Ever wonder who makes the video games you play, or the computer programs you use? Well, people called programmers do through a process called computer programming. .
Computer programming is the process of making detailed instructions that computers must follow in order to perform their functions, or programs. Computer programs are expressed in precise notations called programming languages. Special programs called compilers are designed to translate programming languages into machine language. Machine language is the language that machines read to perform specific tasks.
Computer programmers write, or create, programs specified to what the employer wants. They also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems. Usually, a programmer can write a simple program within a few hours, but complex programs, such as games, and operating systems can take up to several years.
A related field to a computer programmer is a computer operator. Computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, ensuring that these machines are used as efficiently as possible. They must also anticipate problems before they occur, take preventative actions and solve problems that do occur.
Another related field is a systems analyst. Systems analysts plan data processing systems to meet business, scientific, or engineering needs. They also examine organizational needs or existing data processing systems and analyze alternative methods.
Because employers needs vary so do the training paths for computer programmers. The education level is rising too, due to the growing number of qualified applicants employers are seeing. .
Employers usually prefer a bachelor's degree, but positions are available with certificates and associate's degrees. Some employers look more for the experience a person had with programming, rather than a degree.
An advantage to computer programmers is that they generally get to work in comfortable surroundings.