Job Description: GIS Analyst/Programmer – Utility

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A GIS programmer/analyst is a key player in developing and managing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. Their main job is to create and test GIS software that meets the specific needs of clients or organizations.

GIS programmers work closely with other GIS users, database administrators, and other technical team members to understand requirements, analyze user needs, and customize GIS tools accordingly. Additionally, GIS programmer/analysts solve technical problems, making sure the software runs smoothly and efficiently.

Briefly describe a typical day:
I create internet based mapping applications. So all day I work on ArcIMS customization projects. Write and test JavaScript code to carry to custom functions in GIS websites.

Develop ASP’s to carry out custom GIS functions with ArcIMS. I also am developing an internal webpage to support ArcIMS development. Occasionally I meet with clients, but that is mostly carried out by my manager.

How do you use GIS to help your company?
Our comapny, an electric utility, uses custom GIS applications to locate client addresses and determine their service territory and other information, to determine if archeological or biological sensitivities occur at a location where service is needed, to manage it’s facilities and transmission hardware, and for many other applications.

GIS software used:
Arc/INFO, ArcView, ArcIMS, ArcSDE, Arc… Basically, all things Esri.

What skills do you need to be successful in your position?
Programming (JavaScript, VBScript, VB, ArcXML, HTML, Avenue, Java). A strong understanding of client server technology, server architecture, and network protocol and standards. Web design and visual communication. Strong communication skills (with other analysts and clients).

What do you particularly enjoy about your position?
Programming, creating new tools and interfaces. Learning more and more evry day. Figuring out how to translate a client’s idea into code.

What don’t you like about your position?
I’m not authorized to say… Well, other than the burocracy of working for a VERY large company.

How did you get started in GIS?:
A remote sensing class in geology.

How did you find out about your current position?:
A friend/former student worked here, and I hit him up for a job. They said “yes”.

Job TitleIndustryLocation
GIS Analyst/ProgrammerUtilityCalifornia
Years of ExperienceEducation
Salary Range
($ USD)
3B.A. in Geography$40,000 – 50,000/year 
Submitted by Tom Wayson, March 20, 2001.

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