Games Business

How To Become A Computer Programmer In The Gaming Industry

Photograph of the blog post author, Dylan Easton

Dylan Easton

4.8.2021

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Behind the scenes of giant corporations, there lies the computer programmers. They are responsible for a multitude of things, such as writing code for software applications and operating systems. Without them, the whole ship sinks and is integral to any business. It can be a very demanding but rewarding job and you can earn a very pretty penny for doing so. So let’s take a look at how to become a computer programmer!

In this article, we will look at what a computer programmer is and what they do. We will also take a look at how to become a computer programmer.

Be sure to stick around until the very end so you don’t miss out on any key information.

What Is A Computer Programmer?

computer programmer

A computer programmer is a technology professional who deals with computer coding languages. They can sometimes be referred to as coders also.

Computer programmers take computer application designs from software developers and engineers and translate them into functional codes. 

The coding languages they tend to work with include Python, Java, JavaScript, C Language, C++, HTML, PHP, and SQL.

These codes let programmers give instructions to computers in languages that are understood by computer systems.

What Does A Computer Programmer Do?

computer programmer code

A computer programmer writes the code for software applications and operating systems.

After a software developer designs a computer software program, a programmer will write the code that converts that particular design into a set of instructions that a computer can understand. 

After this, they will test the program to look for errors. Then they will rewrite it until it is error-free. The programmer will continue to evaluate programs that are in use. They will carry out any updates and adjustments needed.

Responsibilities 

Here are some of the responsibilities a computer programmer might have:

  • Develop, test, and implement computer programs on multiple computer/operating system platforms.
  • Help develop a new web-based information system (IS)
  • Perform all activities necessary for the definition, design, construction, testing, and implementation of automated computer systems.
  • Review programs on a frequent basis and make adjustments as are necessary to ensure proper working of the program.
  • Confirm program operation by conducting tests; modifying program sequence and/or codes.
  • Create and publish technical diagrams to support coding efforts.
  • Integrate new functionality into existing applications.

How To Become A Computer Programmer

There are a few routes you can take to become a computer programmer. Here we will look at the basic soft skills you will need and also how to become a computer programmer with and without a degree.

We will see what it takes to be a computer programmer and hopefully decipher what is the best way to become a computer programmer for you. 

Finding a job as a computer programmer will potentially be easier if you earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or information systems. 

Additionally, some employers will hire you if you have a degree in another subject such as accounting, finance, and business; as long as you have taken computer science classes. You could even find work with an associate degree in computer science.

In this field, experience is as valuable as a degree. Therefore, while you are studying you should do internships simultaneously.

Many internships are unpaid, but if you are pursuing a computer programming major in a college or university, you can use the internship to earn course credit towards your degree.  

Once you are working in the field, the studying doesn’t stop there. You will have to keep your skills up-to-date by learning new programming languages. Certifications in various programming languages may also be beneficial.

Soft Skills

computer programmer

In addition to the technical skills acquired through formal training and experience, the following soft skills will help make your success in this field possible:

  • Reading Comprehension: You must be able to understand written instructions.
  • Problem Solving: Programmers must identify problems.
  • Critical Thinking: When solving problems and making decisions, you should know how to weigh all your options so that you can choose the best one.
  • Active Listening: This ability allows you to understand instructions from members of your team.
  • Attention to Detail and Troubleshooting: You should be able to find small mistakes in code and fix them.

What Employers Expect

computer programmer

Here are some examples of job requirements for:

  • You must have the ability to work independently.
  • Possess a high degree of accountability of his/her work.
  • Have the ability to comprehend and apply principles of modern algebra while analyzing data and generating reports.
  • Work well in a team environment.
  • Must be able to work under pressure to meet timelines and handle multiple tasks and changing priorities.
  • Must have self-discipline, as projects take several months to complete.

What Degree Do I Need To Become A Computer Programmer?

computer programmer with code

Your chances of finding a position as a computer programmer will be greater if you earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or information systems. These are the obvious examples as they directly involve what you will need to work in this field.

However, some employers will hire you if you have a college degree in another subject such as accounting, finance, and business, as long as you have taken computer science classes.

You may even be able to find work with an associate degree in computer science.

There are tons of computer programming degrees available at a wide range of institutions that can help you jumpstart your career

How To Become A Computer Programmer Without A Degree

programming apprentice

Alternatively, there are some ways you can go about becoming a computer programmer without a degree. An internship is a  great way to build your programming experience and will aid you massively in the job market.

An internship will teach you real-world skills that extend past what a degree will teach you. This experience will make your CV more attractive to employers and increase your chances of finding a full-time position in programming.

Additionally, a computer programming internship is a great way to learn specific programming languages that are used in a particular industry.

For example, an internship where you work with database technologies is a great way to learn SQL.

Alternatively, working for a web-based company is a good opportunity to learn Java. 

It can also be a good idea to get an internship at a tech-based company. For example, a company that specializes in networking, web development, or smartphone apps.

All of these would be a better fit rather than a non-tech company like a bank or retail corporation. 

Of course, non-tech companies still need programmers and could potentially have internships available. However, you’re more likely to learn more from a company that specializes in programming and technology.

Computer Programmer Requirements For Certification

writing code

As we’ve mentioned, it is not essential to have certification in computer programming. However,  some employers only hire candidates who are certified in the products they use.

Therefore, earning a certificate in a specific coding language will help to boost your employability and help you stand out from the crowd. 

Many colleges offer certificates for computer programmers. You can also get certified in specific coding languages such as Java EE and Web Services or as a C++ Certified Associate Programmer. 

Additionally, Python Institute offers three levels of Python programmer certification. This includes entry-level, associate, and professional

 When you progress in your career, it will also help to keep taking education courses in computer programming and attend seminars. This is in order to stay up to date with changes in the industry.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Computer Programmer?

computer code

There is no set amount of time for how long it takes. However, most degrees are 4+ years which is a considerable amount of time. Alternatively, there are other routes such as coding bootcamps.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding or programming bootcamps are short-term programs that will teach you the fundamentals. These boot camps will give you the tools you need to start a career as a coder and help you to hone in on your programming skills.

These coding courses range widely in terms of their durations, but most coding bootcamps last only 3 to 6 months. 

While not as extensive as a degree, it is considerably shorter and can help get your foot in the door as a computer programmer.

Computer Programmer Salary

computer programmer

Like any position, the salary will vary depending on how much experience you have in this particular field.

The median computer programmer’s salary is $81,583 per year. But your salary can range from a low of $35,315 to a high of $115,402. This will depend on factors such as your background, experience, and certifications.

Now You Know How To Become A Computer Programmer

computer programmer

There is everything you could possibly need to know about how to become a computer programmer. We’ve touched on what they are and the types of tasks they carry out on their day-to-day job.

We’ve also taken a look at what employers expect of computer programmers and the soft skills you will need to become one.

Furthermore, we have taken a look at a couple of different routes to becoming a computer programmer, involving both getting a degree and getting an internship and working your way up. 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed this article!

Are you a computer programmer? Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you! If you think your friends might find this article useful, why not share it on your socials? Be sure to tag us in your post @musicgateway!

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out another on our blog? Here are articles on our Game Developer Guide, Game Producer Guide, and Game Designer Guide to get you started!

Are You In The Gaming Industry?

Want to read more about the gaming industry? Then check out our blogGame publishers and developers, what can we do for you? Our incredible music licensing service can help you streamline the way you license high-quality music and commission original compositions for your gameplay, apps, and advertising campaigns including YouTube and social media. Fill out our Service Requests form to get started!

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