Computer Programmer I want to be a Computer Programmer because I want the flexibility to work in a non-office environment, with no supervision. It gives me the ability to work the hours that are necessary to accomplish my current project. This means that if I wake up at noon with an idea on how to accomplish a stubborn problem, I can go to my computer, in my shorts, and start my job. Being a computer programmer will give me the opportunity to be creative and solve problems at the same time. I think being a computer programmer is something that is fun, challenging, and rewarding. It would be great to receive a large paycheck for something that I love to do. The computer industry is the largest growing industry, and there is a high demand for qualified programmers. On a recent college tour of Cornell University Computer Science Department, I learned that the average graduate of this department earns $ 54,000 a year. A computer programmer is a person who writes the coding of a program, in a language a computer can understand and follow. A program must be written in an exact and precise way, with absolutely no errors, for a computer to understand and execute the directions. An example would be telling a computer to "reed data", a computer would not be able to execute this command. A simple misspelling of one word, can make a program worthless. Errors such as these must be identified and corrected before a program can successfully accomplish its assigned task. There are many types of jobs a computer programmer can do. One is designing programs, or portions of programs. The primary job here is to analyse what the program is supposed to do, and write the code for it. Some problems need to be creatively solved. Most times, a program is so large, that you must work in teams, and divide the work. Working as a team, programs are designed with the end user in mind and are made as simple as possible. Another job that is common, is testing the software. No matter how good the programmer is, there will always be bugs in the first version of a program. Testers are needed to run the program many times, looking for errors. When possible, the tester will correct any problems he finds. If the tester cannot fix the error, he must be able to exactly describe the problem to the programmer.

Other programmers maintain software after it is produced. Because of continual hardware upgrades, a program must be modified to keep up with current standards. Errors found after a program has been produced must be corrected. In addition, many programs need to be specifically tailored to a user's needs. Programs may also need to be rewritten in different computer languages, so they run on other systems. Programmers may work for companies temporarily, as consultants. They may be assigned the task of upgrading a system, or setting up networks. Some companies hire freelance programmers to create databases, or revise current ones. In addition, programmers can get a job designing Internet web pages. This is the type of programmer I wish to be. Although a degree in computer science is an advantage for getting a job in this field, it is not necessary. However, the difference in starting salaries is almost $ 20,000 if you have a four-year degree. Although, if you can prove to an employer that you have the necessary knowledge, experience, and are the most competent for the position, you may have the edge over someone with a degree but no experience. You have to know computers very well. Knowing more than one programming language is good, especially C++ or Assembly. These are currently the most popular languages used. Personality and self motivation are also important for programmers because they often work very late into the night and must be able to concentrate to solve the problems of the program they are working on. Continuing your education on the latest innovations in the computer industry is necessary if you are to maintain your skills as a programmer. To achieve this goal, I am currently taking a programming class called BASIC 2. This is an advanced class on structured programming in the BASIC language. BASIC is an acronym for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instructional Code. This computer language is the most frequently known, and is the easiest to understand. Next semester I will be taking the computer languages C++ and Pascal, which are more powerful computer languages that are used by professionals. After graduating from high school, I plan to attend a major university that offers a major in computer science. A few examples of these colleges are Carnegie Mellon University, MIT, and Cornell University.

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