Application Programmers Career Information
What an Application Programmers does
As the doctor decides on the kind of inductions according to the patient needs, similarly the Application Programmers also write user-friendly programs in compliance with the customer needs. The programmes may be divided into general-purpose programs for a large and growing number of users or specific programs for individual use.
Application Programmers are truly the wizards of software operations. They are responsible for the entire running of the system as they are the ones who write, test programs, integrate them, evolve complex supporting documentation and maintain the detailed instructions, that computers must follow to perform their functions.
Application Programmers tell the computer what to do, such as which information to identify and access, how to process it, and what equipment to use. Conceiving, designing and revising the entire existing packaged software, from time to time are some of the foundamental tasks performed by them.
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. Application Programmers then code these instructions in a conventional programming language, such as COBOL or one of the most advanced object-oriented languages such as Java, C++, or Smalltalk.
Different programming languages are used depending on the purpose of the program. Many Application Programmers update, repair, modify, and expand existing programs. For this purpose, they sometimes also use computer-assisted software engineering (CASE) tools to automate much of the coding process.
This also yields more reliable and consistent programs and increases programmers' productivity by eliminating some routine steps. Programmers test a program by running it, to ensure that the instructions are correct and it produces the desired information. If errors do occur, the programmer must make the appropriate change and recheck the program until it produces the correct results.
This process is called debugging. Application Programmers may continue to fix these problems throughout the life of a program. Application Programmers are often known as Computer Software Engineers, System Analysts, Computer Scientists, Database Administrator or Application Engineers
Tasks and Duties of an Application Programmers :
• Create Database tables
• Update, modify and maintain these tables
• Write simple SQL queries and embed them in an application program
• Optimize SQL queries
• Recognize Database objects and keywords
• Implement simple level security for Database tables
Depending on their interests, Application Programmers can specialize in:
• Computer games
• Operating systems
• Graphical user interfaces
• Financial applications
Application programmers typically know multiple programming languages and have experience with multiple operating systems. They typically specialize in one of two broad categories of software:
• Application Software is what most people are familiar with. Application software includes programs like computer games, MS Word, Quicken, Lotus 1-2-3, Oracle, and TurboTax.
• System Software provides the interface between the computer hardware and software applications. Systems software includes device drivers, utilities, networking software, compilers, and operating systems such as MS Windows, MacOS, and Unix.
Opportunities for Advancement for Application Programmers are in the form of:
• Technical Lead
• Systems Analyst
• Software Architect
• Project Manager
• Software Development Manager
• R&D Manager
Graduates have the necessary foundation to develop successful careers as application programmers, computing professionals, system programmers, web-masters, or technical support specialists. Graduates will also be equipped with specialist skills to allow them to be promoted to senior positions such as system analysts, web-development managers, application development managers or junior management positions as technical support managers. Application Programmers may be employed either in the public or private sector
Beginning Programmers might support an existing program rather than develop new software. This can include fixing problems, serving as the "lab" contact for the sales and technical support people within the company, and helping your company's field personnel solve problems encountered while installing the software at a customer site.
Technical Leads provide the technical direction for their team and assist the other team members with technically complex issues. They also evaluate new tools and technologies.
Project Managers lead and manage a team of software engineers and interface with other departments such as marketing and quality assurance.
The most demanding positions of work for Application Programmers are as:
• Technical Marketing Engineer
• Technical Support Engineer
• System Administrator
• Web Page Designer
With companies turning more and more to contractors to supplement their permanent workforce, contract jobs are usually available for experienced programmers. Application Programmers are also likely to gain jobs as network engineers and administrators in the areas of telecommunications system/network installation, maintenance, network operation and administration. Application Programmers can also find opportunities in the field of technical marketing.
Here are some areas and companies where you find work as an Information Technologist:
• Computer hardware design, development, and manufacturing companies like IBM, CISCO System, Hewlett Packard, Apple, etc.
• Operating and system software development companies like Microsoft, Sun, Computer Associates, CISCO Systems, Novel Netware, etc.
• Numerous Application and system software development companies as well as System Consultancy companies like Infosys, Satyam Computer Associates, HCL Infosystem, TCS, etc.
• Companies specialised in telecommunication, networking and are developing telecommunication hardware and software like Synacar etc.
• User companies like HLL, Reliance, etc. and numerous medium and small-scale companies.
• Other medium and small time users such as schools, departmental stores etc.
NASSCOM predicts an exponential growth in the software industry at an annual rate of about 60 per cent over the next decade. And software export is growing at a growth rate of 57 per cent p.a., with future projections pegged at a growth rate of 60 per cent.
The boom is not restricted to the software development sector, but the Information & Technology enabled service sector (like Medical Transcription) is also going to be Rs 81,000 crore by the year 2008.
All this means, there will be a huge demand for qualified Information & Technology professionals over the next decade and beyond.
Moreover the Information & Technology industry is actually global with job possibilities in USA, Southeast Asia, Japan, Germany and other countries.
Abilities & Traits Required
• Attention to detail
• Ability to learn technical concepts and tools quickly
• Flexibility to accommodate changing assignments, schedules and computer environments
• Ability to work under pressure
• Excellent problem-solving skills
• Ability to stick with something until it works
• Able to work on one's own
• Able to work effectively with others who may want to do things differently
• Requires working in a seated position, looking at a computer screen for prolonged periods
• Skill Maintenance Requirement
This technology is changing rapidly, and one must stay current to be effective. It is very common to use new tools on each new programming project. Remaining current can be accomplished by reading industry publications and books as they come out, attending conferences, or taking short courses. Online, one can maintain their skills by subscribing to relevant news groups and web newsletters, or by taking training online.
It requires students to have a basic programming knowledge, understanding of Database concepts and elementary arithmetic skills. Students should also have a working knowledge of basic HTML. Competence is required in a relevant programming language (such as C, C++, COBOL, Prolog, and Pascal), operating system (such as Windows 98 or XP, Windows NT or 2000, and Unix), and sometimes database (such as MS Access, SQL, Sybase, Ingress and Oracle). Usually a BSc Computer Science or a Bachelor's degree in another field along with a Certificate or AA degree in programming is required.
Computer professionals enjoy a high level of remuneration at work. Most of them command good salaries.
Median annual earnings of computer programmers were Rs. 400000 – 500000.
The middle 50 percent usually earns between Rs. 250000 - 35000 a year. The low-income group earns between Rs. 100000 – 200000.