Though they are both programmers, a system programmer and an application programmer have very different roles and skill sets. While they might seem similar to those outside of the IT industry, their backgrounds and responsibilities will rarely intersect. Nevertheless, they may still have the same core backgrounds, and lateral moves between positions are possible. System programmers and application programmers will often need to work closely with each other within a company to ensure proper integration within the system’s infrastructure.
System Programming and Maintenance
System programmers are responsible for the maintenance of the operating system and its infrastructure. This can range from installing new products, integrating third-party solutions, and even developing their own software to customize the platform. It is here that a system programmer may operate occasionally as or with an application programmer. They may need to work to hook products in directly to their system, or even create their own system-level solutions.
A system programmer needs to be knowledgeable about the entirety of the system’s infrastructure and its resources. They will need to ensure that the system is operating as productively and efficiently as possible. They will need to be able to plan for the future needs of the business and to decommission and replace solutions as necessary. For the most part, the role of the system programmer will lie in keeping the system updated and monitoring it for any potential issues.
Application Programming and Development
An applications programmer is charged with the development and programming of a software solution. Applications programmers may create proprietary frameworks for an organization or may be tasked with developing software solutions from the ground up. In recent years, many applications programmers have been developing for cloud-based infrastructures and mobile environments.
When hired internally at a business, an applications programmer will generally be called upon to provide solutions for the company. This begins with determining the needs of the business. An applications programmer will often interview users directly to identify the best direction for the software to take. They will then prototype and test the solution until it’s able to fulfill the company’s goals.
Integrating System Programming and Application Programming
A system programmer will often work with the applications developed by an application programmer. Though the application programmer will be in charge of developing the solution, the system programmer will need to integrate the solution into the system. Both the application programmer and the system programmer will likely have similar backgrounds regarding their programming knowledge and experience, but system programmers will likely do less programming and more resource management. In many cases (though not always), a system programmer is required to have a wider array of experience and training.
For larger businesses, both system and applications programmers are generally necessary to create a better working environment. Through custom software development and system integration, a business will be able to create a platform that truly works for them. At Software Specialists, job listings for both system and application programmers are available. Review the job listings available today to find out more.