6 Types of Computer Programmers

Welcome to a guide and list of the different types of computer programmers. Today, digital devices and automation are everywhere – Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, digital cameras, smart homes, automated factories, self-driving vehicles, robot vacuum cleaners, and the list can go on forever.

The global market has a huge demand for programmers, and what different kinds of programmer jobs are there? Let us walk through some of the common ones – Read on!

 

 

1. SOFTWARE APPLICATION DEVELOPER

WHAT THEY DO

Software applications are huge these days, and it can be almost anything under the sun – From word processing, to photo editing, media players, communications, navigation, news, travel, finance, and a lot more. Software developers are the guys who are responsible for creating and maintaining all these applications.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

The programming languages depend on the platform, but the usual suspects are Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Andriod, and iOS. The common programming languages involved are C, C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic, Swift, or Objective-C.

EXAMPLES

Software Engineer, Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software Development Lead.

MEET THE TEAM

Generally, a software development team will consist of the following humans… Unless someone decides to superman an entire project.

  • Project Manager – The guy who manages the entire project. It may not be in a technical way, but more on human resources and finances.
  • Lead Software Developer – The brain of the entire project.
  • Software Architect – The system designer, down to the nuts and bolts.
  • Software Engineer – The guy who does the programming and bug fixes.
  • UI/UX Engineer – More on graphical design, interface design, and overall usability of the software.
  • Software Analyst Analyzes the business and user needs. Makes sure that the software is built to the correct specifications.

 

 

2. DATABASE DEVELOPERS

WHAT THEY DO

In this age of information, databases are everywhere. eCommerce websites keep a database of all their products and customers, law enforcement has a database of past crimes, hospitals keep track of health history, and even a simple phone directory is a database.

Database developers are the guys who design, structure, and build databases for applications. Some of them even dig the database records to perform analysis, which otherwise also known as data mining.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

There are all sorts of databases in the world again, but the common Joe being a relational database, and the common languages are – Structured Query Language (SQL), Data Definition Language (DDL), Data Manipulation Language (DML), Data Control Language (DCL).

EXAMPLES

Data Analyst, Database Administrator, Database Engineer.

MEET THE TEAM

  • Database Engineer – The guy who designs and builds databases.
  • Database Administrator – The guy who maintains the database.
  • Data Analyst – Does data mining, generate reports from the database.

 

3. WEB DEVELOPERS

WHAT THEY DO

Once upon a time in the stone age of the Internet, web pages are simple text and pictures. That is not the case with the modern Internet. eCommerce websites, blogs, forums, social media, video, sound, file sharing – All of these are complex full-fledged web applications that require skilled code ninjas to build.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

Web developers might just be the most knowledgeable bunch of them all, with ninja skills of all sorts of web-based technologies – PHP, ASP, Javascript, CSS, HTML, Ruby, Python, Perl, and SQL.

EXAMPLES

Web Developer, Front-end Developer, Back-end Developer, Full Stack Developer.

MEET THE TEAM

  • Front-end Developer – The guy who only deals with front-facing user interfaces.
  • Back-end Developer – The guy that only deals with back-facing sequences and algorithms.
  • Web Developer – Does both front-end and back-end.
  • Full Stack Developer – Crazy guy who pretty much does everything. Design, structure, database, front-end, back-end, interfaces, 3rd party support, cross-platform support, etc…

 

 

4. SYSTEM HARDWARE DEVELOPERS

WHAT THEY DO

When you power up the computer, there will be a boot screen with information on all your processors, memory, graphics card, and more. This is not done by the operating system (Windows, Linux, macOS), but by a lower-level firmware – Which is what computer hardware programmers do, to create the “software behind software”.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

Depending on the system and device. It could be Java or an even lower level programming language such as assembly.

EXAMPLES

System Software Engineer, Embedded Software Engineer.

MEET THE TEAM

  • System Software Engineer – Builds the mechanics behind software applications, stuff like file systems, device drivers, compilers, debuggers, and more.
  • Embedded Software Engineer – Creates embedded software that controls a machine or device. That could be smartphones, digital cameras, smart watches, cars, and more.

 

5. GAME DEVELOPERS

WHAT THEY DO

Game developers are the guys behind the gaming industry, and it is a different ball when it comes to game development. It is no longer just about “hard coding”, but a combination of various media as well – Video, audio, animation.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

Pretty much the same as software developers, depending on the platform. But rather than coding from scratch, there are several game engines in the world such as Unity, Godot, and Blender.

EXAMPLES

Lead Programmer, Game Programmer, Sound Programmer, Animators.

MEET THE TEAM

There are a lot of people involved in game development, but here are some of the programming related ones.

  • Lead Programmer – The guy to lead the entire programming team, coordinates programming efforts.
  • Game Programmer – The guys to do the “hardcore” mechanics behind the game.
  • Sound Programmer – Responsible for the development of audio tools and technologies for the game.
  • Animator or 3D Programmer – Does all the graphics rendering for the game engine.

 

 

6. SOFTWARE QUALITY CONTROL (QC)

WHAT THEY DO

One does not simply release untested code into a critical system, cause a crash, and make businesses lose millions in the process. This is why software quality control is so important, and why we need people who understand code to test code.

PROGRAMMING KNOWLEDGE REQUIREMENTS

Depending on the kind of project and platform it is built on. Test engineers may need to know more about the testing tools than the actual language itself.

EXAMPLES

Software QA Analyst, Software Quality Engineer, Software Test Engineer.

MEET THE TEAM

  • Software QA Analyst – Develops test plans and scripts.
  • Software Quality Engineer – Does audit checks and defect tracking.
  • Test Engineer – The guy who runs the software tests.

 

PERSONAL THOUGHTS – WHICH IS THE BEST CAREER PATH?

So, which of the above is the best type of programmer to be? Well, my short answer will be – Whichever your interest is in. But as a full-stack senior web developer who crawled up the ladder over the years, I have some rather bad taste as to where the entire programming industry is headed towards…

Whichever path you choose to take, just don’t stop learning and improving. Because technology is changing fast, and you might find yourself overtaken within just a few short years. Keep expanding your skillsets, open more possibilities for yourself, and that is the best path to take.

 

 

THE END

Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope that it has helped you to better understand the programming world, and make a career choice. If you want to share anything with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and happy coding!

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