Computer Programming

Computer Programmers write, test, debug and maintain code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.  Programmers write programs according to the design specifications developed primarily by software developers and engineers.  After the design process is complete, it is the job of the programmer to convert that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow.  The programmer codes these instructions in one of many programming languages.  Some of the popular programming languages are Java, C++, C#, Python, PHP and Ruby.


Programmers work in many settings, including corporate information technology ("IT") departments, big software companies, small service firms and government entities of all sizes.  A programmers' work varies widely depending on the type of business for which they are writing programs.  For example, the instructions involved in creating and updating financial records are very different from those required to duplicate conditions in an aircraft for pilots training in a flight simulator.

Programmers often use an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to develop their code.  IDEs increase productivity by combining a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger into one application.

Certificates available at Central Arizona College:


Computer Programming Certificate (23 credits)

Potential Careers

C++ Application Developer - Ideal candidates will have a passionate software development practice, a strong desire to learn new technologies and techniques, and a drive to teach others what they know -- all while working with a world class development team to provide cutting edge products to library customers.

Software Developer - The position requires the individual to understand and be able to program using C++, be able to research and resolve problems independently with little or no guidance. The candidate also needs to know either Java or Objective C programming languages and be able to provide examples of their programming skills.

C# / .NET Developer - Work in a casual team-based setting, creating and enhancing software solutions to meet our customer's requirements.


Degree available at Central Arizona College:

Computer Programming Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S. 63 credits)

Potential Careers

Computer Programmer - Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java.  Test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

Application Software Developer - Develop, create and modify general computer applications software of specialized utility programs.

Back-End Developer - Use server-side languages like PHP, Ruby, Python, Java, C++ and C# to build applications and tools like MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server to find, save or change data and serve it back to the front-end code.

Full Stack Developer - A combination of front and back end work.  High-end job career.

System Software Developer - Research, design, develop and test operating systems-level software, compilers and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific and general computing applications.

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Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814