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How Do I Become an Algorithm Developer?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Voight
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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To become an algorithm developer, it’s necessary to have a college degree in engineering, computer science, or mathematics as well as experience in software development and programming. An algorithm developer is responsible for creating systems of instructions that use information to acquire a desired result. The creation of algorithms requires the ability to take raw data, analyze it critically, and create a set of rules that consider all possible factors to generate meaningful answers and smooth processes that are tailored to business goals. It’s also helpful to have thorough knowledge of a variety of programming languages and software platforms to get a job as an algorithm developer. This is not an entry-level job, so progressive experience in the field is a must.

A solid educational background in math and technology is crucial for anyone who wants to become an algorithm developer. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or engineering. An additional master’s degree in any of these is helpful. The field of algorithm development is a subset of computer science and programming. A specific algorithm development degree does not yet exist, but computer science and programming match the field closest. Additionally, a minor in math or double major in math and a related field will give the statistical and analytical background needed to deal with the types of challenges necessary for an individual who wants to become an algorithm developer.

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When solving a problem, an algorithm developer writes an algorithm before writing the code to solve the problem. Some companies prefer that different people perform each function, while others combine algorithm development and programming. As the field of algorithm development is quite specialized, it can be an advantage to gain experience with a variety of programming languages and popular frameworks to improve job marketability. Getting a job as a computer programmer remains the best way to gain algorithm experience while specializing and honing analytical skills. Specialization usually, but not always, happens later for someone who wants to become an algorithm developer.

The field of algorithm development is especially attractive to people who have an interest in end products, efficiency, and actual problem solving rather than the process of translating that solution into something usable. Some software developers and programmers focus on making programs user friendly or arranging an end product in an aesthetically pleasing manner; this is not a part of algorithm development that focuses on the solution itself, however. As algorithms are the basis upon which good programming code is built, algorithm development is an essential part of the development process and makes programming run smoothly for a better finished product.

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