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What Does a Programmer Analyst Do?

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  • Written By: Florence J. Tipton
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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The job description for a programmer analyst usually involves a combined skill set of two different functions. In general, the technical skills of planning, developing, designing, and implementing computer programs are normally assigned to a systems analyst and computer programmer separately. As one function, the programmer analyst carries the responsibility of creating, reviewing, and writing the language code and testing a new or updated computer program from start to finish. A programmer analyst may also train employees on using the program.

The planning process of the programmer analyst’s job is to determine the business application need for a computer system. To accomplish this, the programmer analyst may begin by evaluating the request from business principles, or users, to either create a new system or update an existing one. While collaborating with users, an agreement is reached on whether the change request is compatible with existing systems and a timeline for completion. This process is typically ongoing as the development of the system progresses and may require clarification or adjustments to the original plan.

Development and design of the computer program begins after input from all business principles with a stake in the new or updated program has been reviewed. The task of designing the program may involve creating a flowchart that demonstrates how the program operates. Normally, it is the responsibility of a programmer analyst to communicate this process to the user and obtain approval before moving forward.

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Once the user approves the design for the computer program, a person in this role converts the flowchart design into the proper coding. This entails writing the language for the computer program according to the sequence of steps in the project outline. To fulfill this essential task, she usually applies her knowledge of computer programming and languages of computer codes.

After the language is written and entered into the system, the programmer analyst may test the system. The results of the testing phase are an opportunity to improve the efficiency of the system. By reading printouts and observing operational functions as an IT analyst, she can determine whether there are logic errors in the original flowchart design. Generally, this allows time to troubleshoot any coding errors or language fixes that could interfere with operating efficiency.

If errors are found, the next step is to make appropriate modifications. After analyzing and reviewing the errors, she may alter parts of the computer system to adapt to the changes. Typically, this person will replace or delete language codes that are causing the errors and then repeat the testing phase to eliminate errors.

Miscellaneous responsibilities of the programmer analyst job could vary, depending on the company and other personnel. Sometimes, she might write program specifications and training manuals. Other responsibilities could include training employees to use the new computer program and integrate usage into daily tasks.

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