Programmers design and manufacture software programs that make computers work. They use their creativity to craft software that solves one or many problems. They have vast computing and coding experience across various languages such as SQL, Perl, XML, PHP, HTML, and many others created every few years. We compiled some of our top recommendations to assimilate your programming knowledge into a compelling resume.
Let’s begin by having a look at the three standard resume formats.
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Job Duties of a Programmer
Computer programmers have critical responsibilities in most companies, especially those focused on technology. The business environment of most companies worldwide now profoundly relies on the innovation, efficiency, and practical qualities of computer software for many functions. Therefore, considering this worldwide competition level, programmers’ work profile now requires substantial and diverse computer systems expertise. Moreover, a computer programmer should recognize and redefine any hardware limitations that could impact software design.
A typical job description of programmers includes responsibilities such as:
Identifying and resolving issues like fixing bugs in existing code and improving system software quality by developing the standard, reliable operating procedures.
Coding, updating, and testing programming software and mobile applications.
Proposing, designing, and implementing recommendations to the programming systems.
Liaising with colleagues to implement technical designs and scrutinize the codes prepared by another engineer.
Maintaining and improving existing code queries and peer review for every code alteration.
Developing and deploying new codes and applications using novel technologies, such as integrating AI in software development.
Providing test, documentation, and training to support third-party software products.
Developing, managing, and maintaining database instructions through algorithms.
Programmer Median Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a computer programmer’s median salary in 2021 is $41.61 per hour, at a rate that profoundly outpaces inflation.
Top Skills for Programmers
These days, businesses rely on software for many functions — from automated traffic control systems to complex manufacturing processes. Computer programmers are crucial in the development of software that provides real solutions to people. They are also involved in the entire process of the software development lifecycle. Programmers address the main issues, analyze business needs, design, test, and develop programs to meet those needs.
To learn programming languages, you can pursue various related free or paid courses such as Python for Everybody, Introduction to Programming in C, Coding for Everyone: C and C++, and Object-Oriented Programming in Java. There are also many bootcamps to teach you these languages in a short and intensive amount of time. But learning and practicing programming over and over is essential to make you better. Understanding the basic fundamental concepts, learning data structure and algorithms, and building projects will strengthen your problem-solving skills.
- Discovering concepts and applying principles to the problems: The programmer should understand concepts like coding and mathematical programming. It is an elementary skill for programmers. This ability is beneficial when writing cascading style sheets (CSS) or fixing bugs for which styles are applied to a web page’s top level and then cascaded to the other elements on the page.
- Mathematical expertise: Several aspects of programming like competitive coding, stacks, queues, and lists require an adept understanding of calculus, algebra, and statistics beyond the elementary level. A candidate can quickly get expertise in high-school or graduation level mathematics or computer science courses.
- Demonstrate analytical and critical thinking capacity: Problem resolution is an innate quality required in an efficient programmer. Code fixes complex problems, but fixing errors and faulty code lines requires critical thinking and attention to detail. Therefore, identifying the issue and coming up with the most efficient explanation to figure out the issues via programming requires an analytical approach.
- Practical communication ability: Programmers usually spend their time working alone on the issues (or using Google a lot to look for solutions). However, complex and large projects demand collaboration with other programmers and team members to assess code, graphics, and further develop interpersonal skills. In that scenario, excellent communication skills enable a programmer to work with others and share thoughts and solutions.
- Writing skills: Programmers don’t do a lot of writing apart from code, but it does come in handy when you have to create a draft of how a new feature works, how it will be used, and why it needs incorporation into the system. It will also lead to better and direct communication between the team and executives. Having a good base in writing and communication will help develop a better structure when coding. As “code is not written for computers,” it is written to be interpreted by machines as instructions.
- Time and task management: To manage multiple projects and duties simultaneously, you must know what is a priority and what isn’t for the workday. When looking into programming, time management is a unique skill needed when last-minute tasks and developments may come into play, and some may be of higher priority than others.
- Full-stack development: As a full-stack developer, you will manage projects, help programmers through the creation process, and aid everywhere between front-end and back-end development. It takes years to get to this programming stage; Full-stack developers have a considerable amount of knowledge and experience, problem-solving and troubleshooting
Educational Requirements for Programmers
DegreesA degree will strengthen skills that programmers may have developed through some courses in high school or years of self-taught tactics. It will explain detailed processes and new developments in the industry. A degree will help you identify what part of programming best suits your skills and interests. Most universities have a generalized computer science course as part of their science curriculum; others usually have more specialized majors in tech-heavy regions.
A degree in computer science (CS) is a common choice among aspiring programmers. Students prefer bachelor’s degrees to attain proficiency in computer programming, mathematics, and coding principles that underpin the art principles. Bachelor’s of science in Computer Information Systems, Information technology, or Software Engineering are also acceptable degrees to further develop into a workforce’s programming role. Moreover, a master’s degree is also available in the exact domains specializing in the computer sciences major.
A formal CS degree helps in learning discrete mathematics, a branch of mathematics that deals with objects that have distinct values, computer organization, computer architecture, algorithms, programming, and software designing. Beyond coursework, degree programs conduct a sometimes complex final project that integrates learning throughout the degree.
Eminent universities like New York University, Yale University, and the California Institute of Technology are some of the best options to start your computer programming career. But there are also many universities and junior colleges that offer good computer program courses and majors that can help you get a good job.
CertificationsYou can prove your language mastery and skills by seeking out and completing certifications such as a Programming Language Certification or Associate degree at multiple universities as online courses such as UCLA’s Applications Programming Certificate. Various software companies and professional computing institutes also offer certification programs such as Amazon and Google. Graduates often pursue certification in programming to augment a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting or finance. Computer science certification covers programming logic, system designing, programming languages, database administration, and structured query language (SQL). There are other certifications like Solution Developer and Software Testing that guide through the testing life-cycle and setup.
- Universities and colleges: Eminent universities like Stanford and MIT offer online and offline computer programming methodology, data abstraction and languages, including Java and C++. Students become thoroughly enmeshed with training and learning during the one to two years of course tenure.
There are hundreds of programs offered worldwide for every branch of programming in front-end, back-end, and systems engineering, as well as through general courses if you want to sharpen or refresh skills on your resume.
- Industry-connected companies: Top-notch information technology industries like Oracle and Microsoft cater their certifications in programming and development designed for their systems but can be helpful knowledge for multiple tasks within the industry for experienced professionals. One of the best known, Google,offers a Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certification that allows you to study a specific course alongside one of the most-used languages in tech. These specific certifications allow employers to trust your skillset freely.
- For-profit educational platforms: Currently, hundreds of online programming courses by companies like edX and Udemy provide computer science languages certificates from top universities worldwide. There are also intense bootcamps such as Coding Temple and App Academy that offer specific language courses, including Java and Python, and can be fully paid after being employed. Other bootcamp, such as those from Codesmith and Holberton, offer full-time courses on software basics such as programming, algorithms, databases, and system engineering.
- Member associations: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has three certifications at three different levels: associate, professional and masters for Software Developers. This is useful for programming professionals because they teach four other areas of expertise: iOS software requirements, design, construction, and testing.
Another association is the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). It offers certifications to improve specialized sectors within the programming and development of software systems. The certificates are more varied across more spectrums of code and programming, including Information Technology Certified Associate, Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer, and an award-winning Cybersecurity Practitioner Certification.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) also has excellent accreditation programs that allow programmers studying or working in academia, the industry itself, or as a young apprentice to approve your scheme. Through this approval, you are “quality assured” and professionally registered.
Even if some member associations do not offer specific certifications, we suggest you connect with them to have access to their vast academic knowledge banks.
The ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) has an e-Learning library with more than “55,000 books, courses, conference videos, learning paths, tutorials, case studies, and other learning resources.” The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) has dozens of events and resources to learn from if you’re interested in heading in the AI direction. And the Computing Research Association (CRA) has several educational resources, such as its Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP), which produces reports about increasing ethnic and racial diversity in computing and research.
Programmer Resume-Writing Tips
Getting a job as a computer programmer isn’t easy; it requires developing applications and debugging software. Therefore, a powerful resume must highlight your skills and knowledge of programming languages. Following these tips will help you in getting a good programming job:
- Start with a compelling programmer summary: In today’s competitive field, managers despise reading countless resumes with similar skill sets. Therefore, a persuasive resume summary helps you stand out from the crowd and immediately get noticed. Write a captivating paragraph about your skills, education, experience and knowledge that can speak on your behalf.
- Jam-pack your resume with programmer skills: Computer programming is deeply technical. The programmer needs various technical skills such as scripting, SAS, Perl, Python, Cobol, etc., in their resume. Adding some soft skills like collaboration, communication, and adaptability will show on your resume that you are comfortable working in a team environment. Moreover, avoid exaggerating your skills, and instead mention how long you have been using those languages.
- Create a programming projects section: If you are a fresher or have less professional experience, adding a dedicated projects section of your projects would help you stand out. If you are a college student, include projects you completed either for classes or in your spare time. Adding this information has become the industry standard for programmers with less or no professional experience.
- Let the numbers speak on your behalf: Since programming is highly technical, recruiters found it challenging to understand the programmer resume’s intricate meanings. They want to estimate your knowledge and experience in terms of complex numbers. Quantifying your achievements in numbers helps in getting the job. There are many ways to turn your expertise into complex numbers, such as “implementing a new programming system, saving the turnaround time by 15%.”
An additional tip, group your programming skills by type. Use bullet points dedicated to languages, operating systems, and tools to the recruiters.
What are the essential elements of programming?
A good programmer must be proficient in the essential elements of programming. Just like human languages, programming languages also follow grammar, called syntax. However, certain essential program code elements are common for all programming languages. Programming environment, data types, variables, keywords, logical and arithmetic operators, loops, and functions.
How long does it take to become a computer programmer?
The time required to become a computer programmer depends on the educational background chosen to pursue the career. A conventional degree provides universal education; it takes around three to four years to start a professional programmer career. However, short-term online certifications and self-teaching options are also available, but it is essential to know short term learning programs are not very rewarding.