What role do programmers play


Definition programmer

The word programming comes from ancient Greek and means command. Programming is a sub-area of ​​software development and web development and means the creation of the source code for computer programs, also called software, and web applications such as websites and apps using programming languages.

The process of programming is to be understood as a translation of requirements by creating logics. These logics follow the principle of causal conditions: if A occurs, B should happen. They are also called algorithms, a sequence of actions that follow established rules for events that occur.

A large part of programming is automation, which is developed by programmers to make processes run by themselves (such as e-mail operations, marketing measures or handling large amounts of data). This technology is also used when programming smart technologies or artificial intelligence.

Programmers are usually part of development teams, so that the tasks are distributed among several developers. Programmers can, however, also take on tasks in other roles (see tasks of programmers below).

Types of programmers

Software programmers

Software is the first and original area of ​​programming. As early as 1848 Ada Lovelace wrote the basis for a computer program for processing numbers, musical notes, letters and images.

Over time, and especially with the invention of the Internet in the late 1980s and early 1990s, more and more fields have emerged (see below). Programmers are specializing more and more. Software developers can be divided into many different specializations, but the two largest fields are system software and application software.

System software developers write the "manuscript" for the hardware, in most cases a computer and its physical components, that tells it what and how to do something.

Software developers of application software write the code for computer programs for the user, such as Microsoft Office applications or editing software for photos, videos and other media.

Gaming programmer

Strictly speaking, games are a part of application software, but since gaming has become such a large field, more and more programmers have specialized in them. Game programmers can work independently or, as with software and web programming, belong to a team of developers who share the tasks from conception to programming, design and testing.

Web programmer

In the broadest sense, web programmers are also programmers of application software. These can in turn be divided into different areas of competence. Website programmers write the code for all types of Internet pages that are accessible through a browser. This includes homepages, blogs, online shops, marketplaces and many more.

Programmers of web applications, which, in contrast to websites, are not a purely static display of information, but allow interactions by users in the form of inputs and controls, write the code for all types of applications that run in a browser. This can be, for example, navigation applications such as Google Maps, a translation of desktop applications such as Word Online or, and this is where the areas of competence also overlap, online games.

Cloud software programmers develop the infrastructure and functions of online-based storage and server services as well as networks and operate and maintain them. This also includes cloud computing, for example, whereby the software is operated by an external service provider according to the software-as-a-service principle and used by the customer as a service.

App programmer

Programmers of apps develop all kinds of applications, so that this area of ​​competence also counts as application software. In general usage, apps are mostly used to mean mobile apps, such as those found on smartphones, for example. These applications are designed and programmed in app development, which can then be installed on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and smart TVs.

Database programmer

As a database programmer, you create and maintain database systems for accounting, tax, management of customer or employee information, for controlling, accounting and many other areas. Mainly due to the large flood of data as a result of digitization, keyword big data, databases play a central role today.

In addition to entering data and structuring it using rubrics, the area of ​​responsibility of optimizing the user interface, programming search functions, setting up access for other employees and familiarizing them with the systems by writing manuals and instructions or providing training Database programmers.

Basic knowledge of programmers

Because there are so many different areas of specialization in this profession, programmers also have different levels of knowledge and skills that they acquire during their education or training. Nevertheless, there is a certain basic knowledge that almost all programmers have in common.

These include, for example, HTML and CSS. These are syntaxes that are often mistakenly referred to as programming languages. They are just formatting rules that contain no logic, but can in turn be used by programming languages. Knowing and mastering these - or at least some of them, depending on the area of ​​application - is also part of the basic knowledge of programmers.

In addition, most programmers work with different development frameworks that support them in the development. In addition, various content management systems, CMS for short, are used, especially in the web area.

For programmers of all kinds, it is also an advantage to have additional knowledge in the areas of media law, security, marketing and current trends in IT and digitality.

Tools for programmers

For the different areas of software development mentioned above, there is a corresponding tool and various aids that programmers use in development work. The most common ones should be mentioned here briefly.

Programming languages:


  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • .NET
  • Knuckle


Programming languages:


Web development

Programming languages:

  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • C and C ++
  • python
  • Visual Basic
  • Swift


  • Angular
  • Ruby On Rails
  • Laravel
  • React.js
  • Symfony
  • Node.js


  • Wordpress
  • Joomla
  • Magento
  • Drupal


Programming languages:

  • Java
  • Swift
  • Objective-C
  • C ++
  • C #


Database programming

Programming languages:

  • especially SQL, but also the above-mentioned programming languages



  • Microsoft Access VBA programming


Contrary to the idea that programming is a lonely activity, there are countless tools that make it easier to collaborate with other programmers and to organize within the team. A couple of examples are:

  • Github
  • Github is a web-based hosting platform where you can split up the development work, merge results and manage the different versions.

  • Jira
  • Jira is particularly suitable for planning and publishing software.

  • Squad
  • Squad is a code editor in the browser that allows multiple programmers to write code at the same time and communicate with one another using a built-in chat.

Tasks of programmers

As the name suggests, programming does most of the work of Programmers out. Depending on the area of ​​application, they write the code with the help of their programming knowledge, tailored to the platform or the device using the respective programming languages ​​and common frameworks.

In the run-up, however, you usually need one Requirements analysis in addition, in which the project is checked for feasibility and with regard to the available resources.

After completion, the work of the programmer is often not done: With the help of testing and monitoring, manual and automated tests are carried out on functions and, for example, the connection of the websites. This can be done once or at regular intervals.

If errors are found in the process, they are reported as part of a maintenance fixed and the code of the respective product optimized.

Optional tasks by programmers

One job that is not compulsory but that many programmers do in their profession is one consultation to the desired products. The topics can be security and media law, trends, application-specific comparisons of products and general experience. Sometimes the consultation can take place in cooperation with other team members such as content managers or online editors.

Based on the wishes and ideas, a Conception carried out in which the requirements are collated and the desired product is planned accordingly.

If there is no graphic designer in the team of programmers, they also take over the design and implementation of the Layouts, where the coloring, fonts, graphics, buttons and the visual appearance of other elements are determined using Photoshop, Figma or other graphic design tools.

If it is a web product, some programming also offer hosting. Provide web space on a server for websites and web apps.

Programmers' fields of work


Like around 10% of IT specialists, programmers can set up their own business or work as a freelancer. In doing so, they usually accept one-off, (rarely also recurring) projects and assignments from different companies or individuals.


One in four of the 10% freelancers mentioned above starts a company. This means that you set up a start-up, for example an agency or a website operator, and in your job as a programmer you are your own boss and form a team around you.


As an employed programmer you participate, like around 40%, in the development of programs, websites, games and apps in a team of a company. This company can be, for example, a web, full-service or media agency.

Programmers as part of development teams

Developer teams can be formed among freelancers, founders or permanent employees. Depending on the size of the team, collaboration with project managers, content managers, designers, quality managers and administrators is necessary.

Industry sectors

According to a survey by Wiwo, the most common industry for programmers is web development. Financial technologies and cloud-based services are in the middle, followed by technologies for the healthcare sector.

  1. Web development and design
  2. IT sector
  3. Software as a service
  4. Software development
  5. Financial technology or services
  6. Cloud based services
  7. Data and analysis
  8. consultation
  9. Advertising, media and entertainment
  10. Retail or online trading
  11. Healthcare Technologies

Qualifications of programmers

The profession of programmer or the job title of programmer is not a protected title. This is an advantage for newcomers, as it enables them to start their career straight away. However, this is a disadvantage for companies and employers, as it is difficult to prove the competence of programmers in the application process.

Qualifications are therefore good starting points. An internship can both improve your résumé and help you choose a career. Then, for example, a degree in programming can be completed, in which not only the basic knowledge and skills of programmers are acquired, but also learning and observing social and media processes. Degree programs for programmers are, for example, computer science, software engineering, software technology or software development. In recent years, however, more and more web development courses have emerged. It is also a good idea to apply for a scholarship. Because this profession is so promising, there are many scholarships in the programming area.

Programmers who have completed an apprenticeship have mostly done this as a media designer for image and sound or digital media or in the field of media technicians.

Lateral entrants have learned to program in VHS courses and other courses or workshops or have taught themselves to do it themselves.

The training of programmers or their career is ultimately of secondary importance: In the area of ​​information technology in particular, continuous training is necessary, as this is a very fast-moving industry and innovations, new developments and trends are constantly emerging.

Target groups of programmers

The target groups who are interested in the work of programmers are, for example, employers who want to hire programmers in their agency, their IT company or the IT department of their company.

Conversely, companies, start-ups and individuals can also have an interest in having software, games, an app or a website created for their product or service. Due to today's high level of in this area, trained programmers meet the expectations and requirements better than if you take this task in hand unskilled.

However, in this case the competencies of programmers usually do not cover all areas, which is why it makes sense to commission a development team in which programmers work. The areas of design, content, security and maintenance are also covered. This can be done, for example, in the context of cooperation with an internet agency.

Programming at TenMedia

TenMedia is a dynamic digital agency in Berlin. Since our foundation in 2011, we have specialized in software development, technical development and the operation of state-of-the-art websites, modern apps, innovative web portals and extensive online shops. Our development team consists of web enthusiasts and skilled programmers. With us there is no off-the-shelf code - we develop customer projects according to individual wishes and ideas. In addition, we also take over the hosting and monitoring after completion or are even available as a long-term IT partner.