A Programmer-Analyst is a person that is involved in the design and analysis of Information Systems. They participate in both systems analysis and applications programming. They are also responsible for research, planning and coordination of software systems development by team handling and writing code for systems to suit clients’ requirements.
A Bachelors Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or Mathematics is essential to becoming a Programmer Analyst, especially when working on more technical systems or programs. Although a degree holder in Business Management can also become a Programmer-Analyst depending on the complexity of the job at hand. It is also possible for one to be a Programmer-Analyst without a degree, but the candidate must have undergone training, internship, and is certified in the programming and systems management fields.
A Programmer-Analyst is responsible for translating client requirements into a useable program. They partake in the whole development process while liaising with other programmers via designing, planning, and development of a program to satisfy the requirements of clients. They plan and implement solutions for effective development of a program in order to meet specifications and deadlines.
To be a Programmer-Analyst you must be well versed in contemporary programming languages such as C++, Python, Perl, and Ruby to name a few. You must be able to translate client requests and write them into technical specifications. System management skills are also important since you will be personally in charge of development and testing of systems and their respective programs. You will also need good interpersonal skills since you will be spearheading the coordination with other developers. Knowledge in Business Management is also necessary in order to implement models to reduce cost and finish the project to meet expectations.
The ability to plan a systems flow from scratch and application of logic is crucial. It is imperative one must have organizational skills and the ability to modify set plans to accommodate shifts in flow. Flexibility and adaptability are paramount and you must be able to organize groups of programmers and technicians to meet development deadlines. Testing and ironing out programming bugs is also integral for the role. Overall, the ability to manage time, resources and labor, coupled with intrinsic knowledge with the whole process of programming and software development are important requirements of a Programmer-Analyst.
Experience in the field is highly desired but one can be an efficient Programmer-Analyst with the right people skills and knowhow.
Salaries for Programmer-Analysts vary according to the scale of projects to be done. The size of your team, complexity, and importance of the project can influence how much you make. Big companies usually offer a higher rate for their analysts with a greater range of benefits. Average salaries for Programmer-Analysts typically range from $50,000 – $70,000 USD and depend on numerous variables, like skill and level of experience. There are also matters such a bonuses and profit share if you are entitled to them. They can enhance your earnings in other ways apart from the standard salary.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/