What Does a Computer Programmer Do?

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A computer programmer or software developer is a person who designs, tests, analyzes and implements applications. There are several types of computer programmers. Some programmers develop web applications, some develop desktop applications, and other developers focus on database development. Computer programmers work with project managers and company owners to ensure the application is productive for clients and meets the business needs.

Web Development

A web programming is responsible for the company's website development. A web programmer needs to know a web language like PHP, VB.NET or Java. Additional client languages like JavaScript and Ajax may be necessary. The developer can benefit from knowing database applications like MySQL and SQL Server since these are necessary for dynamic websites.

Desktop Applications

A programmer who develops desktop applications is responsible for providing employees with software that provides tools for customer service and sales. Many large corporations have internal, proprietary applications that are necessary for customer relations. These applications also produce reports and help sales people keep track of clients. A desktop application developer may also need experience with database applications.

Database Developer

A database developer creates stored procedures that interface with a corporate database server. Stored procedures are coded scripts that retrieve, update or delete records in tables. These tables hold the data that is used to create reports and other applications. These programmers work closely with other application and web developers. A database developer also works closely with the administrator to ensure the security and maintenance of the server.


A programmer can also become a software analyst. An analyst is a person who normally has many years of software development experience. The analyst is a programmer who evaluates a large corporate network for issues or bottlenecks in the software code. An analysts needs good troubleshooting skills and the ability and experience to identify problems in software and the answers for how to fix them.

Report Developer

A report developer is responsible for creating reports necessary for financial and sales figures. This type of programmer retrieves the numbers from the database and creates layouts that give owners and managers the reports for daily, yearly or quarterly finances and sales numbers. Report requirements vary by department, so a report developer needs a good mathematical and analytical background and education.


About the Author

Lysis is the pen name for a former computer programmer and network administrator who now studies biochemistry and biology while ghostwriting for clients. She currently studies health, medicine and autoimmune disorders. Lysis is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in genetic engineering.