What is the scope of insurance programmers? What does an insurance programmer do and how much experience do you need to get started? All these questions will be answered in this article.
Insurance programming can be done in almost any language but is most common in C++, Java, and Objective-C. Insurance company applications are often fairly low on the list of priorities for developers, so insurance programmers typically have to find ways to keep themselves busy while waiting for new features to come online.
Most insurance programming jobs do not require an enormous amount of experience, as long as you can demonstrate your technical skills with a good resume. Insurance companies love coding ninjas that are ready to make their lives easier by building new software quickly.
The first thing an insurance programmer does when applying for a new job is to figure out what the requirements are. Usually, it will be something along the lines of “must have at least five years of commercial software development experience, knowledge of insurance-specific programming languages and technology requirements is a plus”.
There are official standards in place for most common industries, so an insurance programmer should have some knowledge about which technologies are typically used when writing code to handle policy information.
This usually includes the use of relational databases with industry-standard SQL, object-oriented programming languages that support polymorphism, and the ability to interface with web services over SOAP or REST protocols.
If you are just starting out as an insurance coder it is best to have at least two years of commercial development experience.
Experience dealing with technical specifications is also extremely valuable when applying for new jobs. If you don’t know the exact technology stack they use but can show examples of similar projects you worked on previously you will have a much better chance of getting hired.
Most insurance companies don’t want people that will only stick around for a couple of years before moving on to greener pastures. They would prefer someone with some seniority, but also wants to work in their industry.
If you are an entry-level coder looking for your first break into the field of insurance programmers this is the perfect job opportunity for you!
If you are willing to start out as an intern or junior developer most insurers will give you full-time employment after completing your training period (usually 3-6 months) and prove that you can do the job properly.
Many interns end up staying on the long term because they like the company culture, working environment, and especially the people they get to interact with every day.
As stated before insurance programming is mostly done in C++, Java, and Objective-C so you should at least know which one of these languages you like the most or are most comfortable with.
Most often than not your employer will already have an immediate need for someone that can work with their existing technology stack. Entry-level developers will usually start out as junior programmers writing test harnesses to validate new features, but over time move up into more challenging tasks.
Most insurance companies do not care whether you use open source or commercial development tools, as long as it works properly and does what the business needs it to do.
The only exception is if they are using proprietary systems developed by other companies. If this is the case it would be wise to use the same programming language/technology that it was written with.
Some things to keep in mind when applying for a job as an insurance programmer:
- Familiarity with SQL and object-oriented programming languages (preferably C++)
- Good knowledge of at least one OOP language such as Java or Objective-C
- Experience with testing software using unit tests, integration tests, and GUI automated tests
- Ability to escalate issues for a timely resolution to avoid issue escalation from clients. (You also need to be able to prove that you have the ability to solve any problem given enough time)
- Strong technical writing skills – being able to document complex issues with simple language that even non-technical people can understand
- At least two years of commercial development experience in at least one OOP language.
- Experience dealing with technical specifications is also extremely valuable when applying for new jobs. If you don’t know the exact technology stack they use but can show examples of similar projects you worked on previously you will have a much better chance of getting hired.