Programmers need to understand the principles and practices common to production software development. Production considerations include such things as version control, code libraries, source control systems, documentation, code reviews, testing tools and methodology, and software release management. Whether you're a one-man shop writing custom applications, or a member of a 100-developer team, understanding these principles will make your life as a programmer much easier.
Many companies now use specific methodologies for managing the software development lifecycle, and programmers should be familiar with those methodologies and how they relate to the production cycle. Some common methodologies include Agile, Lean, Scrum, Spiral, and Waterfall. Certifications and workshops are available for many of these methodologies. Take time to review the job postings for your dream company to find out what methodology is used; then make sure that you understand the particulars of that process.