Computer Programmer

Job Description:

Computer programmers create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run.

Job Category:
IT Industry

What you will do:

Your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.
  • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Prepare detailed workflow charts and diagrams that describe input, output, and logical operation, and convert them into a series of instructions coded in a computer language.
  • Develop Web sites. Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Consult with and assist computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.
  • Train subordinates in programming and program coding.


You’ll need

  • knowledge of programming languages
  • an aptitude towards computer programming

As well as:

  • Active Listening
  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • ability to co-ordinate or lead others (leadership skills)
  • the ability to work with a group or in a team is extremely important (teamwork skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Computer Programmer, you don’t necessarily need specific subjects, but certain subjects and skills can be highly beneficial in preparing for a career in programming. Computer programming primarily requires strong logical and problem-solving abilities, as well as proficiency in programming languages. Here are some relevant subjects and skills:

  1. Mathematics (Maths): Mathematics is essential for computer programming as it helps you develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Mathematics is the foundation of many programming concepts, especially in areas like algorithms and data structures.
  2. Computer Science: If your school offers Computer Science, taking this subject can provide you with a solid foundation in programming principles, algorithms, and data structures. It’s one of the most directly relevant subjects for aspiring programmers.
  3. Information Technology (IT): IT courses can introduce you to computer hardware, software, and systems, which are useful to understand the broader context of programming.
  4. Physics: While not mandatory, Physics can help you grasp concepts related to computational physics or simulations, which are used in some programming applications.
  5. English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for documenting code, writing technical documentation, and collaborating with other developers.

Post School

A computer programmer usually must have a BSc degree in computer science, mathematics, or information systems, as well as the knowledge of the major programming language.

However, some people with the right aptitude but the wrong degree, or even no degree, have still managed to become highly successful programmers. In some cases, companies may be willing to take you on and train you to their requirements as a Junior Programmer.

Working Hours and Environment:

Usually more than 40 hours a week. Working hours are usually set with an established routine.


Career Path & Progression:

Many experienced computer programmers advance to supervisor or higher levels and there are several types of programmer. There is the potential for computer programmers to earn large salaries.