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Application Programmer


Description

A lot of people understand more than one language. French, Mandarin, Portuguese...Java. Java? If you can understand and communicate in Java, you're ready to start your career as an application programmer.

Java, along with Pascal, Visual Basic, and C++, to name a few, is a computer language used by programmers who create, modify, and test the forms, scripts and codes that tell computers what to do. They use the languages to teach the computer how to respond to users and different programs.

Most companies or networks will function with one or two languages. Using that language, application programmers, also known as computer programmers, combine and adapt programs. Application programs are designed to perform a specific function for the user or for another program. These are things like word processors, database programs, and web browsers, to name a few. They adapt existing application programs, but they may also write new programs in computer code, for daily use and for problem solving. Programmers sometimes test and debug pre-written computer programs or software packages.

In order to know what kind of programs are required, they speak with the people who will be using them. They must be good at communicating not only in computer languages, but with real people as well. They not only develop the programs, but write up descriptions about them, prepare manuals, help screens, or explain the new systems in person to users. They might have to adapt the programs once they're in use, to make them more suitable to the users.

Computers are inescapable. They are everywhere. Children use them to research for school projects, adults use them to file their taxes and pay the bills. Computers and their programs connect us in many ways, and nearly all industries require the expertise of an application programmer in order to keep up with the changing world.
 
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Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Full Sail University - Online
Push Your Creativity To The Next Level
Programs Offered:
  • Mobile Development, Bachelor of Science

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$35,080
 
Median Salary:
$60,290
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$96,860

  Interests and Skills  
In order to be a successful application programmer, you should have lots of experience with hardware, software, and computer systems and processes. You should know about programming languages and techniques. You should have a genuine love for computers and computer capabilities. You should be methodical, logical, patient, careful, and accurate. You should be adaptable to new things, and work well under pressure. You need to be a good communicator, and be able to work well with others, but also possess the self-discipline and stamina to work on your own.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Discuss the user's requirements
  • Plan how the programs will fit together
  • Write programs
  • Write manuals or explain program's function
  • Run tests to ensure programs and computer systems are working properly
  • Find faults in programs
  • Prepare reports on programs
  • Maintain and upgrade programs
  • Solve computer problems for users
  • The typical day for an application programmer will involve working with computers, analyzing, developing, and implementing programs. They will spend some of each day with others, answering questions, explaining how the programs work, and troubleshooting problems with existing programs. The job doesn't allow for much travel, as most of the work can be done from home or a head office, unless they need to examine computers at locations all over their community.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Application programmers can find work just about anywhere that computers are in use. Software development and consulting companies, government agencies, electronics companies, hospitals, universities, banks and law enforcement agencies are some of the places they could find work. They can also work independently, and contract out their business to different clients.
  • They work regular hours in offices, or set their own hours and work from home, depending on the nature of their employer. They work in a small team of other programmers and computer staff.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Application programmers can specialize, and become programmer analysts, systems programmers, or software programmers, to name a few. There are also jobs in administration, PC support, and web design and maintenance. Application programmers can open their own businesses, or write a column or book about computers for the general public. There is also information technology (IT) instruction, at colleges and universities.
 

  Educational Paths  
In order to become an application programmer you should complete either a bachelor's degree in computer science or in another discipline with a significant programming component, such as mathematics, commerce, or business administration, or a college program in computer science. There are a number of three-year and four-year degree programs, two-year diploma programs and one-year certificate programs in this field offered by universities, colleges, technical institutes, and private vocational schools.

You may also look to becoming a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer. This will prepare you to design and develop business solutions with various Microsoft tools and technologies. The exams are available through Microsoft, so it's a good idea to check their websites for information about the certification process.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

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Full Sail University - Online  Online
Push Your Creativity To The Next Level
Programs Offered:
  • Mobile Development, Bachelor of Science
Campus Locations:
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Grand Canyon University  Online
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Computer Programming
Campus Locations:
  • Phoenix, AZ

 
ABCO Technology  Online

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

Programs Offered:
Campus Locations:
  • Los Angeles, CA

 
Liberty University  Online

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

Programs Offered:
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Application Development
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Database
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Web Development
Campus Locations:
  • Lynchburg, VA

 
The Art Institutes system of schools  Online

With an education from an Art Institutes school, imagine what you could create.

Programs Offered:
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Campus Locations:
  • Sacramento, CA

 
California College San Diego  Online

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Programs Offered:
Campus Locations:
  • National City, CA

 
Independence University  Online

Congratulations! Your interest in Independence University is an important first step toward changing your life. A career-focused degree is the key to a career with a potentially higher income, better benefits, and more satisfaction.

Programs Offered:
  • Web Design and Development (BS)
Campus Locations:
  • Salt Lake City, UT

 
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