Applications Programmer | IT Careers

Career Path, Salary, Qualifications, Responsibilities

Responsibilities: What does an Applications programmer do?

Simply put, applications programmers write the code for the software used in computers and other electronic devices.

They create software applications by writing code that is error-free, maintainable, and scalable. They also test and evaluate applications, and tweak and improve applications to make them user-friendly.

Other tasks may include interacting with customers to find out their requirements, preparing software and training manuals, and training users.

As an applications programmer, your first task would often be to find out your project requirements at meetings with the manager, the analyst, and most importantly, the client.

This would enable you to confirm the input and output information that you need in order to create the software code for your project.

A more-than-basic knowledge of the domain your organisation is involved in would help very much, and it would be good idea to read up topics that make you feel like a fish out of water.

When you have all the work-flow information, you would turn this into code, and program computers by entering the code. Testing whether your application is running smoothly would probably be the next item on your to-do list. Chances are that you will find glitches, and you will need to fix them by modifying your code. Once you have created an application, you will need to prepare a user manual explaining the features of the application.

Applications programmes are called upon to suggest improvements to the software in their organisations or advise software upgrades. They may also be deployed for software evaluation or as trainers.

Qualifications

Generally speaking, you may not get past the employer’s reception desk without a degree in computer science or another IT degree.

Of course, just as important is to go armed with excellent programming skills and software development fundamentals.

You will also have to be familiar with general software and programming languages such as Java. Good algorithmic knowledge is essential.

You would also require good oral and written communication skills and should enjoy being a team player. A meticulous approach to work and a logical mind are other personal attributes that can make you employable.

You would have to constantly update your knowledge about your company’s business domain—financial security systems, for example.

Salary for Application programmers

Computer and IT consultancy firms, engineering companies, and service industries would be your typical employers, besides financial institutions, telecom majors, and tour and travel organisations.

According to websites giving salary data, the annual earnings of an applications programme can be anywhere between Rs. 1.23 lakh and Rs. 11 lakh in India ($42,000 – $96,000 in the US).

Your work environment and facilities would be very good to excellent, but this would depend on the corporate culture in your organisation.

You might often face extremely tight deadlines and find yourself working throughout, without your quota of forty winks.

Career path for Application programmers

As a fresher, your first designation would be software trainee or technical associate and you would be offered training in computer languages and fundamentals.

You may progress to positions of junior software engineer, senior software engineer, technical analyst, and then a team leader.

You can hope to be promoted to project manager and, eventually, delivery manager. Experience and domain knowledge would be the key drivers of your career.

Job outlook

With advances in information technology and networking, jobs for applications programmers are expected to increase at a higher-than-average rate in India and at about 8 percent in the US.

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