Programmer Analyst Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Programmer Analyst, or Programmer Systems Analyst, develops and maintains company software programs. Their duties include meeting with upper management professionals and IT personnel to determine their employer’s IT needs, responding to employee requests to troubleshoot software problems and drafting instructional documents to help employees navigate company intranets.

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Programmer Analyst duties and responsibilities

Programmer Analysts design, develop and maintain computer programs, applications and databases. Someone in this role may have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Develop and distribute applications and software, including patches per guidelines set by management
  • Quickly respond to support tickets from customers and departments according to company procedures
  • Maintain the company website and update daily to ensure secure and smooth function
  • Maintain and update the company intranet
  • Monitor new network documentation for accuracy
  • Make recommendations for enhancing user value
  • Migrate applications, both in-house and client-based, as needed to ensure smooth transitions
  • Develop and maintain security protocols related to software, website and intranet use
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What does a Programmer Analyst do?

Programmer Analysts typically work for corporations across industries to create company-specific software that aids daily business operations. They work closely with the IT department to help employees learn about company intranets and other software applications. Their job is to code programs, create code libraries, run tests to determine software defects and make beneficial adjustments to existing software programs to maximize their effectiveness. They may also be responsible for implementing cybersecurity measures to protect company information.

Programmer Analyst skills and qualifications

A successful Programmer Analyst will have a variety of skills and qualifications, including: 

  • Ability to multitask
  • A proactive approach to software, maintenance, security and applications
  • Ability to create effective support documentation
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Background in using a variety of programming languages and protocols
  • Ability to develop application software and add it to appropriate distribution networks
  • Able to be on call 24/7 in the event of emergencies
  • Self-motivated and needs little direct supervision

Programmer Analyst salary expectations

The average salary for a Programmer Analyst is $72,610 per year. Individual salaries may vary depending on the size and geographical location of the company as well as the level of experience and education of the Programmer Analyst.

Programmer Analyst education and training requirements

Education and training for Programmer Analysts range from self-taught to advanced degrees. Most employers prefer someone with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer engineering, information systems or a similar field. However, a master’s degree in information technology is a plus. There is also a vast array of additional training many undertake outside of university studies, including certifications in MTA, Azure, AWS, CCDH, APEX, Red Hat or similar applications.

Programmer Analyst experience requirements

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, many employers require 3 or more years of experience in programming and 2 or more years of experience in developing applications. However, the specific needs of the organization will determine the level of experience a candidate needs. Successful candidates will also have knowledge of MySQL, HTTP protocol and wire protocol debugging. They may also have experience working with n-tier web-based applications, REST-style protocols and programming languages. The ability to use and train others on CRM software is also a plus. 

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Frequently asked questions about Programmer Analysts

 

What is the difference between a Programmer Analyst and a Software Engineer?

Both Programmer Analysts and Software Engineers have the skills necessary to code, test and troubleshoot software programs. However, they differ in the types of job environments in which they work and the types of software they create. For example, Programmer Analysts typically work for corporations to develop, repair and maintain company-specific software programs. Their goal is to identify company needs and create software programs to maximize their business operations. 

In contrast, Software Engineers can work for corporations, tech companies or software engineering firms. They may be responsible for developing company software, but they can also design various other software applications, including mobile applications, websites or video games.

 

What are the daily duties of a Programmer Analyst?

On a typical day, a Programmer Analyst starts by checking their email and voicemail to see if they have any messages from employees regarding software concerns. Throughout the day, they participate in meetings with the IT department and upper management to discuss software needs or new policies. During downtime at their desks, Programmer Analysts work on one or more ongoing projects, including updating coding libraries or developing new business software. They also use this time to write instructional documents for software updates or new programs to help employees learn how to use them effectively.

 

What qualities make a good Programmer Analyst?

A good Programmer Analyst has excellent interpersonal communication that enables them to effectively communicate with individuals from different departments with varying knowledge of IT software. They value continuing education and repeatedly look for ways to enhance their knowledge of coding languages and software design. A good Programmer Analyst has an investigative nature, motivating them to test software programs and find the cause of potential defects. They possess superb written communication abilities that help them draft comprehensive documents for employees to reference when learning a new system.

 

Who does a Programmer Analyst report to?

Programmer Analysts usually report to the IT Director within an organization. They may also report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). These individuals provide Programmer Analysts with insights into available funding and company software needs. 

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