are responsible for updating, repairing, modifying, and expanding existing software. When changing a section of programming code, called a routine (or sub-routine), software coders are required to make other users aware of the task that the specific routine performs. This is often done by placing comment tags in the program so that others can understand it better. As an example of how many people collaborate to develop software, Microsoft Windows 2000 contains more than 30 million lines of code! Many programmers use specialized software tools to automate a great deal of the coding process used to develop software. Many of these software tools allows a computer programmer to focus on creating the specialized parts of the program, because these tools automate diffe
Computer programmers are able to test a program by running it to make sure that the instructions are correct and that the program produces the required outcome. When an error occurs, the programmer makes appropriate changes and compiles and runs the program again. This is performed until it produces the desired results (testing and debugging). Programmers often must continue to update and fix problems during the lifetime of a program. Updated programs are called "versions" and are often represented by a number (for example, 1.5 or 2.54). Programmers working with mainframes (a large, centralized computer) prepare instructions for a computer operator who runs the program.
Programmers in software development companies are often required to work directly with experts from various fields to create software. These programs are designed for specific clients or can be packaged software for general use. A great deal of this kind of computer programming takes place while preparing packaged software such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat.
WHAT DOES IT TAKES TO BECOME A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER
A bachelor’s degree is preferred, but an associate’s degree & in computer science may be acceptable for a few entry-level positions. A graduate degree is often required in scientific fields and systems programming. Additionally, several weeks of on-the-job training are usually necessary to learn programming requirements or languages for the specific computing environment.
Because of the constantly changing level of technology, a computer programmer must stay informed of new innovations in computer software and hardware. Programmers are expected to continually learn new programming techniques and languages. They also must attend classes, conferences, workshops, etc. to increase their knowledge of the computer industry. Programmers must be confident in their knowledge and abilities. They must be able to work independently, think logically and analytically, and be very thorough and accurate in their work.
COMPUTER PROGRAMMER EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK
The employment outlook is considered to be very good. Employment is expected to grow faster than average through 2005. However, new software tools will automate some programming tasks. Computer programmers are hired in nearly every industry, and there is a growing number being employed on a temporary or contract basis. The best prospects are for those with knowledge of several programming languages, client/server programming, database management, multimedia technology, and graphic user interface.
In 2002, computer programmers held approximately 499,000 jobs. They are employed in most every industry. The largest concentrations are in the field of computer systems design and in software publishing, which includes companies that write, sell, and market software. Other firms that hire computer programmers include telecommunications companies, manufacturers of computer and electronic equipment, financial institutions, insurance carriers, educational institutions, and government agencies.
Many programmers are employed on a contract or temporary basis or work as independent contractors, as firms demand expertise with new languages. Instead of hiring programmers as permanent employees and then laying them off after the job is done, employers can work with "temp" agencies, consulting firms, or directly with the programmers themselves. A marketing firm may require the services of several programmers only to write and debug the software necessary to get a new customer relationship management system running. They might post the project on a website like “ELance” that allows many programmers to bid on the job and then the client selects the bid she likes the best. This practice enables companies to utilize people, sometimes from the other side of the globe, who have a specific set of skills as it applies to their needs. Bringing in an independent contractor or consultant with a high level of experience in a new or advanced programming language, for example, enables a company to complete a particular job without having to spend time and money training existing workers. These jobs may last anywhere from just a few days to a year or longer. There were 18,000 computer programmers who were self-employed in 2002.
REWARDS FOR COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS
The beginning income of a computer programmer is approximately RM24,000 per annum. The yearly income is about RM36,000.00 to RM48,000.00. But as you experiences built up, the average yearly income is about would increased sometimes to RM120,000 per annum or even more if managers or consultants.