What Is a Programmer? (Getting Started)

by Dave

A computer programmer provides the groundwork for all websites and software. This critical role is in high demand and always hiring. Find out the necessary steps it takes to be a programmer and what skills, requirements, and salary you can earn. Plus, learn about introductory courses and books to consider for learning the subject.

Being a Programmer

More and more aspects of everyday life take place using digital technology. Websites and online programs allow businesses and individuals to increasingly rely on these tools for financial, social, and professional reasons. Many individuals who have an interest in computers find the work of programming to be exciting and versatile. The skills grow in utility every year. The requirements of a programmer ensure professionals in this field with a high salary and other skills vs. a developer.

A programmer is someone who writes digital code in several programming languages to create software and websites. Programmers work with different approaches to writing code to increase a project’s compatibility with platforms like computers and mobile devices. The career can involve experts working with one company or collaborating with multiple in a freelance capacity.

Becoming a programmer is a highly lucrative and beneficial career involving useful skills and a high salary. The job field grows each year as more companies and businesses learn the value of accessible and helpful digital tools. Everything from a blog to an advanced computer program uses code to keep things running smoothly. Let’s review the difference between a programmer vs. a developer as well as requirements and salary for this profession.

Programming Articles

In this category, you’ll find information about what is becoming a critical part of modern society: computer programming. So much technology relies on programming to function, making it a skill in high demand. Even elementary schools are beginning to teach the fundamentals of programming to kids! For the rest of the world, it helps to understand at least the importance of programming, if not how to do it. Whatever level you’re interested in achieving, we have programming articles to cover the background of the field as well as the details of how to gain the skill yourself.

Origins of Programming

Programming is not limited to computers; in fact, it didn’t initially start with them. Any device is “programmable” if it can automatically complete a specific task. The very first programmable devices were musical instruments. They used pegs placed in particular patterns to tell the tools of how to play songs by themselves.

As for computer programming, the first program is an algorithm from 1843 that allowed a machine to calculate a sequence of Bernoulli numbers. Over the next 150 years or so, programming became more advanced and ubiquitous. In the 1980s, coding languages were improved and adapted for more frequent use. And with the growing importance of the internet in the ’90s, additional new languages had the chance to be created and rise in popularity. Changes in the world of computers only continue to happen at breakneck speed, so check out the programming articles here for doses of current events and periodic updates.

Modern Programming and Relevant Articles

Today, coding is the primary method of developing software and performing tasks in primarily electronic environments. It not only outputs certain automatic information, as with the musical instruments, but also can take in inputs that determine what they output. Any new program should be reliable, robust, efficient, easy to use, widely implemented, and well-maintained.

These criteria make sure it’s easy for programmers to obtain the skills and requirements necessary to accomplish the task at hand. It also means that as the task changes or encounters problems, the program can adapt to fit the new standard. Because there are several programs to choose from today, any application not meeting these requirements will fall behind and go missing in the abyss.

Languages and Programmer Requirements

We have gained thousands of coding languages that tell machines how to carry out their programmed instructions. Each sequence specializes in certain types of tasks and styles of programming. Picking which one to use is dependent on considerations that range from the requirements of the final product to the personal skills and preferences of the programmer vs. a more particular developer.

The most common languages include JavaScript, ideal for front-end web development, and used on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Gmail. Mobile apps, on the other hand, frequently use Swift, a relatively new language. Java is a universal language that has been around for decades and applicable to many types of devices and platforms.

Similarly, C and C++ are long-standing languages that programmers still use for many high-performance applications and embedded systems vs. a newer developer. For a more user-friendly language, Python has clear and intuitive syntax while remaining versatile. The list goes on and continues. Reading coding articles can help introduce you to styles. From here, you can pick the ones that will be most useful for you.

Most Common Uses

In many high salary roles, programmers frequently apply their skills to developing and testing software, maintaining its source code, and debugging any problems that emerge. Alternatively, programmers can use their powers for hacking vs. a developer who creates things. Hacking as a general term just means overcoming issues with the skill of coding, but can carry some negative connotations regarding nefarious security breaches. You can discover an idea of the vast applications for programming by reading the programming articles here. You’ll see that the field continues growing more and more every day.

Careers and Helpful Articles

Being fluent in various languages and tasks can make you a reliable computer programmer with many job opportunities and high salary options. Alternatively, having a specialty can help you stand out in a specific niche of the field. And not all projects are software-specific: Computer hardware programmers make physical computer systems and hardware pieces to optimize programming vs. developers on the planning side. Think of them as the architects of computer technology. Another “architect” in the area is the computer network architect. These people focus on the conceptual work behind implementing data communication networks.

Whatever type of programming interests you, a career in the field is likely to pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates consistent growth of jobs in the area, with a median programmer salary of over $80,000. Even the lowest 10 percent still earned over $45,000, and the highest 10 percent over $130,000. Check out the several articles in this category to see some of the best options available.

Programming Articles on Developments and Advancements

Everything technology is continuously changing at a breakneck pace. Moore’s Law, for example, is based on the observation that the density of integrated circuits doubles every two years. With the decrease in physical size comes increased computing power and speed. This pivot makes computers capable of taking on more tasks via programming.

Thus, part of the job of programmers will be providing the appropriate level of programming skills for the given platform vs. developer goals planning. They will be focusing more on video on the web and see an increase in console development over PCs. Data security and data analysis are, of course, gaining more and more traction as well. The field is also reaching a level where humans aren’t the only coders; now, humans have the help of machine learning algorithms that are close to doing most of the heavy lifting themselves.

If that wasn’t enough, more is in store for the field. These days there is plenty of talk about fully autonomous cars, net neutrality, cloud computing, and more. Some people even suspect that humans will soon merge our minds with the cloud itself. Maybe you’re one of the future participants, in which case you’ve got some work to do! This category will be here for you and whatever information you need along the way.

Programming Books

These days, everyone seems to be able to program. Even little kids are learning the basics of programming in elementary school. This fact just seems unfair to those of us who didn’t obtain such early introductions. But, if anything, this only shows that anyone can do it. If you put utilize focus and use the applicable books found in this category, you can reach whatever level for which you’re aiming.

Programming Books Close up hand of developing programming and coding technologies Programmer hand typing on keyboard Put on the wood table Hand Programmer concepts scaled 1

Speaking to Machines

Computer programming is a method of telling computers how to do specific tasks through the use of programs. Initially, a computer was anything that computed: from people to wooden machines that could play pre-written songs. Now, they’re complicated machines with equally complex instructions that give the excellent results we have come to expect. These instructions are programs written to tell the computer what it needs to do and how to do it. In this category of programming books, you can learn everything from the basics of programming to tips for helping those already in the field reach new heights.

Programming Books to Start With

When finding the programming book that’s right for you, keep in mind that lower-level languages focus more on the machine and providing faster execution. Higher-level languages take longer to execute, but they’re easier to use. If you’re new, you’ll probably want to start with a high-level language such as Python or Java. In any given programming language, you’ll start off learning basic structures and “grammar.” Then, you’ll move on to learning how to tell computers to do complex tasks.

One such book that’s good for beginners is Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming. It’s great for students to take their first programming course. Likewise, anyone who wants to get into areas such as coding and app development can use it. It teaches three critical parts of developing web content that many books don’t cover all at once. So, you can ensure you’re getting a complete resource.

Getting Technical (And Practical)

The more complex tasks in programming involve analysis and making algorithms, all of which can be logic- and math-heavy. Thus, having strong skills in these areas can be a significant edge in the field. Some programming books in this category do cover the math and logic behind programs. But reading up on math itself could also be a good idea to get ahead in the game.

Besides writing the programs themselves, programming also consists of working to improve them. Often, they can have some problems that cause them to run poorly, thus needing “debugging.” There is also maintenance of the original code to keep up with updates and changes in technology.

Computer science books such as The Missing Link: An Introduction to Web Development and Programming focus on all these practical aspects. It guides beginners from concept to completion covering everything from the history of digital trends to fundamentals of development. Through it, you’ll be able to follow clear steps for practicing web development and solving a range of programming problems.

You’ll need to be good at working on code at all stages to be a skilled professional. A high salary correlates with a high programmer demand. You can also increase your requirements in the field by learning many languages. The more you know, the more useful you’ll be. So take a look at the selection of programming books here to see where you can improve.

What Is a Programmer FAQ

Want to explore more differences between a programmer vs. developer and the job requirements? Take a look at several key areas of focus worth learning.

What is the role of a programmer?

The role of a programmer is to write the code needed to host things like websites, software, or other digital programs. Several programming languages assist these professionals in the creation and maintenance of these projects. Many programmers know multiple languages to provide support on everything from the start of new products to its optimization and maintenance.

What are the skills required for a programmer?

The skills required to be a programmer involve several aspects of computer science and digital engineering. Programming languages make the creation of websites and programs possible. Professional programmers must also know how to troubleshoot errors in a project’s capabilities and processes. The job requires a high level of competence in critical thinking and expertise in digital technologies.

Do programmers get paid well?

Programmers get paid well because the work involves skills many people do not have. Major and small businesses and organizations desire programming experts to organize and support digital efforts. Freelancers in this field make great money by working with numerous clients. Even those who only work for a single business receive a high salary because the work is so technical and advanced.

Why is coding so hard?

Coding is hard because the process involves the memorization and mastery of several digital languages. The learning experience takes multiple years for technical fluency and still requires substantial experience before someone is genuinely exceptional. Learning one programming language is difficult, but most professionals know numerous to become hirable. Many anomalies also force experts to undergo long periods of troubleshooting.


The requirements, salary, and skills of a programmer vs. developer lean heavily on particular attention to the foundation of computer software. Many experts in the field find success when they pursue multiple variations of coding languages and processes. The ability to hop onto any project quickly helps ensure a programmer that they can earn a high salary and find work. The importance of coding is clear to big businesses, but small companies are also learning to invest in these experts.

There are several reasons to consider this profession. The job market continues to grow, and those who choose to become a programmer vs. a developer enjoy flexibility in job choices. Writing code for a website can be a quicker way to find work. For long-term projects, programing jobs for software can last longer than a year. Different programmer requirements vary between industries, but skills in code and language apply to all projects.

If you want to discover and explore more about the salary and abilities of a programmer, check out more content on Dave4Math. The site is free to use and connects you with articles, book reviews, and other resources. Plus, talk with others about readings and ideas you have about this critical field of study. Use Dave4Math and learn more about academic topics today.

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