Computer Programmer

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What Does Computer Programmer Mean?

A computer programmer is a skilled professional who codes, tests, debugs, and maintains the comprehensive instructions known as computer programs that devices should follow to execute their functions.


Computer programmers also conceptualize, design, and test logical structures to solve computer issues. Programmers make use of specific computer languages like C, C++, Java, PHP, .NET, etc. to convert the program designs developed by software developers or system architects into instructions that the computer could follow. They often refer to code libraries for simplifying their coding, and might build or make use of computer-aided software tools to automate the coding.

A computer programmer is also referred to as a programmer, coder, developer, or software engineer. Also, the term is often used to refer to a stand-alone software developer, mobile applications developer, Web developer, software analyst, embedded firmware developer, and so on.

Techopedia Explains Computer Programmer

Various enhancements in programming, such as innovative computing technologies as well as advanced new programming languages and tools have redefined a programmer role.

Job titles and descriptions may differ with the organization. Computer programmers are usually classified into two broad types: systems programmers and application programmers.

Application programmers perform coding to manage a certain task, such as coding a program to monitor inventory within a company. On the other hand, systems programmers code programs to maintain and control system software, including database management systems and operating systems (OSs).

Software programmers might work directly with experts from different fields to develop software: either programs intended for particular clients or packaged software for general usage. This ranges from educational software to video games to programs intended for financial planning and desktop publishing.

Furthermore, an upswing of the Internet paved way for more opportunities in web development. At present, more and more web applications are in use and being developed; anyone can simply use these web apps with the help of a browser.

Some examples include different email services like Hotmail; search services like Google; photo-sharing services like Flickr, Instagram; various social media apps like Facebook, Twitter; etc. Programmers utilize programming editors, also referred to as source-code editors, to write the source code of a program or an application. These types of editors incorporate features ideal for programmers, which includes color-syntax highlighting, auto-complete, auto indentation, syntax check, bracket matching, etc. These features help the programmers throughout coding, debugging and testing.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.