Multimedia programmer: job description

Multimedia programmers are responsible for designing and creating multimedia computer products that combine text with sounds, pictures, graphics, video clips, virtual reality, digital animation and other forms of media.

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Producing products that are user-friendly and appealing is a key responsibility of multimedia programmers.

What does a multimedia programmer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

A multimedia programmer creates products to be used online and on a variety of other platforms, including DVDs, mobile phones and computer games.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • creating multimedia product designs using specialist software
  • meeting and liaising with clients and managers to discuss requirements or project progress
  • writing code to programme functions, graphics, sounds and digital animation
  • testing applications and fixing any problems that arise
  • producing, demonstrating and receiving feedback about products
  • keeping up to date with technological and software developments
  • developing skills and expertise in appropriate software and programming languages
  • producing products that are user-friendly, effective and appealing
  • working as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

There can be some pressure to meet deadlines, when extra hours may be required. Promotional prospects can be excellent for employees willing to change jobs regularly and to move into managerial positions.

Typical employers of multimedia programmers

  • Software and multimedia companies
  • Computer games companies
  • Advertising and marketing companies
  • Broadcasters
  • Specialist multimedia and web design companies
  • IT consultancies
  • Large organisations with in-house web development teams, multimedia and new media departments

Vacancies are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies, in newspapers and publications such as Computing, Computer Weekly , Edge and their respective websites. Speculative applications are advisable.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both school leavers and graduates.

It is occasionally possible to enter the profession with a degree or higher national diploma (HND) in any subject. However, many employers prefer graduates with technical or creative qualifications. Relevant subjects include multimedia technology, web design, graphic design, 3D design, game design, animation, fine art, software engineering, IT and computer science. A postgraduate multimedia course can also be helpful, especially for graduates without relevant degrees.

It’s possible to enter this career without a degree or HND; however, this is more difficult and you may have to work your way up from a more junior position. Exact requirements vary from employer to employer, but candidates should have a good portfolio of web pages and other digital designs to demonstrate their technical and creative abilities. To find out more about getting into IT and technology via a school leaver route, visit the IT and technology section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for multimedia programmers

  • Enthusiasm
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Patience
  • Attention to detail
  • Good analytical and technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Teamworking skills
  • The ability to work under pressure to meet deadlines

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