Computer programming is the job of the future. A computer programmer's main task is to put the code that tells the computer what to do into the computer. Computer programming consists of two areas: systems and applications programmers. Systems programmers put the codes into the main system of the computer.

Applications programmers work with one type of software or computer applications and code them. It is rare that you will see someone specializing in both types of programming, since each of the two programmers have to know entirely different skills (Princeton Review Guide to Your Careers). In both types of computer programming, you need to have the basic skills of typing and computer repairs (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 332). Systems programmers need to have the skills and be familiar with hardware specifications and designs, memory management and structure. Applications programmers do not need to know these skills, but they do need to know the following: standard interface protocols, data structure, program architecture, and response speed (Princeton Review Guide to Your Careers). Personally, I know the basic skills of keyboarding and some minimal repairs, but after that I do not know many of the other skills needed for this profession.

The responsibilities of a computer programmer are basically the same as most working responsibilities. You have to show up to work on time, do your job as you are expected, and listen to your boss (Grolier Encyclopedia). I do not mind any of these responsibilities, so I would be able to follow these without any problems. A bachelor's degree is necessary to be a computer programmer. Although optional, it is recommended that you take basic and advanced programming, some technical computer science classes, and logic or systems architecture (Princeton Review Guide to Your Careers). In high school, I can take basic computer courses like keyboarding and computer skills.

After high school I can take some college courses and computer classes related to computer programming. To be a certified computer programmer you need a bachelor's degree. The work environment is easy to work in. It is indoors-the way I like it. Most of the time it is comfortable (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 332). The working hours are normally nine hours unless you need to meet a deadline.

For most people it is a 9 AM to 6 PM job. As one advances in this job, the hours get longer and much more tedious (Top Jobs for People Without College Degrees). The location of this job is found in many places. Some computers are coded right from the computer plants where they are manufactured. In this case the programmer would work right in the plant. In some cases, the computer could be shipped to someplace else in the city or some other place to be coded (Grolier Encyclopedia).

I prefer to have the job located somewhere close to where I live. I do not feel like driving out to the city two hours every day for five days a week. When one first starts computer programming, one will start as a trainee. After one gets all of his training done, one will become a junior programmer. If one is good at what one is doing, one can advance to a staff programmer where one will fix the mistakes that the junior programmers made. Later one will change to a senior manager / programmer.

In this stage of the job, one will monitor all the other trainees and lower ranks as well as fixing their mistakes. After about ten years, one may become a programming manager-one of the highest ranks you can achieve in this profession (COIN Jr. 2000 #357). Computer programming offers opportunities since there are five different ranks to be promoted to in computer programming. The salary in computer programming is average for a beginning salary with a bachelor's degree, one will make about $39,516 a year.

With a higher degree than a bachelor's, one will make more money. A junior programmer with a masters earned $47,270 his beginning year, and if one has a Ph. D. one can make $63,058 for his first year (COIN Jr. 2000 #357). Any of these amounts of money would make me happy. After about five years one can see a significant raise in pay. It can go up around $1,000 a year.

After 10 years, not only will there be significant change in salary, but also there will be a significant change in hours. Instead of working nine-hour days, it will be increased to 12 hours because of the many more responsibilities one has (Princeton Review Guide to Your Careers). The job outlook for computer programming is high. It is expected to grow faster than the average job through the year 2006.

There were about 568,000 computer programming jobs in 1996 (COIN Jr. 2000 #357). I think that there will be a job for me since the industry is growing rapidly and close to a million jobs are out there for this career or a similar one. I think that computer programming would be a good job for me. I like everything about it. The pay is good, the working environment is good, and most of all, I like to work with computers.

It should be easy to get a good paying job as a computer programmer because so many of them are needed. During high school, at night, I could take classes on the basics of computer programming so that when I graduate I will better understand the procedures when I learn them in college. SOURCES "Computer Programmer". COIN Jr. 2000 # 357. "Computer Programmer".

Grolier Encyclopedia. 1999 "Computer Programmer" Occupational Outlook Guide. 2000. Farr, J. Michael. Top Jobs for People Without College Degrees. Indianapolis: JIST Works, 2000.

Princeton Review Guide to Your Careers. {Online} Available web Dec 29, 2000.