Understanding the Professional Programmer


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Their job is to solve problems. Don't celebrate the creation of code, celebrate the creation of solutions. We have way too many coders addicted to doing just one more line of code already. It puts the method before the problem. Before you go rushing out to learn to code, figure out what your problem actually is. Do you even have a problem? Can you explain it to others in a way they can understand?

Have you researched the problem, and its possible solutions, deeply? Does coding solve that problem? Are you sure? It assumes that adding naive, novice, not-even-sure-they-like-this-whole-programming-thing coders to the workforce is a net positive for the world. I guess that's true if you consider that one bad programmer can easily create two new jobs a year. And for that matter, most people who already call themselves programmers can't even code , so please pardon my skepticism of the sentiment that "everyone can learn to code".

It implies that there's a thin, easily permeable membrane between learning to program and getting paid to program professionally.

Walter Bright: What does it take to be a professional programmer? (1/4)

Maybe you too can teach yourself Perl in 24 hours! While I love that programming is an egalitarian field where degrees and certifications are irrelevant in the face of experience, you still gotta put in your ten thousand hours like the rest of us. I suppose I can support learning a tiny bit about programming just so you can recognize what code is, and when code might be an appropriate way to approach a problem you have.

But I can also recognize plumbing problems when I see them without any particular training in the area.

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British countess and mathematician Ada Lovelace is often considered to be the first computer programmer, as she was the first to publish part of a program specifically an algorithm intended for implementation on Charles Babbage 's analytical engine , in October The algorithm was used to calculate Bernoulli numbers. The first person to execute a program on a functioning, modern, electronic computer was the renowned computer scientist Konrad Zuse , in It had already been an unofficial holiday before that in many countries.


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The word software was used as early as , but did not regularly appear in print until the 's. The first company founded to specifically provide software products and services was the Computer Usage Company , in The software industry expanded in the early 's, almost immediately after computers were first sold in mass-produced quantities.

Universities, governments and businesses created a demand for software. Many of these programs were written in-house by full-time staff programmers; some were distributed freely between users of a particular machine for no charge. And others were developed on a commercial basis. Other firms, such as Computer Sciences Corporation founded in also started to grow.

The Psychology of Technology, no. 8

The industry expanded greatly with the rise of the personal computer "PC" in the mid's, which brought computing to the average office worker. In the following years the PC also helped create a constantly-growing market for games, applications and utilities software.

In the early years of the 21st century, another successful business model has arisen for hosted software, called software-as-a-service , or SaaS; this was at least the third time [ citation needed ] this model had been attempted. From the point of view of producers of some proprietary software , SaaS reduces the concerns about unauthorized copying , since it can only be accessed through the Web, and by definition, no client software is loaded onto the end user's PC.

Computer programmers write, test, debug , and maintain the detailed instructions, called computer programs , that computers must follow to perform their functions. Programmers also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending on the organization. Programmers work in many settings, including corporate information technology "IT" departments, big software companies , small service firms and government entities of all sizes.

Being a Professional Programmer | Matthias Endler

Many professional programmers also work for consulting companies at client sites as contractors. Licensing is not typically required to work as a programmer, although professional certifications are commonly held by programmers. Programming is widely considered a profession although some [ who? Programmers' work varies widely depending on the type of business for which they are writing programs. For example, the instructions involved in updating financial records are very different from those required to duplicate conditions on an aircraft for pilots training in a flight simulator.

Understanding the Professional Programmer

Simple programs can be written in a few hours, more complex ones may require more than a year of work, while others are never considered 'complete' but rather are continuously improved as long as they stay in use. Programmers write programs according to the specifications determined primarily by more senior programmers and by systems analysts. After the design process is complete, it is the job of the programmer to convert that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow.

The programmer codes these instructions in one of many programming languages. Different programming languages are used depending on the purpose of the program.

COBOL , for example, is commonly used for business applications that typically run on mainframe and midrange computers, whereas Fortran is used in science and engineering. Programmers generally know more than one programming language and, because many languages are similar, they often can learn new languages relatively easily. In practice, programmers often are referred to by the language they know, e. When making changes to the source code that programs are made up of, programmers need to make other programmers aware of the task that the routine is to perform. They do this by inserting comments in the source code so that others can understand the program more easily and by documenting their code.

To save work, programmers often use libraries of basic code that can be modified or customized for a specific application. This approach yields more reliable and consistent programs and increases programmers' productivity by eliminating some routine steps. Programmers test a program by running it and looking for bugs errors.

As they are identified, the programmer usually makes the appropriate corrections, then rechecks the program until an acceptably low level and severity of bugs remain. This process is called testing and debugging. These are important parts of every programmer's job. Programmers may continue to fix these problems throughout the life of a program. Rather, it comes down to determination. At what stage of life are you at?

What is a Computer Programmer?

But even if this is the case, you need to remember that during your career you will be constantly learning, because information technology continues evolving at a rapid rate. Sometimes people realize that their current 9-to-5 is not what they want to do for the rest of their life. An online course or bootcamp offers everyone something, from an introduction to new subject matter to in-depth explanation of specific programming languages, and that is the true beauty of these courses.

The fact that you are reading this is already a testament of your passion. What comes next, will be a testament of your determination. Read about the 10 Steps for Switching to a Career in Coding. Great article!

Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer Understanding the Professional Programmer
Understanding the Professional Programmer

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