Skip to Main Content

What Is an Entry Level Programmer and How to Become One

What Is an Entry-Level Programmer?

As an entry-level programmer, you use software programming languages to create and maintain applications for in-house, proprietary use or clients. You go through an onboarding process to learn your company’s code base and their processes for software development. You work on a team with other programmers and developers, and your job duties include writing code to develop software according to required specifications, testing and debugging code, creating and rolling out fixes, and publishing finished code to the production server. As you gain experience and your skillset expands, you can take on jobs with more autonomy and responsibility.

How to Get an Entry-Level Programmer Job

To get an entry-level programmer job, the primary qualifications are proven programming skills and a demonstrated ability to learn and apply new knowledge efficiently. Most employers seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer programming or computer science, but some employers hire job seekers who have an associate degree in computer science, or certificates from code bootcamps or online code schools. When starting your career as a software developer, research the companies where you want to work and get familiar with their company culture. Hiring committees often look for candidates who are a good fit culturally.

How to Prepare for a Programming Interview

To prepare for a programming interview, begin by studying common interview concepts and working through practice interview questions. Once you land a job, your responsibilities revolve around solving large, complex problems over weeks or even months. However, in your job interviews, your interviewers will ask you to solve small problems in less than an hour—and they’ll expect you to explain your thought process clearly in real-time as you problem-solve. Programming interview questions often emphasize algorithms and data structures, so hone your skills in solving those types of problems before your interview. Enthusiasm and strong communication skills go a long way.