Applications programming is a very fast-growing field that encompasses the development of applications throughout many industries. An applications programmer can specialize in the development of medical applications, government applications, corporate applications, academic applications and more.
What Is an Applications Programmer?
An application is virtually any type of program that is run on a computer system, mobile device or even phone. Applications can be everything from time management software to video games, and can include such complex platforms as banking institution software. The field of applications programming is broad enough that virtually anyone can find something they desire doing within the field. Applications programmers can specialize in different types of programming language and this can direct the type of programming they do. C++ and Java are two of the most popular programming languages.
Software as a Service applications that are programmed for the internet are also becoming very prolific, which means web application developers are also becoming very popular. Web developers often program in languages like PHP, ASP and MySQL. Overall, the industry is wide enough to accommodate virtually any type of programmer. Applications developers are reported to make a mean annual wage of $93,280 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
What Does an Applications Programmer Do?
An applications programmer will either be presented with design documents or need to construct these design documents on their own. Design documents will tell the applications programmer the desired behavior of a program, but it will usually be up to the programmer themselves to figure out how to achieve this functionality. Programmers will use different models of development to create a program that works as it should.
Once a program has been developed an applications programmer will often test it with the use of a quality assurance team. The programmer will make modifications as necessary and will take client feedback into consideration when modifying the program. An applications programmer may also be called upon to support the product after release and to continue making modifications to the code to add features and resolve any bugs that are discovered post release.
How Do You Become an Applications Programmer?
Applications programmers can acquire an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree in a field related to computer programming, but they can also be entirely self-taught. Applications programmers need to be very clean and concise about their programming, and they need to be extremely logical individuals. An applications programmer will usually acquire a position programming either once they have graduated from school or once they have learned programming languages fluently enough that they can prove their skills.
Knowing a programming language alone is not enough to be an applications programmer. Programmers also need to be current on the frameworks that are in use for applications and the development models and theories behind them. This alone necessitates that an applications programmer either have a significant body of experience or have education and training before they can be considered a full programmer and treated as such. On the job training can sometimes be available at some of the larger programming companies but this is rare; companies usually require that an applications programmer be able to program successfully upon hire.
How Do You Advance as an Application Programmer?
Application programmers can advance by proving themselves to a company and heading their own departments and their projects. Programmers can also move into different but related fields such as web application development and systems programming. Systems programmers usually make a little more overall than applications programmers, but the field can also be a little more challenging. According to O*Net Online, a systems programmer will usually make about $99,000 a year. Many applications programmers will be able to increase their salary based on seniority and the projects they have successfully completed.