Computer Programmer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Computer Programmer, or Programmer writes and tests the code that computer software is developed from. Their duties include writing programs, troubleshooting code and inspecting the source of glitches. 


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Computer Programmer duties and responsibilities

A Computer Programmer is responsible for planning and then writing the algorithms of computer software. They troubleshoot software and ensure that programs are easy to use and adaptable. A Computer Programmer’s key duties and responsibilities include:

  • Writing new computer codes to fit existing software, apps or programs
  • Sourcing existing code from open code libraries or databases developed by a company
  • Thoroughly testing computer programs and recommending updates or changes before release
  • Training new users to use updated programs or hardware
  • Debugging computer programs experiencing faults and glitches
  • Developing security systems and procedures to protect users from hacks and programs from viruses
  • Keeping up-to-date on new developments and advances in coding and software development
  • Ensuring that all code and software complies with data protection laws and security regulations 
  • Balance work day between multiple projects and respond immediately to tech support requests from staff


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Computer Programmer Job Description Examples:


Example 1

Melbec Microbiology Ltd are currently recruiting for a part-time Excel and Access Database basic computer programmer to develop basic laboratory reporting tools. 1 year fixed term contract specialising is Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access for our Lancashire based laboratory. Melbec Microbiology is family owned, rapidly growing company who are looking to expand their technical team. We specialise in the cosmetic and clinical sectors supported by an experienced team of scientist. As part an expansion programme we are recruiting a number of new roles to support our growth programme. The role is to support our digital lab strategy. We work closely with our customers and have a strong customer service ethic which the successful candidate must maintain through technical support. *Key responsibilities: *Excel and Access Database basic Computer Programmer * Will lead the development and implementation of the digital strategy. * Will develop a number a database reporting tools in Excel and Access. * Work with staff to develop efficient digital tools to support the management laboratories data. * Basic IT support for the company. * Plan IT work programmes and deliver in a timely time frame. *Knowledge and experience: * * Experience in basic programming in Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel essential * The successful candidate must be a positive, self-motivated individual who works well as part of a busy team. * Completer finisher essential. * Friendly personality * Competitive salary Please state your current salary in your application Job Type: Part-time Contract length: 12 months Part-time hours: 20 per week (flexible) Ideally office based Job Types: Part-time, Contract Salary: per year Schedule: * Monday to Friday Education: * A-Level or equivalent (preferred)

What does a Computer Programmer do?

A Computer Programmer is responsible for developing computer codes using multiple languages. A Computer Programmer makes interaction with mobile apps, operating systems and computer games possible. They do this by writing code from original or copied algorithms. Computer Programmers provide support for software programs. They debug systems and improve user experience via updates. 

A Senior Computer Programmer is also responsible for project management. They track the quality of every software process created by a development team. 


Computer Programmer skills and qualifications

A Computer Programmer needs excellent technical skills in order to develop programs. They need knowledge of the most popular computer software and hardware systems. A successful Computer Programmer candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications such as an analytical mind, attention to detail and problem-solving skills. They also typically have:

  • Knowledge of coding languages, including Python, C++, SQL or PHP
  • Web development skills in HTML, CSS or JavaScript
  • Open-source development skills through Apache, Mozilla or Linux source code
  • Extensive knowledge of computer operating systems, including Microsoft and Apple systems
  • Ability to deconstruct, then accurately repair code when troubleshooting 
  • Ability to work on projects as part of a team alongside other Computer Programmers, Coders, Hardware Engineers and Software Developers
  • Ability to translate complex programming language into an easy to understand format
  • Application of Certified Ethical Hacker procedures


Computer Programmer experience requirements

Computer Programmers need a minimum of three years of experience working in the IT industry. Employers should look for candidates with experience gained from working within software development roles. Senior Computer Programmers will need at least five years of experience in the IT industry, and at least two of those years need to be spent working as a Computer Programmer. Senior Computer Programmers also require a minimum of two years of experience leading a team of Programmers, overseeing projects and delegating tasks. 


Computer Programmer education and training requirements

Computer Programmers need to demonstrate a strong academic background in IT. As a minimum, employers tend to look for candidates with strong results in maths and IT at GCSE and A-levels. Their proficiency in programming languages can be gained independently or through work placements. Competitive applicants, however, hold a degree in computer science, computer engineering or computer programming. 

Employers should consider candidates with degrees in analytical subjects. Maths and physics become helpful when the applicant also has independent programming knowledge. 


Computer Programmer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Computer Programmer is £29,312 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company. 


Job description samples for similar positions

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Computer Programmer job description FAQs


What makes for a good Computer Programmer job description?

A good Computer Programmer job description needs to outline the specific programming languages that are needed, so be specific for example state if your role needs an applicant already fluent in C++ rather than Python. Opportunities to learn new languages can attract applicants who want to develop their skills and knowledge. 


What are the different types of Computer Programmers?

Computer Programmers are needed to develop user-friendly apps and software for banks, supermarkets and government departments. 


What's the difference between a Computer Programmer and a Computer Engineer?

A Computer Programmer focuses on specific sections of code within a development project. A Computer Engineer has broader scope for entire computer networks or computer systems, rather than specific parts of a system or project.  


What's the difference between a Computer Programmer and a Computer Technician?

A Computer Programmer is concerned with the development of new software or the improvement of existing programmes. A Computer Technician is responsible for ensuring that computer hardware, such as monitors, routers or desktops are functioning. They also carry out repairs and diagnostics on networks and computer systems, rather than developing them. 

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