Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked John Smith from Intel to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

John Smith

Engineer - Process

Intel

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  John Smith
On a personal level you need to be a good team player, good communicator and organised. From a technical viewpoint a background in physical sciences or engineering is essential. A PhD in semiconductor related field would prove extremely beneficial. The opportunities are vast within a company the size of Intel so you do have the option to change career direction if needed.
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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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Computer Programmer

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an engineer must complete four years of college and work for several years in engineering to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k >  
Computer Systems Programmer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 -  
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: March, 2013

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Account for a quarter of all difficult to fill mentions) with specific skill sets such as Java, C++, Summit, .NET, C Sharp, PHP, CSS, VBS, Interactive visual applications (e.g. 3D imaging for gaming industry), those proficient in open source software/operating systems (e.g. Linux) and applications (e.g. Ruby on Rails and Flex);

IT skills associated with cloud computing (e.g. expertise in Java related applications and the migration of CRS / CRM application to web based or cloud computing architecture) and financial/business application skills (e.g. SAP analysts)

9%
Occupational Category

Programmers & Software Developers

Also included in this category:

Analyst-programmers; database developers; programmers; software engineers

Number Employed:

17,300

Part time workers: 4%
Aged over 55: 1%
Male / Female: 78 / 21%
Non-Nationals: 27%
With Third Level: 95%
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At a Glance... header image

Writes, edits and alters Application Software Programs for computers.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 2

Jason Ruane
Computer Programmer  

Jason works as a Computer Programmer for Intel. He went to DCU (Dublin City University) to complete a BSc in Applied Physics, from where he went to immediate employment with Intel. Since then he has completed a Masters in Applied computing at DIT. Both courses have prepared him very well for his current position.

Go to Interview  
 
Marc Doyle
Application Developer  
Marc works as a Software Application Developer for Intel. Marc followed his love for Maths and after his Leaving Cert went to NUI Maynooth to study Computer Science and Software Engineering.
Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Applications programmers write programs that instruct a computer to perform tasks such as controlling company stock or updating staff records. They may write new programs or adapt existing ones. They may work on one program or a number ('suite') of programs.  
 
Programmers who work for a large firm or organisation may be responsible for maintaining and updating one or more programs. This requires them to solve any problems that individual users have, and adapt the program to fit in with any changes in the way they work.  
 
When they write a new application program, programmers follow a specification, or 'spec', provided by a systems analyst. The spec describes what the program should do. It may be very precise, in which case the programmer has to follow it exactly, or it may be quite 'loose', which allows the programmer to be more creative. Each spec shows a series of steps, which the programmer translates into computer code. Once programmers have developed a new program, they have to check it very carefully for faults ('bugs') and carefully test it using mock data before it is ready for the final user.  
 
It is becoming more common for applications programmers to be responsible for duties that systems analysts have carried out in the past. Where this is the case, employers may use the title 'analyst programmer' for this career.  
 
Applications programmers often work in teams, with each person contributing to the program or suite of programs.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Expand or modify system to serve new purposes or improve work flow.

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Test, maintain, and monitor computer programs and systems, including coordinating the installation of computer programs and systems.

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Develop, document and revise system design procedures, test procedures, and quality standards.

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Provide staff and users with assistance solving computer related problems, such as malfunctions and program problems.

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Review and analyze computer printouts and performance indicators to locate code problems, and correct errors by correcting codes.

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Consult with management to ensure agreement on system principles.

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Confer with clients regarding the nature of the information processing or computation needs a computer program is to address.

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Read manuals, periodicals, and technical reports to learn how to develop programs that meet staff and user requirements.

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Coordinate and link the computer systems within an organization to increase compatibility and so information can be shared.

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Determine computer software or hardware needed to set up or alter system.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported Work Activities in this occupation.

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Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

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Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships:  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work:  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates:  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards:  Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

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Scheduling Work and Activities:  Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported Knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

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English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

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Customer and Personal Service:  Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Engineering and Technology:  Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Quality Control Analysis:   Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

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Programming:   Writing computer programs for various purposes.

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Troubleshooting:   Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Systems Evaluation:   Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

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Judgment and Decision Making:   Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Systems Analysis:   Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

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Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

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Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You will need to be analytical and logical in your approach to problem solving. Attention to detail is essential. You will need to be patient because an important part of the work involves looking for faults in the program. You will need to be able to work towards meeting deadlines therefore you may often have to work under pressure.  
 
Programmers must enjoy working on their own; you must be able to concentrate for long periods of time. You will also need good communication and teamwork skills because much of the work is project based. You also have to keep up to date with new and changing computer languages.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..   Computer Programmer - from:  InsideCareerInfo [US]
Go..   Computer Programmer - from:  YouTube Video
Go..   Programmer/software developer - from:  GradIreland
Go..   Software Developer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Smart Futures
  Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
  Tel: (01) 607 3171
  Email: info@science.ie
  Url www.smartfutures.ie
   

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Organisation: Irish Computer Society
  Address: 87-89 Pembroke Road, Dublin 4
  Tel: (01) 644 7820
  Email: info@ics.ie
  Url www.ics.ie
   

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Organisation: Irish Software Association
  Address: Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot St. Dublin 2
  Tel: (01) 605 1500
  Email: isa@ibec.ie
  Url www.software.ie
   

 

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following career interests...

Investigative  Administrative  Realist 

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Computers & Software

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CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following CAO / HETAC courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
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