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Programmer

What’s the difference between a programmer and a software developer? Well, programmers write code. A software developer works with clients and develops a solution or product that suits their needs.

A programmer often works alone using a variety of computer languages, such as Visual Basic (.Net), Java (J2EE), XML and C++ to write software programmes. They modify the programme designs made by engineers and developers into a language that the computer can understand and follow.

If you are interested in a career as a programmer, visit Qualifax (www.qualifax.ie) to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Software Developer
  • Systems Programmer
  • Applications Programmer
  • Hardware Programmer

What the job involves 

  • Use programming languages to write new programmes
  • Expand and update existing programmes
  • Run tests to find any errors or bugs
  • Work with software developers to help create a product
  • Write and design coding flow charts and models
  • Redesign programmes to suit other platforms

How your career can develop

Opportunities for promotion are good; a background in programming is valued for most IT careers as it provides a solid backbone of knowledge. Programmers with a flair for teamwork and communication often end up becoming project managers.

Why it matters?

Computer programmers are at the forefront of designing elaborate artificial intelligence systems, crossing over into the fields of robotics and computer science. 

Skills

  • Mathematical aptitude and strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent IT and coding skills
  • Excellent organisational, time and project management skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • An understanding of the latest trends and their role in a commercial environment
  • Teamwork skills because most projects require input from individuals with different roles
  • Self-development skills to keep-up-to-date with fast-changing trends
  • Professional approach to time, costs and deadlines

Typical employers

  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Educational institutions
  • Banks
  • Specialist software development houses
  • Consulting firms
  • Telecommunications firms
  • Public sector organisations
  • Self-employed

Typical employers

  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Educational institutions
  • Banks
  • Specialist software development houses
  • Consulting firms
  • Telecommunications firms
  • Public sector organisations
  • Self-employed

Typical salary 

  • Graduate/Starting         €28,000 to €30,000
  • Senior/Potential           up to €75,000 for experienced Java or C++ coders

Typical qualifications 

Degrees in computer programming, computing, information technology, software development and software engineering are common gateways to the profession.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course or general computing/IT certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at Careersportal.ie

Further information