Computer programmers write, test, and maintain detailed instructions that called programs. Programs are what run computers. They tell the computer what info to identify and access, how to process it, and what equipment to use. The time it takes to write a program varies. Most programs can be can be written in several hours, while some can take more than a year.

Programmers usually work in teams under a senior programmer. They program according to a specifications of a software engineers and systems analysts. They have to be patient persistent, and good under pressure. They have to be able to communicate well to understand what the user wants.

There are 2 types of programmers: applications programmers and systems programmers. Applications programmers write a programs to handle a specific job and revise existing software. An example of this would be a program that tracks inventory in a company. Systems prof rammers write programs to maintain and control systems, and database systems. Systems programmers make changes in the sets of instruction that determines how a system will handle the jobs it its given. They also help applications programmers find errors in there programs.

Their programs have to work with a variety of operating systems. Programmers are known by the language they program or the environment in which they work. Examples of this would be Java programmer, Database programmer, mainframe programmer, and internet programmer. Ther are many different kinds of programming languages. When computers first came about they used a binary number system which consisted of a bunch of 0's and 1's. Later a new language called assembly language was adopted instead of the binary system.

This system was a lot better because it used the alphabet instead of 0's and 1's. The first so-called high-level language is called FORTRAN (formula translation). It was invented in 1956. It was great for scientists and mathematicians because it was similar to mathematic notations, but hard for the lay person. COBOL (Common Business-Oriented Language) came next.

It was used mainly for business applications. BASIC (Beginner's All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was easily master by the lay person. It is used in schools, businesses, and homes for microcomputer programming. C is a high level that can be used as assembly language.

A lot of commercial software is written using C. C++ writes programs using self-contained collections of data structure or objects. The objects are just changed to produce different programs. This has increased efficiency and productivity of programmers and users.

Many programmers use computer assisted software engineering tools, CASE tools, to automate much of the coding recess. CASE tools generate whole sections of code instead of line by line. This makes programming more rel able and eliminates routine steps. A programmer uses a method called debugging to fix any errors that they come across after they have written a program. Working conditions for computer programmers is be ry good.

They usually work in comfortable offices, which is good because they may work long hours or weekends to fix problems or meet deadlines. Programmers can also fix problems with software remotely now thanks to networking and the internet. Programmers held 585, 000 jobs in 2000. They are in almost every industry, but mainly in processing. Many computer programmers are their own bosses. There were 22, 000 self-employed computer programmers in 2000.

Bachelor's degrees are commonly required for this job. In 2001 47. 7% of all computer programmers held a bachelor's degree. Beginning programmers usually work under close supervision. Programmers must constantly update their training because of technology changes. Being certified in a specific language can be a big advantage.

Programmers may eventually be promoted to systems analysts. Employment is expected to grow almost as fast as the average for all occupations through 2001. According to Robert Half International the starting salaries for application programmers was 58, 500-90, 000 per year in 2001 and slightly lower for software development programmers and internet programmers.