A computer system needs to be designed to meet the specific needs of the business or organisation using it. It works by following instructions contained in a program or suite of programs. The programmer, often working as a member of a team, designs the programs, writes them in a programming language and then tests and modifies them until they are suitable for the task and the users they were intended for. They also document the programmes - that is they write comments and instructions so that people know how to use and maintain them.
Most of the work is done in an office during normal office hours. Self-employed programmers and those employed by a computer services bureau will work on-site until the job is finished and this may involve travelling and staying away from home for periods of time.
Programmers need technical skills and in-depth understanding of information technology systems. They should have a methodical and analytical approach to problem solving and pay great attention to detail. They will probably be working as part of a team so they need to be able to get along with and communicate well with colleagues. They must be able to meet deadlines and tackle problems and setbacks as they arise.
Other skills required include; creating software from detailed designs; data analysis and database design, designing and testing the preferred information technology solution.
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