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Become an analyst programmer

There is currently a big demand for analyst programmers, but what do they actually do? Read on to find out.

 

What does an analyst programmer do?

An analyst programmer could also be referred to as a technical business analyst and will usually act as a bridge between a business and its IT department. The role will usually involve working closely with different business areas to gather requirements in order to design and configure a system, including setting clearly defined objectives and requirements.

Analyst programmers will often work alongside BAs and project managers and will be involved in testing, implementing and provide post-implementation support. Whereas a programmer will simply take the algorithms they are given and write code, an analyst programmer must also be able to analyse a program and develop the algorithms to solve it – they will do the whole thing themselves.

How much can I earn?

According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey, an analyst programmer can earn between £45-70k for a permanent role and £450-600 per day for a contract role.

What responsibilities are typical?

These will vary depending on the focus of the role or individual project being worked on, but can include:

  • Developing software applications and tools
  • Analysing, designing and developing applications to the given specifications
  • Maintaining and managing all software applications and protocols
  • Designing and developing new enhanced functionality for software applications
  • Developing code documentation supporting programme development
  • Assisting and supporting other programmers
  • Interfacing with end-users to determine software application needs and objectives
  • Interacting with software developers in identifying and developing advanced software solutions
  • Translating business needs and requirements into programming languages
  • Supporting and providing feedback to project managers, development, testing and stakeholders in the business
  • Working with the business and technology to define measurable objectives for a solution
  • Documenting clear and testable business requirements and function design specifications
  • Assisting in the definition of functional test conditions and expected results
  • Providing business support during the post-implementation period
     

What technical expertise is required?

To succeed in this role you will possess a good blend of being a hands-on technologist who also has good business understanding. You could have a testing or development background, with anything from C++ or Java, to .Net or SQL. 

In this role though, communication is key. You’ll be liaising with multiple stakeholders, many of whom will lack the technical understanding of a programmer or technology professional, so good verbal and written skills are fundamental, supported by the ability to translate clearly and effectively the necessary information whilst not confusing the end user. You should also be able to demonstrate good business analysis skills and understanding.

Many employers will also look for analyst programmers who have previous experience from the same industry in order to ‘hit the ground running’.

What personal qualities are required?

To succeed in this role, you should be an approachable individual and have the confidence and gravitas to work with stakeholders at all levels in an organisation. You should also be able to deliver to tight deadlines, but still deliver quality work with a strong attention to detail. It’s also important to be proactive, enjoy problem solving and be inquisitive, with good logical, analytical and diagnostic skills.

According to the Robert Walters Salary Survey, an analyst programmer can earn between £45-70k for a permanent role and £450-600 per day for a contract role.

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