Computer programming, i.e. the process of writing code to instruct a computer, application or software program how to perform, is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand skills of the modern era.
In the past, computer proficiency demanded basic typing skills and an understanding of business suite applications like Word or Excel. But now, employers are demanding more from all employees – even those outside of their IT department.
Today, everyone and their grandmother has a computer in their pocket, on their wrist, or controlling their car. So, it’s no wonder why companies are grabbing at anyone who can write the language that makes these machines work.
If pursuing computer programming is something you’ve considered, or you’d like to add “coder” to your resume, here is all the basic information you should know about the art of computer programming.
1. What does a computer programmer do?
As summarized above, computer programming refers simply to the process whereby a programmer writes code that provides instructions to a computer, application, or software program. These coding instructions are transmitted via several different coding languages, such as Python, C++ and Java.
And it’s a more collaborative process than you might think. Programmers need to make sure the code driving their application speaks and understands the coding of the machine running that application – like a computer or smartphone.
And the programmer’s work is never done. There are constant refinements and updates put in place to make sure programs continue to work smoothly and function with newly developed software.
2. How much does a computer programmer make?
When considering a vocation or career path, it’s only natural to question salary expectations. The average computer programmer salary in the United States is around $66,550 a year. However, the typical range falls between $57,198 and $74,749.
But as you can imagine, location matters. And tech hubs such as San Francisco, Seattle, and New York offer higher salaries for programmers where demand and cost of living are both much higher.
3. How do I learn to be a computer programmer?
Most colleges and four-year universities offer computer science degrees which contain plenty of coding and programming instruction. But if you have already earned a degree, and do not want to return to school to seek another in computer science, there are hundreds of coding certifications and coding bootcamps available for both the professional and curious amateur.
There is also a ton of literature for those who would prefer to improve their talents by way of self-directed study. Perhaps one of the most in depth and authoritative works on the subject is the Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth. Knuth’s work has been called the “bible of fundamental algorithms” and has laid the foundation for what many developers know today concerning computer programming.
That said, if you’re looking for something a little simpler, you can always turn to more basic programming books.
Looking for computer programming jobs? See who is hiring at CyberCoders.com.