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Career As Computer Programmer

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Career as Computer ProgrammerCareer As Computer Programmer

Computers have changed the way of life in the last decade. What has been just in imagination now has become a reality. The advances made by technology are its indications. Right from the desktops to handheld – each of them depend on programs written behind them in some or the other computer language.

The essence of the above introduction is that there is, and will always be in time to come, vast pool of opportunities for computer programmers. The other good news is that since the field of computer programming is based on logic, is mostly independent of educational background, though most of the people hired are from engineering field, less qualified people or from other fields like commerce have also made inspiring strides in this career.

Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write code (program instructions) instructing computer systems to perform specific tasks. Devices that rely on programming include PCs, smartphones, GPS systems, factory robots and more. Programmers generally specialize in a particular type of software, such as server software, system software, office applications (office automation) or wireless or Web applications for example, the list is not exhaustive. The code is written in particular computer languages which largely depend on the device on which to run and / or the operating systems and the purpose of the software so developed. More advanced computer programmers participate in higher-level development activities such as producing detailed logical flow charts, developing project specifications or designing software.

Myths About Learning Computer Programming

Many people avoid programming because they believe a variety of myths surrounding learning programming. The common myths people have are …

  1. Computer Programming is only for engineers : This is certainly not true. However most computer programmers are engineers and the people who have background in science and engineering. Computer programming is subject of developing logic or to be clearer, of analysis, how a certain task could be done and then writing those instructions in logical sequence in certain language which may be understood by computers. This is what called programming. There may be need for training and practice but anybody could do programming.
  2. Computer Programming brings huge money quickly : Many think that once they have some training in some computer language, they may grab a job as programmer fetching handsome salary. This is not true. Nobody can become a programmer in short time and just by having training. You have to be patient as the skill has to be developed through dedication and by giving some time. As one gets exposed to different situations in programming the more he or she would mature. Initially rather one may get overwhelmed by the series of the problems and lines of code to be written and this may be the reason why many people don’t want to come in this field or leave it halfway.
  3. One must know particularly C or C++ language : Not at all please. However, people with science background have learnt C as part of their curriculum and had probably found learning a fourth generation language with ease. But projecting it as need is certainly unnecessary. You can learn any language directly if you find a good faculty who can teach from very basics of programming.
  4. You must know all the computer languages under the Sun : You don’t need to know all the languages, however there are certain group of languages you may need to know but gradually, for example HTML, CSS and PHP if you are creating dynamic web pages. Even still you may start with just one of them and pick gradually the allied ones. Software development is often a team activity and one individual is not supposed to do all.
  5. Computer programming is time consuming and cumbersome : Actually there are many tools or IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) available which facilitate development process say for example by providing “What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG)” support. IDEs are capable of prompting appropriate keywords and may also indicate use of wrong ones. Many of them are supported with “builders” which generate code for standard program units in the background.

Which Computer Languages I May Learn

There are overwhelming number of computer languages. Once you decide to become a programmer, the next step would be probably need to know which one would be better to learn. There is nothing like a particular language is difficult or easier than the other. You must make a choice according to the trend, your restrictions of location and availability of an experienced faculty in the vicinity who could provide you the necessary training. While you may refer to the following only a suggestive list of languages you may learn, you definitely can obtain advice from experts in the field before you finalize your choice –

  • C Language : Mostly part of academic syllabus of universities. Used for system developments. There is good scope for experts in C language.
  • .NET : Developed by Microsoft, the technology is classified as C#.NET, ASP.NET and VB.NET. Used for web based application developments with lots of job opportunities. Microsoft also offers certification in these languages.
  • PHP : Part of LAMP (Linux Apache MySQL PHP) technology group is in fact currently in huge demand. Most web development these days is being done in PHP.
  • JAVA : The platform independent language has been developed at Sun Microsystem. JAVA professionals are in huge demand. JAVA is an object oriented programming language. Learning JAVA also required in latest Android based development, though this is not the only language for Android based development.
  • JavaScript : It has nothing to do with JAVA. The language is used in web programming to create certain visual effects on web pages and do some event driven programming in front end. Mostly required to be learned by everybody wanting to work in web development.
  • Database Technology : Most commercial applications have some of the other database in the back end. Popular database systems are Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL Server, MySQL, DB2 etc. Those use standardized language called SQL. There is huge demand of people who know this language. You may extend your expertise in database programming to become DBA (Data Base Administrator), Data Warehouse professional, Data Mining professional for example.
  • System Administration : Systems run on servers with a combination of hardware and operating systems like Unix, Linux or Windows. There is programming required on these servers for automating certain administration task etc. This programming is called as shell programming. Also There are tasks like security management, users management, space allocation, package installation, upgradation, etc. for which they require people with system administration background. You could be SunSolaris Certified or RHCE certified or MCSE certified professional.
  • Objective C : The language is used for I-phone App development. Since the growth and wide utilization of I-phones, there is a vast scope for learning Objective C.
  • Android : Android is an operating system used in mobile devices and is extremely popular. Development of apps for distribution on this system is now an unlimited opportunity for programmers. You may need to learn Java apart from Android to land into this sector.
  • Ethical Hackers : The computer systems must be secured against unauthorized access. Apart from this, data encryption plays an important role while sharing the data from servers to the client and there may come that such data may intercepted. Ethical Hackers provide support for determination of crime of such interception and also testing the vulnerability of the system.
  • CMS : CMS stands for Content Management Systems. There are various systems developed for publishing contents on web, for example WordPress, mostly used for creating blogging and news publishing websites. There are various CMS systems – Joomla, Drupal, Contao, WordPress,Zencart, Magento, OSCommerce etc. which are widely used and some programming is required for development of plug-ins or customization of them.
  • ERP : ERP stands for Enterprises Resource Planning. SAP, Oracle Financials (Application Suite), PeopleSoft are some of the popular ERP systems. There are three types of professionals required – Those with commerce, management or economics background may enter into the field as Functional Professionals who do the job of mapping functionality requirements of the industry into the ERP system and identifying customization. Those with programming skills can work as Technical Professionals. They need to know languages like ABAP4, Java, PL/SQL depending upon the ERP they want to work with. The third category, Basis Admin are administrators to those system who mainly come from DBA background.
  • There are programmers required in Pearl, Python, Delphi, CGI Programming that have vast scope too.

The list above may be used only as guide. The point here to make is that, those who have analytical skills and logical skills and inclination to creating new applications for the computer systems should always go for studying programming. Programmers get superb compensation in the industry. Initially beginners may have to struggle a little but overall for long career goals this could be an excellent career option.

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