How to Apply and Thrive as a Computer Programmer

In today’s tech-driven world, mastering the job of a computer programmer is a game-changer. 

This article walks you through the essential steps of applying for programming jobs and offers practical advice to thrive in the field. 

How to Apply and Thrive as a Computer Programmer
Image Source: computerscience

The demand for computer programmers today

The demand for computer programmers is high and continues to grow. Companies across various industries need skilled programmers to develop software, maintain systems, and solve technical problems. 

The surge in technology use and the shift towards digital solutions have further fueled this demand. As a result, opportunities are plentiful, but so is competition. 

Jobs and sectors that a Computer Programmer can apply 

Computer programmers have a wide range of sectors and jobs they can apply to today:

  • Tech Industry: Obvious choice, roles like computer program developer, front-end or back-end developer, and more.
  • Finance: Developing software for banking, trading, or financial analysis.
  • Healthcare: Creating applications for patient care, medical research, or hospital management.
  • Gaming: Programming video games or game engines.
  • E-commerce: Developing websites and applications for online shopping.
  • Government: Working on public sector software projects.
  • Education: Creating educational software or tools for schools and universities.
  • Manufacturing: Developing software for automation or production planning.
  • Media and Entertainment: Working on streaming services, digital media tools, or animation.
  • Startups: Variety of roles, often needing a broad skill set.

Each sector has its unique challenges and opportunities. Choose based on your interests and strengths.

Becoming a seasoned Computer Programmer

Becoming a seasoned computer programmer requires a combination of formal education, consistent practice, and continuous learning. 

Start with a solid foundation in computer science through a degree or relevant courses. Learning computer programming implies a solid grasp of programming languages and tools, including:


Computer programming languages list:

  • JavaScript: Essential for web development, both front-end and back-end with Node.js.
  • Python: Versatile, used in web development, data science, software programming, automation, and more.
  • Java: Used in web applications, enterprise solutions, and Android app development.
  • C#: Primarily for Microsoft applications, games with Unity, and web development with .NET.
  • SQL: For database management and queries.
  • C++: For system/software development, games, object-oriented computer programming, and performance-critical applications.
  • PHP: Server-side scripting language used for web development.

Main tools:

  • Git: Version control system for tracking changes and collaboration.
  • Visual Studio Code: Popular code editor for basic computer programming.
  • GitHub or GitLab: Platforms for hosting and collaborating on Git repositories.
  • Docker: Ideal for the creation and deployment of applications in containers.
  • Jenkins: Automation server for continuous integration and delivery.
  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): Such as IntelliJ IDEA or Eclipse, providing comprehensive tools for software development.
  • Postman: For API testing and development.

Work on real-world projects to apply your knowledge and develop your problem-solving skills. Engage with the computer coder community to learn from others and stay updated with the industry. 

Don’t forget to develop your soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, as they are crucial when working in collaborative environments. 

How to Apply and Thrive as a Computer Programmer
Image Source: Coursera

Applying for programming jobs with success

To successfully apply for computer programming and coding jobs, follow these steps.

Build a strong resume and portfolio

By following these tips, you’ll create a strong resume and portfolio that effectively showcase your programming skills and experiences, making you a compelling candidate for potential employers.


  • Keep it Concise: Your resume must have one to two pages.
  • Use a Clear Format: Make it easy to read with a clean and straightforward layout.
  • Quantify Achievements: Use numbers to demonstrate your impact in previous roles.
  • Highlight Technical Skills: Clearly list the programming languages, tools, and technologies you are proficient in.
  • Include Education: Mention your degrees, programming certificate, and any relevant coursework.
  • Show Work Experience: Focus on relevant positions and describe your responsibilities and achievements in each.


  • Choose the Right Projects: Include a variety of projects that showcase your skills and versatility.
  • Provide Clear Descriptions: Explain the purpose of each project, the technologies used, and your role in it.
  • Include Code Samples: Make your code accessible, either through screenshots or links to repositories.
  • Ensure Good Code Quality: Clean, well-commented, and efficient code makes a good impression.
  • Add Case Studies: For bigger projects, explain the problem, your solution, and the results.
  • Keep it Updated: Regularly update your portfolio to include your latest and best work.
  • Make it Accessible: Ensure your portfolio is easy to navigate and works well on various devices.

Use the best job search sources

For programming jobs, there are several reputable sources you can utilize:

  • LinkedIn: Connect with companies and apply directly through job listings.
  • Indeed: A massive job search engine with a plethora of programming jobs.
  • Glassdoor: Offers company reviews and has a robust job search function.
  • Stack Overflow Jobs: Targeted towards developers, with plenty of tech job listings.
  • GitHub Jobs: Find jobs related to software development based on your skills.
  • AngelList: Great for finding jobs at startups.
  • Hired: They match you with potential employers based on your skills and preferences.
  • Dice: A career platform focused on technology and engineering jobs.
  • Foundit (formerly Monster): A well-established job search engine with various programming jobs.
  • CareerBuilder: Another major job board with a variety of tech positions.

Beyond the common job search websites and platforms, consider exploring other avenues, such as networking events, career fairs, and industry conferences. 

Reach out to your professional network, including former colleagues, mentors, and industry connections, as they might be aware of job openings or can provide referrals. 

You can also check out company career pages of organizations you are interested in, as well as alumni networks or career services from your educational institutions.

Apply Strategically

Instead of applying to every job you come across, do thorough research on the companies and positions you are interested in. Understand what they are looking for and ensure that you align. 

Customize your resume and cover letter for each application. Pay attention to the network you’ve built; referrals can significantly boost your chances of landing an interview. 

Finally, manage your time effectively to ensure you’re able to put in the necessary effort for each application and track your applications to follow up when appropriate. 

Master Technical Interview Questions

This requires a mix of theoretical knowledge, practical skills, and effective communication. Questions can range from data structures and algorithms to system design and problem-solving scenarios. 

Practice coding challenges on computer programming sites like LeetCode, HackerRank, or CodeSignal. Focus on writing clean, efficient code and explaining your thought process clearly. 

Study the fundamentals of computer science, including algorithms for programmers, data structures, and databases. Prepare answers for behavioral questions and problem-solving scenarios.  


To apply and thrive as a computer programmer, focus on building a solid foundation in programming languages and tools. 

Craft a tailored and impactful resume and portfolio to showcase your skills and experiences. Utilize various job search sources, and apply strategically to increase your chances of success.