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How Do I Become an Online Programmer?

Article Details
  • Written By: K. Reynolds
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 12 April 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Those who would like to become an online programmer can choose to learn how to program on their own, or can opt to gain a formal education in computer programming. In order to become an online programmer, one must first gain an understanding of data and control structures, as well as design patterns. Although these concepts can be learned with any programming language, many beginning programmers start by learning the languages C++ and Basic. After becoming familiar with the logic and structure that is involved in computer programming, many people looking to become an online programmer progress to other languages such as Perl, Java, and Ruby on Rails.

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In order to truly become an online programmer, an aspiring programmer will have to decide whether to offer his or her programming services as a solo professional — a freelancer — or attempt to acquire a programming position with a company. Working as a freelancer, an online programmer would use his or her skills for a variety of projects. Although the workload and income can be sporadic, freelancing allows individuals looking to become an online programmer the freedom to work when and where they want. Those seeking steady income, on the other hand, may choose to obtain a position with a company as an in-house programmer. This route would allow for a steady paycheck and other benefits, but would require more of a time commitment and many of these corporate positions require that programmers have a bachelor's degree in computer science or mathematics.

Upon gaining experience, many individuals wishing to become an online programmer choose to specialize in a particular type of programming framework. Many programmers will choose to focus on web development, which encompasses programming applications for the Internet. In contrast, other programmers may choose to focus on the development of desktop applications, which are software programs that run on a local desktop computer or laptop. Recently, many online programmers have begun to focus on the emerging technology of creating mobile applications for cell phones and tablets.

As technology continues to progress, there will be a growing demand for online programmers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that demand for online programmers is expected continue to grow. The increased demand for programmers has been a catalyst for making this career field very lucrative. The median income for U.S. programmers is well above average, with the top 10% earning more than $100,000 US Dollars (USD).

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