Read the text and make notes about main responsibilities of jobs in computing

Computer Literacy

Informed citizens of our information-dependent society should be computer-literate, which means that they should be able to use computers as everyday problem-solving devices. They should be aware of the potential of computers to influence the quality of life.

There was a time when only privileged people had an opportunity to learn the basics, called the three R's: reading, writing, and arithmetics. Now, as we are becoming an information-becoming society, it is time to restate this right as the right to learn reading, writing and computing. There is little doubt that computers and their many applications are among the most significant technical achievements of the century. They bring with them both economic and social changes. "Computing" is a concept that embraces not only the old third R, arithmetics, but also a new idea computer literacy.

In an information society a person who is computer-literate need not be an expert on the design of computers. He needn't even know much about how to prepare programs which are the instructions that direct the operations of computers. All of us are already on the way to becoming computer-literate. Just think of your everyday life. If you buy something with a bank credit card or pay a bill by check, computers help you to process the information. When you check out at the counter of your store, a computer assists the checkout clerk and the store manager. Many actions that you have taken or observed have much in common. Each relates to some aspect of a data processing system.

Here is the description of jobs in computing.

System analyst studies methods of working within an organization to decide how tasks can be done efficiently by computers. He makes a detailed analysis of the employer's requirements and work patterns to prepare a report on different options for using information technology. This may involve consideration of the hardware as well as software. He either uses standard computer packages or writes a specification for programmers to adapt existing software or to prepare new software. He may oversee the implementation and testing of the system and acts as a link between the user and the programmer.

Software Engineer/Designer produces the programs which control the internal operations of computers. He converts the system analyst's specification to a logical series of steps. Software Engineer translates these into the appropriate computer language. He often compiles programs from libraries or sub-programs, combining them to make up a complete systems program. He designs, tests, and improves programs for computer-aided design and manufacture, business applications, computer networks and games.

Computer Systems Support Person.Systems support people are analyst programmers who are responsible for maintaining, updating and modifying the software used by a company. Some of them specialize in software which handles the basic operation of the computers. This involves the use of machine codes and specialized low-level computer languages. Most of them handle application software. They may sort out problems encountered by users. Solving problems systems support people may involve amending an area of code in the software, retrieving files and data lost when a system crashes and a basic knowledge of hardware.

Computer System Analyst Programmercreates the software programs used by computers. He may specialize in the internal operating systems using low level computer language or in application programs. He also may specialize in one aspect of the work, e.g. programming, systems design, systems analysis or cover them all. He may support the system through advice and training, providing user manuals and by helping users with any problems that arise.

Hardware Engineer researches designs and develops computers, or parts of computers and the computerized element of appliances, machines and vehicles. He also involves in their manufacture, installation and testing.

Professions and organizations.As the use of computers has spread throughout society, there are an increasing number of careers involving computers. Following the theme of hardware, software and firmware, the brains of people who work in the industry are sometimes known irreverently as wetware or meatware.

Computer-related professions.Hardware-related: Electrical engineer-ing, Electronics engineering, Computer engineering, Telecommunications engineering, Optical engineering, Nanoscale engineering.

Software-related: Human-computer interaction, Information technology, Software engineering, Scientific computing, Web design, Desktop publishing.

The need for computers to work well together and to be able to exchange information has spawned the need for many standards organizations, clubs and societies of both a formal and informal nature.

Vocabulary Notes

computer literacy

be aware of ,


to restate['rJ'steit] ,

significant [sIg'nIfIkqnt]

computing ; ;

to embrace [Im'breIs]


to direct the operation

subscription[sqb'skrIpSqn] magazine

store manager

system analyst

consideration [kqn"sIdq'reIS(q)n] ,

computer package

software designer[dI'zaInq]

to compile[kqm'paIl]

computer-aided design

business application , ;

computer system support person

to encounter[In'kaVntq]

computer system analyst programmer

hardware engineer


wetware / meatware

engineering["endZI'nIqrIN] ,

to spawn [spLn]


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