Insurance programmers are a relatively new and quickly growing occupation in the insurance industry. They typically work with programming languages such as Java, C++, and Visual Basic to create software for an insurer's applications.
Most of an insurance programmer's day is spent at his desk using various development tools such as text editors, compilers, debuggers, version control software, coding standards checkers, code beautifiers/uglifiers, etc. However it will also be necessary for him to attend meetings with clients and other company employees throughout the workday. The majority of programmers work in an office environment; however, some may occasionally have to visit clients' or their own computer systems.
Benefits of hiring insurance programmers
Insurers who hire programmers tend to be larger companies that can afford to pursue technology initiatives.
Often, these companies need help with specific projects such as:
- Creating a new user interface for agents and customers
- Upgrading an existing system
- Creating an entirely new application from scratch.
Jobs in the insurance industry
Specialized developers of this type are typically brought on board when a large project requires knowledge of more than one programming language and/or more than one application development software platform. For example:
- Using multiple computer languages to create components that interact with each other (e.g., a C++ program that interacts with a Visual Basic front-end)
- Programming television set television sets, video games, and kiosks.
Similar roles of insurance programmers
Insurance programmers typically have skills in at least one specific programming language such as Java or C++. In many cases they also have experience working with software development tools such as the Eclipse IDE. Insurance companies need specialized employees to help them implement their ideas while balancing priorities and deadlines. For example:
- Work on a variety of projects simultaneously
- Meet strict schedules while maintaining quality assurance standards
- Develop mobile applications using different languages and frameworks (e.g., Android SDK + iOS Objective C)
programmers may have a background in any type of programming, not necessarily just in the field of insurance.
Typically, insurance companies need employees who are adept at executing upon customer requests while balancing deadlines and budgets. This is why many hiring managers prefer candidates who have previous experience working on projects for non-insurance organizations.
However, it can be very helpful if applicants demonstrate that they understand key concepts such as:
- Business logic (e.g., entities such as customers and agents)
- Translation between business goals and computer code (e.g., how to communicate user intent via programmatic actions)
- The software development life cycle (e.g., development, testing, maintenance)
Most insurance companies also require applicants to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field such as information systems. This is because employers typically want people who can demonstrate the following:
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work collaboratively with many different types of people (e.g., agents)
- A strong desire for career advancement and growth
Roles & Responsibilities
Most insurance programmers are employed by larger organizations that need help developing custom applications. As such, they may be involved in any number of projects including:
- Upgrading existing systems or creating new interfaces for existing programs
- Working on one or more projects at a time, balancing different types of work (e.g., new features vs. bug fixes)
- Maintaining existing systems to ensure that they continue working properly over time
- Providing input on design decisions and offering solutions using an appropriate combination of technology platforms.
Education & Certification
Insurance professionals typically have bachelor's degrees in computer science or information systems, but it can also be helpful for applicants if they demonstrate experience relevant to the field such as:
- Experience with mobile application development
- Experience with web application development
- Experience in developing business logic and customizing software components (e.g., writing triggers in different languages).