Computer Programmer

L.J., 25, attended St. Francis Xavier University for five years and graduated with a degree in information systems. He is currently working as a computer programmer in the retirement services industry.

Stephanie: What made you decide to become a computer programmer?
Actually, I didn’t decide to become a programmer - it was the first IT job I was offered after graduating from university. Initially, my plan was to accept the position only to gain work experience in an IT environment so I could then look for better career opportunities. However, I have been a programmer for over a year now and can honestly say that it has been really enjoyable. I can’t see myself wanting to do something else for quite a while. It is a challenging position which can be quite stressful at times, but that is when I enjoy it the most.

Stephanie: How did you become a computer programmer?
Following graduation I moved to Toronto - the city of opportunity - to find my first real job. It took two months of career fairs, interviews, aptitude exams, etc. before I finally got some offers. Two in particular interested me, but one required me to move back to Nova Scotia, while the other one allowed me to stay in Toronto. Due to the fact that I wanted to live in Toronto, I chose the second offer and became a programmer. I have no regrets.

Stephanie: What do you like about your job?
I love being the first to resolve a problem or design a solution that people think is creative and innovative.

Stephanie: What is your least favorite part of the job?
I guess it would have to be the opposite end of the spectrum, where I am the one that has made a mistake or caused a problem. When this happens, you just have to realize that everyone makes mistakes, and that it's what you do afterwards that counts.

Stephanie: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming a computer programmer?
Don’t! Just kidding. I would say that if you enjoy problem solving, creative thinking and if you like computers, then this could be the career for you.

Stephanie: What kind of an education do you need to be a programmer? What kind of education did you get?
To become a programmer you definitely need to be educated in the programming language you want to code, but also I think a general knowledge of systems helps.

I graduated with a bachelor's degree in information systems, which is a cross between business, systems and programming courses.

Stephanie: What is your favorite computer program?
Truly, I don’t have a favourite.

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