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University of Washington
Professional Staff Payroll Title Series Descriptor
Human Resources Compensation Office

Payroll Title Systems Programmer
Typical Responsibilities

Performs complex system programming duties including developing, installing, modifying, and writing documentation for system level software such as operating systems, language translators, network and communications software, firmware, and device drivers. Detects and corrects operational problems, ensures system efficiency and integrity, and determines file design and data handling methods. Develops and modifies software to meet the needs, objectives, and specifications defined by others. Prepares test data; tests and debugs software systems. Provides technical assistance and support to users. Assists in system acquisitions, planning, and selection of software/hardware. Studies system efficiency and recommends new or modified hardware configurations. May direct the work of others.

Supervisory Responsibility

Positions in this series are not required to supervise staff.

Overtime Eligibility

FLSA overtime status is based on the position's duties and responsibilities, and whether or not the position's gross salary is less than the federal FLSA salary basis test or the Washington state salary basis test, whichever is higher. Please visit the Compensation website for current information on FLSA overtime eligibility.

Professional Staff Exemption

Senior Computer Systems and Network Programming: Individuals having demonstrated professional competence in computer systems and network programming above the journey-level, who independently perform work assignments, and devise methods and processes to meet new and unique work requirements and problems. Employees having substantial responsibility in at least one of the following areas: Applying systems analysis techniques and procedures including consulting with users to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications; Designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing, or modifying computer systems or programs, including prototypes based on and related to user or system design specifications; Designing, documenting, testing, creating, or modifying computer programs related to machine operating systems; or A combination of these duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills.

Sample Working Titles

Systems Programmer, Programmer, Analyst, Application Programmer

Alternative Payroll Titles

When the focus of the computing responsibilities is not on systems level programming, a job in the Senior Computer Specialist payroll title series may be appropriate. Positions which devote a significant portion of their time to supervising other computing positions may be found in Manager/Departmental Computing or Director/Departmental Computing titles. Positions that perform some of the above duties but spend the bulk of their time on work such as first level help desk, installation of software or patches, diagnosing and repairing hardware or software problems, simple programming/scripting, etc., may not meet exemption into professional staff. Such positions may be a better fit for jobs in the classified system, such as Computer Maintenance Technician, Computer Support Technician, Computer Support Analyst, or Computer Support Specialist.



Payroll title descriptors provide a general idea of the type of work performed by jobs assigned to payroll titles in a series. Descriptors do not and are not intended to represent all possible positions in the payroll title series. Payroll title and grade assignments for a professional staff position are based on its position-specific job description (see Professional Staff Position Description form).

Descriptor version date: 5/3/2011 11:35:45 AM