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All about computer programming

Computer programming is all about developing a code, which is a sequence of logical steps written in syntax, and understood by one of the many languages used by computers.

education Updated: Jan 31, 2012 18:28 IST

The lowdown
Computer programming is all about developing a code, which is a sequence of logical steps written in syntax, and understood by one of the many languages used by computers. This code, when executed, should perform an activity that helps a function of a business work effectively. Preparing a programme begins with a complete description of the task that the computer has to perform. This description explains what data has to be keyed in, what computing must be done, and what form the output should take. The language a programmer uses depends on the job to be done. For example, if a job involves processing data, the programmer will use COBOL. If it involves solving scientific problems, Fortran might be used. Commonly used languages include BASIC, Pascal, C, C++ and JAVA. New languages are constantly being developed

9am: Reach office, check e-mails, plan for the day
10am: Check the scheduled jobs running on the server. Troubleshoot for any failures
11am: Contact system software vendors if the failures are due to system software and work out resolutions
Noon: Analyse changes requested by the client
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Meet team to discuss the changes and allocate work among team members
3pm: Work on the tasks assigned, which include research / development / client interactions
5pm: Review the project activities and ensure everything is going as per plan
7pm: Go home

The payoff
Entry level: Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3.5 lakh a year. You can go on to earn in the range of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh a year after working for four to six years
Middle level: Rs 8 lakh to Rs 20 lakh a year
Senior level: Rs 15 lakh to Rs 50 lakh a year

* Thorough understanding of the basics of software programming and associated areas
* Ability to think logically
* Strong communication skills
* Ability to work in teams
* Good problem-solving skills
* A programmer also needs patience, persistence and the capability to perform analytical work

Getting there
You have to study physics, chemistry, math in Class 12 and sit for the various engineering entrance examinations. Then you can pursue BE/ BTech. Also, provided you are a science graduate, you can do MCA or MSc (computer science).

Apart from this, postgraduates and engineering graduates from streams other than computer science can do computer courses from private institutions such as NIIT, Aptech, CMC, etc to become computer programmers

Institutes and URLs
* IITs, multiple locations
* Delhi Technological University, New Delhi
* Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, New Delhi
* University of Delhi
* University of Pune

Pros and cons
* If you are a tech freak, this is the career for you
* The challenge the job offers is worth taking up
* The money is good
* A time bound job
* Often you have to work for long hours to meet deadlines
* If you are working on international projects you may have to work at odd hours because of the time difference
* It’s a desk job and requires you to stare at the computer screen all day. Not good for your eyes and your fitness levels

It is a great profession to be in and offers good growth prospects and money. The IT industry is moving at a fast pace offering opportunities to young graduates to explore their potential Dhruv Chauhan, computer programmer, based in Delhi