How to Become a Client/Server Programmer: Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a client/server programmer. Learn about the job description and duties, and explore the step-by-step process to start a career as a client/server programmer. View article »

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  • 0:02 Should I Become a…
  • 1:31 Earn a Bachelor's Degree
  • 2:43 Gain Work Experience
  • 3:49 Consider Earning a…

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Client/Server Programmer

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Computer science or a related field
Licensure or Certification None required
Experience 2-7 years
Key Skills Detail-oriented and possess analytical, concentration, and troubleshooting skills; able to use serial port cards, mainframes, desktops, and computer servers; knowledge of programming and systems, quality control, and operations analysis
Salary $84,360 (2015 average for all computer programmers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net Online, Job postings from Monster.com as of November 2012

A client/server programmer is a computer programmer who specializes in client/server networks. They use computer programming language to write, update, and enhance the computer programs that make these computers function. But what is a client/server network? These networks are generally made up of two or more computers. One or more computers request a service or action, while on the other end, a computer processes the request.

The majority of client/server programmers work full-time in office settings. They generally work independently, though some collaboration with other computer programmers may be necessary on large projects. There are few physical demands or risks associated with this career. To enter this career, you generally need at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, as well as 2 to 7 years of experience in programming. Candidates need to be detail-oriented and have strong analytical and troubleshooting skills. Client/server programmers also need to have experience in systems, operations and quality control analysis. Salaries for programmers can vary greatly, depending on where they work and the duties they perform. The average salary for all computer programmers was $84,360 as of May 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now let's take a look at the steps needed to become a client/server programmer.

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Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Most computer programmers have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a closely related field. Some of these 4-year programs allow students to concentrate in areas such as software engineering, scientific computing and computer programming.

In a computer science program, the core curriculum covers topics like programming concepts, data structure concepts, object-oriented programming languages, application and systems programming, computer organization and discrete mathematical structures. In the last two years of the program you can generally take electives, like logic structures, web design, C++, Java and structured query languages. Students might be able to participate in these programs, both online and on-campus, depending on the school.

Complete a Capstone Project

Some programs allow students to complete a culminating project prior to graduation. For this project, students create or change a computer program. Being able to demonstrate programming skills to potential employers by showing them a completed programming project may help an individual stand out against their competition.

Gain Work Experience

Gaining employment as a client/server programmer generally requires 2 to 7 years of experience in the computer science field. After all, client/server programmers must be able to analyze systems to identify any programming errors, fix those errors and ensure that a program is running properly after making any changes. They may also write new programs from scratch, and all of this requires experience.

You can begin gaining experience by participating in an internship, either during or after college. Completing one of these internships allows students to interact with professionals working in computer programming and gain hands-on experience completing the job tasks a programmer might perform. An internship can open the door to entry-level employment with the company you intern with, or it can give you the experience necessary for an entry-level position with a different company, like as an associate engineer or systems programmer. And experience as an entry-level systems programmer or associate software engineer may qualify you for a position as a client/server programmer.

Consider Earning a Graduate Degree

Higher level degrees and years of experience are the usual routes of advancement for computer programmers. For example, employers often prefer a programmer with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) for the advanced position of computer systems analyst. Graduate degree holders may also be qualified for positions as computer and information systems managers.

To become a client/server programmer, you'll need a bachelor's degree in a field related to computer science, as well as 2 to 7 years of experience in the field, and a graduate degree can help lead to career advancement.

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