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Self-employed Computer Programmer & Consultant

Job Title and Job Description

Self-employed Computer Programmer & Consultant

Write computer programs for small businesses, including a lot of law firms. I meet with owners, managers and staff and discuss technology changes that would help them improve their work. Then I write the programs that integrate with their existing office systems, review them with the people using the programs and finally install them on users‘ computers.

What are some related career opportunities and job titles in your company or in your career area?

database administrator, web site designer, network engineer.

What new technology will be important?

Smart phones, cloud computing and probably one or two other big things I don‘t know know about.

What education or training did you have to prepare for this career?

None. I got a PC when they were first invented, started using it and self taught myself as the industry grew. I have taken a few specific courses, read a lot of textbooks and read a lot of manuals over the last 20 years.

What education or training do you recommend for students today who want to enter this field?

University degree majoring in computer science. Hardly anyone will hire people nowdays without this qualification in this field.

When you were in high school, did you know that you would enter this field?

No, when I was a senior in high school I was briefly exposed to computer programming and became certain I would NEVER enter the field. I chose to enter the field about 12 years later.

Skills Profile

Skills UsedRating (5=Most Important thru
1=Not Important)
Comments

Artistic 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Athletic / Physical 1-Not Important 
Bilingual 1-Not Important  
Computer Technology 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Coordination / Using Hands, Tools, and Equipment 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Creative Thinking 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Interpersonal 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Importantunderrated, but very important 
Investigative / Fact Finding 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
leadership and Supervising 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Logical Thinking 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Math 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
Mechanical Understanding 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Sales and Negotiation 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Scientific and Experimental 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
Social Service / Helping Skills 2-Less Important2-Less Important 
Teaching / Instructing 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Verbal Communication 5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important5-Most Important 
Understanding Nature, Plants, Animals 1-Not Important 
Understanding Yourself 3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important3-Somewhat Important 
Writing 4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important4-Very Important 
 

Interview By: Gordon Prince