Computer Programmer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Computer Programmers Career Video



Creates, modifies, and tests the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Works from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

This career is part of the Information Technology cluster Programming and Software Development pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Writes, analyzes, reviews, and rewrites programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Corrects errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Performs or directs revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
  • Writes, updates, and maintains computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Consults with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
  • Conducts trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • Prepares detailed workflow charts and diagrams that describe input, output, and logical operation, and convert them into a series of instructions coded in a computer language.
  • Compiles and writes documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
  • Consults with and assists computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.
  • Performs systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work

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