Programmer analysts do the work of both a systems analyst and computer programmer. Systems analysts develop and design software and computer systems. Computer programmers implement those designs by writing new programs along with updating and repairing existing programs.
Job Duties of a Programmer Analyst
The work of a programmer analyst begins by meeting with a team to determine a company's computer system needs and then designing a system to fulfill them.
They may also create cost analyses to determine the financial viability while working with project managers to create a timeline. After designing the software, a programmer analyst will test it for problems and debug as needed. Programmer analysts are expected to stay current with knowledge about new technology and trends to incorporate into their existing systems. Here's a more in-depth look at their duties and skill set:
- Requirements Analysis: During this initial phase, computer program specifications are developed. A successful programmer can also communicate well in terms of gathering and analyzing program requirements.
- Program Design: Sometimes a programmer will build a graphical view of the process flow so that the team can see and understand his thinking.
- Program Coding: Once the design is approved, a programmer analyst will proceed to write programs in one of several languages – COBOL for large applications running on mainframe computers, or Java, C++ or C# for smaller programs that run on personal computers.
- Program Testing: The programmer analyst tests the code to see if it functions according to plan. This “alpha” testing locates any obvious software bugs before the official testing team takes over.
- Program Maintenance: Maintenance may not be the most exciting part of programming, but it keeps programs running efficiently while offering a good learning experience for newer programmer analysts who can gain experience debugging code written by more seasoned programmers.
Model Your Cover Letter from a Sample
Programmer Analyst Cover Letter Sample (Text Version)
Dear Mr. Smith:
I'm writing to express my interest in the Senior Programmer Analyst position posted on your company website. I believe that my strong technical experience and education make me a competitive candidate for this position.
My key strengths that would be a good match with the position include:
- Successfully designing, developing and supporting live use applications.
- A self-starter and eager to learn new things. I continuously seek to build my skill set and thrive in high-paced environments.
- Striving for continued excellence. My contributions to the team during my senior year internship led to an offer with the company after graduation, and I’ve continued to assume new responsibilities and challenges during my tenure.
- Providing exceptional contributions to customer service. In my previous role, I improved first call resolution rates by 8 percent last quarter, while keeping talk time flat.
With an MS degree in Information Systems Management, I have a full understanding of the full life cycle of a software development project. I also have experience in learning and mastering new technologies. My experience includes:
- Customer service and support
- Programming both new applications and maintenance work
- Problem isolation and analysis
- Software quality testing
- Application and requirement analysis
- Process improvement and documentation
Please see my resume for additional information. I can be reached anytime at 555-555-5555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.
Important Cover Letter Tips to Follow
Be specific and results-oriented.
Numbers, statistics, and percentages are more persuasive than vague claims. Whenever possible, provide concrete examples of your achievements.
Write a targeted cover letter.
Look closely at the job description in the listing before you start your cover letter, and target your message to the requirements advertised. A good cover letter is a sales pitch, not a biography. It shouldn’t regurgitate your resume or waste time and space on skills that are unrelated to the job listing.
Write a new cover letter for every job, even if the roles are similar.
It’s fine to work off a template. It’s not fine to send the same cover letter to every job, even if the duties and description are similar. Customize your cover letter each and every time.
Sending your cover letter via email?
Make sure you proofread and test your email before you hit send. Attention to detail is important for any job seeker, but it’s especially important for programmer analysts, whose jobs depend on their ability to bash bugs, not create them.