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You are here: The Job Explorer > Job Description > Systems Programmer Principal

Systems Programmer Principal Duties and Responsibilities

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Purpose of Classification:

Designs, plans, analyzes, implements and integrates major systems software projects. Provides technical direction and coordinates computer specialist teams performing technical systems support activities involving operating systems software.

Distinguishing Characteristics:

This is third in a series of three classifications and is distinguished from lower level systems programmers in that incumbents have technical expertise in assigned systems and supervise projects of a developmental nature as well as systems maintenance.

Examples of Duties:

  • Supervises and coordinates the work activities of others.
  • Plans, develops and coordinates maintenance or developmental projects for operating systems or subsystem functions to include installations of new software, equipment modifications, or system software fixes.
  • Reviews analyses and specifications for possible improvements of operating system software; designs, develops, authorizes or recommends new or revised systems or system utilities as necessary.
  • Determines feasibility of adapting complex software systems and processes to the computing equipment.
  • Monitors system backup procedures and directs recovery operations in the event of destruction of all or part of the operating system or other system components.
  • Reviews documentation concerning the adaptation of complex software systems and processes to the computing equipment; recommends alternatives and solutions.
  • Coordinates with administrative and technical personnel concerning implementation and adaptation of complex operating systems and related software to meet users needs.
  • Coordinates with systems to provide information about system capabilities and to recommend changes in procedures or other solutions to improve efficiency and resolve problems.
  • Identifies systems software problem trends.
  • Monitors the testing and evaluation of new versions of operating systems and related software.
  • Directs the system generation process.
  • Provides technical assistance and training to all appropriate computer user personnel on hardware/software features associated with the computer installation, operation and maintenance.
  • Reviews diagnosis of operating systems software/hardware failures and recommended solutions.
  • Ensures the security and integrity of all systems and data.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of systems and applications programming.
  • Knowledge of the principles, practices and capabilities of software and operating systems features currently available.
  • Knowledge of multiprogramming computer operating methods and procedures.
  • Knowledge of supervisory practices and principles.
  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of project management.
  • Skill in the use of the programming and job control language specific to the assignment.
  • Skill in communicating technical matters verbally and in writing.

Minimum Qualifications:

Bachelor's degree in Computer Science or related field AND four years of systems and/or applications programming experience; OR, Associate's degree in Computer Science or related field AND five years of systems and/or applications programming experience; OR, Six years of systems and/or applications programming experience; OR, Any equivalent combination of experience and/or education from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been achieved.


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