What Does a Developer Do?

A computer programmer, sometimes known as a software engineer, a computer professional or simply a coder, is someone who creates computer code. The term computer programmer may refer to an expert in one field of computers, or even to an expert with many different skills who codes not just for PCs but also for other types of machines such as mobile phones and digital signage. Most programmers work for major software companies, helping create applications that help make the company’s products easy to use or help customers use them more easily.

In the computer software industry, though, the term programmer refers to someone who designs and modifies computer code. If the modification is simply a cosmetic change such as a button or logo, then it may not be considered changing the code at all. If the change is something more radical, such as adding a new file or class, then the coder will have to go through formal coding processes with the customer. It may be necessary for the programmer to pass an examination in order to be considered for employment with a specific company.

Professional developers can be independent contractors whose work is done only for profit, but most programmers work for a programming firm in some capacity. Some programmers write computer code strictly for fun, using whatever code they feel like working on at any given time. Still, most programmers work at writing large amounts of code, which requires a great deal of knowledge and experience in the field.

In contrast to the designer/developer, the programmer has much more responsibility and typically has a job with deadlines. Programmers write the bulk of the coding used in computer programs. They are also usually required to test the program before it is made available to the masses. This means that programmers must know a lot about computers and a lot about testing because the testing process is the final testing phase before a program goes live.

A developer might have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, or computer software engineering. Most developer jobs require a master’s degree, although a few jobs actually require a doctorate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Developers are often associated with a firm that writes applications by hand. In these cases, an engineer handles the coding while the coder does the hands-off work, like testing.

A software engineer is not required to have a bachelor’s degree, although some do prefer to have one. Software engineers are responsible for adding new software to existing systems. They are also involved in troubleshooting problems related to the software. Software engineers are essential components of the information technology industry. Some programmers begin as software engineers while many others begin as architects or designers. To become a successful programmer, one must exhibit great entrepreneurial skills, creativity, and exceptional technical abilities.