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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Salary Range
€23k - €100k
Job Zone

In Brief...

Writes, edits and alters Application Software Programs for computers.

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Skills

  • Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

In Summary - Computer Programmer

Career Sectors

Computer Programmers typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Internet of Things
Computers & ICT
Software & Programming
Computers & ICT

Videos & Interviews

Jason Ruane, Computer Programmer

Jason works as a Computer Programmer for Intel. He went to DCU (Dublin City University) to complete a BSc in Applied Physics, from where he went to immediate employment with Intel. Since then he has completed a Masters in Applied computing at DIT. Both courses have prepared him very well for his current position.

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Computer Programmer

Applications programmers write programs that instruct a computer to perform tasks such as controlling company stock or updating staff records. They may write new programs or adapt existing ones. They may work on one program or a number ('suite') of programs.  
 
Programmers who work for a large firm or organisation may be responsible for maintaining and updating one or more programs. This requires them to solve any problems that individual users have, and adapt the program to fit in with any changes in the way they work.  
 
When they write a new application program, programmers follow a specification, or 'spec', provided by a systems analyst. The spec describes what the program should do. It may be very precise, in which case the programmer has to follow it exactly, or it may be quite 'loose', which allows the programmer to be more creative. Each spec shows a series of steps, which the programmer translates into computer code. Once programmers have developed a new program, they have to check it very carefully for faults ('bugs') and carefully test it using mock data before it is ready for the final user.  
 
It is becoming more common for applications programmers to be responsible for duties that systems analysts have carried out in the past. Where this is the case, employers may use the title 'analyst programmer' for this career.  
 
Applications programmers often work in teams, with each person contributing to the program or suite of programs.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
  • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to be sure they will produce the desired information and that the instructions are correct.
  • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific jobs such as tracking inventory, storing or retrieving data, or controlling other equipment.
  • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
  • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
  • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
  • Perform systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software as a systems programmer.
  • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
  • Prepare 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.
  • Consult with and assist computer operators or system analysts to define and resolve problems in running computer programs.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Interests - Computer Programmer

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Investigative

The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Qualities

You will need to be analytical and logical in your approach to problem solving. Attention to detail is essential. You will need to be patient because an important part of the work involves looking for faults in the program. You will need to be able to work towards meeting deadlines therefore you may often have to work under pressure.  
 
Programmers must enjoy working on their own; you must be able to concentrate for long periods of time. You will also need good communication and teamwork skills because much of the work is project based. You also have to keep up to date with new and changing computer languages.

Entry Requirements - Computer Programmer

Pay & Salary - Computer Programmer

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €23k - €100k

PHP: 25 - 75
Java: 30 - 95
Python: 25 - 100
Ruby / Ruby on Rails: 30 - 72
.NET/C#: 30 - 95
Scala: 25 - 100
Oracle/SQL: 35 - 85
Sharepoint: 35 - 90
Andriod/iOs Mobile Apps: 23 - 90
Front End Developer: 30- 70

Data Source(s):
Sigmar / Brightwater / CPL / Robert Walters / Abrivia

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.

Labour Market Updates - Computer Programmer

As with programmers, the labour market indicators examined point to an occupation in high demand with strong employment growth and evidence that employers are having difficulties filling vacancies.

National Skills Bulletin 2018

Useful Contacts - Computer Programmer

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