programmer, computer programmer, developer, dev, coder, or software engineer is a person who creates computer software. The term computer programmer can refer to a specialist in one area of computer programming or to a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software. One who practices or professes a formal approach to programming may also be known as a programmer analyst.
A programmer's primary computer language (Assembly, COBOL, C, C++, C#, Java, Lisp, Python, etc.) is often prefixed to these titles, and those who work in a web environment often prefix their titles with web.
A range of occupations, including: software developer, web developer, mobile applications developer, embedded firmware developer, software engineer, computer scientist, or software analyst, while they do involve programming, also require a range of other skills. The use of the simple term programmer for these positions is sometimes considered an insulting or derogatory oversimplification.
The first person to run a program on a functioning modern electronically based computer was computer scientist Konrad Zuse, in 1941.
International Programmers' Day is celebrated annually on 7 January. In 2009, the government of Russia decreed a professional annual holiday known as Programmers' Day to be celebrated on 13 September (12 September in leap years). It had also been an unofficial international holiday before that..
Computer programmers write, test, debug, and maintain the detailed instructions, called computer programs, that computers must follow to perform their functions. Programmers also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Many technical innovations in programming — advanced computing technologies and sophisticated new languages and programming tools — have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today. Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending on the organization.
Programmers work in many settings, including corporate information technology ("IT") departments, big software companies, small service firms and government entities of all sizes. Many professional programmers also work for consulting companies at client sites as contractors. License is not typically required to work as a programmer, although professional certifications are commonly held by programmers. Programming is widely considered a profession (although some authorities disagree on the grounds that only careers with legal licensing requirements count as a profession).
Programmers' work varies widely depending on the type of business for which they are writing programs. For example, the instructions involved in updating financial records are very different from those required to duplicate conditions on an aircraft for pilots training in a flight simulator. Simple programs can be written in a few hours, more complex ones may require more than a year of work, while others are never considered 'complete' but rather are continuously improved as long as they stay in use. In most cases, several programmers work together as a team under a senior programmer’s supervision.
Programmers write programs according to the specifications determined primarily by more senior programmers and by . After the design process is complete, it is the job of the programmer to convert that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow. The programmer codes these instructions in one of many programming languages. Different programming languages are used depending on the purpose of the program. COBOL, for example, is commonly used for business applications that typically run on mainframe and minicomputer computers, whereas Fortran is used in science and engineering. C++ is widely used for both scientific and business applications. Java, C#, Visual Basic and PHP are popular programming languages for Web and business applications. Programmers generally know more than one programming language and, because many languages are similar, they often can learn new languages relatively easily. In practice, programmers often are referred to by the language they know, e.g. as Java programmers, or by the type of function they perform or environment in which they work: for example, database programmers, mainframe programmers, or .
When making changes to the source code that programs are made up of, programmers need to make other programmers aware of the task that the routine is to perform. They do this by inserting comments in the source code so that others can understand the program more easily and by documenting their code. To save work, programmers often use libraries of basic code that can be modified or customized for a specific application. This approach yields more reliable and consistent programs and increases programmers' productivity by eliminating some routine steps.
In some organizations, particularly small ones, people commonly known as programmer analysts are responsible for both the systems analysis and the actual programming work. The transition from a mainframe environment to one that is based primarily on personal computers (PCs) has blurred the once rigid distinction between the programmer and the user. Increasingly, adept end users are taking over many of the tasks previously performed by programmers. For example, the growing use of packaged software, such as spreadsheet and database management software packages, allows users to write simple programs to access data and perform calculations.
In addition, the rise of the Internet has made web development a huge part of the programming field. Currently more software applications are that can be used by anyone with a web browser. Examples of such applications include the Google search service, the Outlook.com e-mail service, and the Flickr photo-sharing service.
Programming editors, also known as source code editors, are text editors that are specifically designed for programmers or developers for writing the source code of an application or a program. Most of these editors include features useful for programmers, which may include color syntax highlighting, auto indentation, auto-complete, bracket matching, Syntax checker, and allows plug-ins. These features aid the users during coding, debugging and testing.
Large companies claim there is a skills shortage with regard to programming talent. However, US programmers and unions counter that large companies are exaggerating their case in order to obtain cheaper programmers from developing countries and avoid previously employer paid training using industry specific technologies not covered in most accredited degree programs. Migration Letters, Volume: 10, No: 2, pp. 211 – 228 & e Other reasons for employers claiming skill shortages is the result of their own cost saving combining of several disparate skill sets previously held by several specialized programmers into fewer generalized Mechatronics positions that are unlikely to have enough Purple squirrel with the desired experience."Purple Squirrels and the Reserve Army of the Unemployed" 15, 2012 accessdate = 2016-06-10
Enrollment in computer-related degrees in US has dropped recently due to lack of general interests in science and mathematics and also out of an apparent fear that programming will be subject to the same pressures as manufacturing and agriculture careers.Theresa Beaubouef and John Mason, Why the high attrition rate for computer science students: some thoughts and observations., ACM SIGCSE Bulletin, 2005 This situation has resulted in confusion about whether the US economy is entering a "post-information age" and the nature of US comparative advantages. Most academic institutions have an Institutional research office that keep past statistics of degrees conferred which show several dips and rises in Computer Science degrees over the past 30 years. The overall trend shows a slightly overall decline in growth (especially when compared to other STEM degree growth) since certain peaks of 1986, 1992, Dot-com bubble, and /ref>