Paula Jones | 13 November 2019

How Do I Become A Computer Programmer?

If you like to delve deeper into projects and understand how things work underneath the design, then a computer programmer may be the ideal career choice for you. As a computer programmer, you’ll be responsible for turning plans and programs made by software engineers, into the code that a computer (or another device) can follow.

Put simply; a computer programmer builds the instructions and code so that someone else’s designs can come to life.

If you like to create your own designs as well as programming them, there are lots of roles available looking for these entrepreneurial types who can design, create and build.

What can I do as a computer programmer?

There are lots of roles available for a computer programmer. For example, computer programmers can become back-end web developers who create instructions that bring website design and functionality to life. You may want to work in developing new programming systems such as working with Artificial Intelligence.

If you have a science background, then you may want to use your knowledge and computer programming skills to become a data scientist. Scientists often use computer programming code, such as Python, to study, analyse and manipulate data.

If you prefer mathematics and statistics, then there are lots of jobs across a range of different industries that require a database administrator or programmer who can protect businesses by safely storing, organising and analysing data.

Computer programmers can also secure roles in developing software, systems and apps across a range of businesses in a variety of industries. As a programmer, you may find yourself in industries you never expected, thanks to your transferable and universal skills.

As well as writing code, computer programmers may also be responsible for testing code, analysing the system for errors and then rewriting and troubleshooting any issues. A programmer may be accountable for the ongoing maintenance of a program, ensuring it remains functional and effective while making the necessary updates when they are required.

How to become a computer programmer

There are lots of different routes to becoming a computer programmer. It is widely thought that a computer programmer will have a bachelor’s degree in a subject such as computer science, information systems, or mathematics.

While a degree may help, it is not the only route to becoming a computer programmer. With experience in the field of computer programming that you want to work in and knowledge of one or more programming languages, many businesses will be willing to take on candidates without a degree.

Another route to becoming a computer programmer is to look for junior programming roles where organisations are willing to give training to their programmers while working.

Salaries for computer programmers

Junior programmers can expect a salary upwards of £20,000. Of course, this may vary depending on the organisation and location of the business. However, once you become an expert programmer or have specific expertise or skillset in a niche area, then programmers can command salaries of more than £70,000.

Furthermore, providing programming consultancy services for businesses can command even higher prices, with rates of more than £100 per hour.

Skills required to become a programmer

Introduction To Programming

Make sure you are ready for your interview and are sure programming is right for you by first completing an introductory programming course. Before settling on the programming language you want to focus on, or the niche industry you wish to pursue, an Introduction to Programming course can help you to become familiar with the concepts of programming and the relevant terminology.

At TSG Training, we run a three-day introductory course that is ideal for those who are new to programming and want to learn more about it. During the three days, candidates will acquire skills and learn more about the different techniques of programming with practical hands-on experience. Find out more about what you can learn on the course here.


A large proportion of a computer programmer’s role will be to look at systems and seek out where problems or issues may crop up. Furthermore, it will be the responsibility of the programmer to not only look for where problems may appear but also solve these issues too.

With this skill, it is essential to apply critical thinking. This is where you weigh up all your options and take a considered approach before selecting the best way forward. Employers will look favourably on candidates who can make the right decision and can back up their decision with evidence.

Programming language

If you already know what type of programmer you want to be, then there may be specific programming languages that you know you need to learn. However, if you simply want to get into the world of programming, then these languages are typically the most common languages for programmers to learn;

JavaScript – This is a versatile and broadly used programming language that can be used in both front and back end development. Many game developers and AI developers also use JavaScript thanks to its interactivity.

Python – Often used in science backgrounds and software development, Python is now a language of choice for many coders. Python not only supports data and academic or scientific research, but it also is a prominent coding language in technologies such as machine learning and intelligence.

CSS/HTML – while CSS and HTML are two different aspects, they both work together. Moreover, it is essential to learn both together because of their interaction. These are mainly used for front-end development of websites, so can be a useful skill to have so that you have full stack (both front and back end) knowledge.

At TSG Training, we want to support your training as a computer programmer. If you want to learn more about programming or about learning programming language skills, then get in touch with our team to find out more. Use our live chat function or call us for free on 08000 199337 to kickstart your programming career.