Working as a database programmer primarily involves working with computers to create and tweak programs that determine how databases work. Individuals in this career typically hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. In some cases, a database programmer will work at a company facility, and other times he will telecommute from home. While the types of programs that an individual works on can differ, his responsibilities are basically the same. These include communicating with managers, writing and altering computer programs, making necessary changes to existing programs, optimizing security features of existing programs, and providing information or documentation to subordinates or teammates.
Before writing a new computer program, a database programmer will usually communicate with his managers. During this time, managers will explain what type of program is needed, or what changes to existing programs must be made, along with any additional information. This practice, often known as "requirements gathering," is an essential step in creating functional programs that fulfill the needs of future users.
Once the goals have been established, it's up to the database programmer to begin writing the computer program. Throughout this process, he will use his knowledge to write an initial version of a program. While there are multiple types of programming languages, one of the most widely used is Structured Query Language (SQL). After he has created the initial version, the programmer will usually continue to tweak it until all the glitches, or "bugs," have been worked out.
Another aspect of this career involves making necessary changes to existing database programs. In many cases, users may encounter problems with program functioning or a program may need to be repaired. When this happens, a database programmer will address the issue and work on the program to improve its overall efficiency and effectiveness. This practice optimizes the program and usually leads to smoother system performance.
Minimizing security risks is also a task that may be assigned to a database programmer. If a client feels that a program is in jeopardy, he will often have a database programmer perform alterations to secure it from threats. This practice helps to prevent unauthorized individuals from infiltrating, or "hacking," the database and illegally accessing information.
An additional aspect of the job is providing information about the programming to co-workers. Since a database programmer usually has the most in-depth knowledge of the program, it's often his responsibility to share this knowledge with others. In most cases, this is necessary when an individual has subordinates or works on a project team. He may present information or provide documentation on how the program works to subordinates or peers.