Computers are so important in our everyday lives. We use computers throughout the day to do everything from communicating with colleagues, family and friends, to researching a topic, to composing a letter, to creating a spreadsheet, to reading the news. With technology right at our fingertips we are able to instantly send a text or an email to someone on the other side of the world. Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook allow us to post our thoughts and photos for anyone to see. When you think about it, it is absolutely mindboggling and amazing. We use apps on our smartphone or tablet to read the news or an e-book, check the weather, play a game, shop, or send a message. We expect our “computers” to be fast and work properly without any glitches. Did you ever stop to think who makes all of this possible? Computer programmers and software developers do!
Using a specialized code, computer programmers develop software applications that make our life easier and FUN! Computer programmers turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow. Does this sound like something you would like to do? Students interested in programming/software development can participate in the Career and Technical Education Programming/Software Development Pathway at their high school.
“My class is a challenging course that involves a real world programming language and prepares students for the challenges that they will face in the future—in college and the workforce. In the computer programming/software development class students complete projects using mySQL databases, the Android mobile environment, as well as integrating at least one other language,” says Cody Henrichsen, computer programming instructor at Canyons Technical Education Center (CTEC).
Students in the CTEC computer programming/software development class work on projects integrating Java and mySQL programming so they can interact with databases within their regular Java programming. Students study Android mobile development and develop an app to release on the Android Marketplace. “Last year, as a class project, students developed two apps that are going to be added to the marketplace this month. We developed apps that showcase the CTEC programs and offer a vocabulary study tool for a variety of classes including programming, cosmetology, electrical, and fire science. We are preparing them for release on all three of the major mobile environments,” says Henrichsen.
Students participating in the Programming/Software Development Pathway have the opportunity to participate in the following events throughout the year.
> Utah High School Supercomputing Competition
> Utah IT Challenge Competition
> Lego® Robotics Competition
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment in computer systems design and related services is projected to increase by 45 percent through the year 2018. According to the Utah Technology Council, the technology industry represents 14.3 percent of the state’s total payroll, which includes over 100,000 high-wage jobs, having an economic impact of approximately $7 billion.
Would you describe yourself as an analytical thinker, independent, curious, and observant? Are you good at solving math problems and applying existing technology in creative ways? Do you like to play video games, try out new technology, and work on your own? If you answered yes, then a career in Information Technology may be of interest to you. Talk to your school counselor to learn more about the Programming/Software Development Pathway.