A computer programmer designs software programs through building logical work flow charts, the functionality of which is translated into one of several languages that computers can understand. In the majority of cases, the computer programmer also designs a graphical user interface (GUI) so that non-technical users can run the software through easy, point-and-click, menu-oriented modules. The GUI acts as a translator between the user and underlying software code, negating the need to know the command line structure of the language. Generally, there are five basic stages of development that a computer programmer addresses in designing software. They are defining the need, designing a flowchart, coding the software, debugging and beta testing. The first stage of development necessitates good interpersonal skills on. During the second stage of development the computer programmer uses analytical thinking to logically layout a flow chart. Contingencies must be built into the design so that potentially unforeseen circumstances are accounted for. This could mean constructing alternate data flows or popup error messages that instruct the user. When the design is complete the computer programmer converts the functionality of the flow chart into computer code.
There are hundreds of programming languages, including Perl, Java, Visual Basic, FORTRAN, Apple Script and D, which most programmers specialize in several families. This stage of software development is commonly done solo, though multiple programmers might work on different aspects of large computer programs. When the initial software is completed it goes through a debugging stage. Bugs are flaws in the program that cause it to fail, crash, hang, return a false result, or behave in an undesirable fashion. Debugging is a very intense stage of development that can take hundreds of hours. After a stable release has been issued, the attention turns to... [continues]
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