It seems that there are as many roads to becoming a computer programmer as there are actual programmers. Some computer programmers have a bachelors degree in computer information or science, mathematics or engineering. A two-year degree or certificate may be adequate for some jobs. Though there is not one specific credential that all computer programmers must have, it is certain that having some type of formal education will definitely improve your chances of getting employment in the competitive programming world. Having said that, many programmers are self-taught and are very proficient and successful in programming. In the absence of a degree, substantial specialized experience or expertise may be needed.
In addition to educational achievement, employers value relevant programming skills as well as experience. They will be looking for people familiar with fourth and fifth generation languages that involve graphic user interface and systems programming. Because technology changes so often, programmers must constantly update their knowledge and skills by taking courses sponsored by their employer or offered through local colleges and universities.
When hiring computer programmers, employers look for people with the necessary programming skills who can think logically and pay close attention to detail. Programming calls for patience, persistence, and the ability to perform precise analytical work, especially when under pressure. Creativity, ingenuity, being able to work with abstract concepts and being able to do technical analysis are all important as well. Because programmers are expected to work in teams and interact directly with users, employers want programmers who are able to communicate with non-technical personnel. Business skills are also important for those wanting to advance to managerial positions.
One thing that's incredibly important is to remember that you will be working with other people. So while it is imperative that you can program well, it is just as imperative that you can work with the people around you. You will need to explain why you can or can't do something, offer solutions, take criticism, take direction, listen to arguments, have arguments, make apologies and accept apologies. Learning the skill of communicating and marrying that with your skill in computer programming will make you stand out from others and accelerate your success.