Careers for Developers - dummies

By Faithe Wempen

A developer is an IT professional who specializes in computer programming and/or web design. Many developer jobs are now going overseas, especially to India because foreign programmers will work for less money. However, there are still plenty of U.S.-based development positions for those who choose to specialize in that area.


A programmer writes the instructions that become computer programs. Whether it’s an operating system, a utility, or a game, a programmer takes a general concept like “open a dialog box with user controls for adjusting the graphics quality” and makes it a reality by writing the exact instructions needed, line by line.

The programmer then compiles those instructions into a usable program or combines them with the instructions written by another programmer or group of programmers to make a larger program. More experienced programmers may also participate in developing the requirements for a program.

Web designers

A web designer creates websites for businesses, schools, organizations, and individuals. Web designers not only have a strong background in programming tools like HTML, Java, and ASP, but also an eye for what makes a page not only functional but attractive and easy to use.

If you are interested in being a web designer, you will want to study computer technology, programming, user interface design, and computer graphics.

Instructional designers

An instructional designer uses a variety of computer development tools to create computerized education and training, both for academic courses and for worker training. Instructional designers create interactive content that teaches new concepts and then quizzes the students on those concepts, creating a full learning package.

Although an instructional designer is not a programmer, he may use some high-level development tools to accomplish certain phases of a project.