Computer Engineer Job Description
A computer engineer is an engineer who designs and develops computers and other technological devices. Computer engineers perform tasks such as writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing and developing VLSI chips, designing and developing analog sensors, designing and developing mixed signal circuit boards and designing and developing operating systems.
A computer engineer should be enthusiastic, imaginative, creative, adaptable, and detail oriented, and have the ability to think methodically and logically. They should also have self-development skills to learn and apply new knowledge and stay updated on new technologies. They should ensure that the systems they develop work as expected and are reliable and maintainable.
Pursue a career in computer engineering if you are an imaginative and analytical person who has strong passion for technology and its development.
What does a Computer Engineer do?
Computer engineers may do some or all of the following:
- perform research to test computer theories or develop new computer technology
- design and develop computer hardware
- design and develop computer software
- write well designed, well documented , and maintainable computer programs
- install and implement computer systems
- configure and Install computer networks and servers
- repair and service computers and associated equipment
- manage computer projects and supervise subordinates
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does a Computer Engineer work?
Places of work for computer engineers include:
- financial institutions
- software development companies
- computer manufacturing companies
- chemical companies
- transportation companies
- manufacturing companies
- Government organizations
- communication companies
Computer engineers usually work normal office hours, but may be required to work evenings or weekends, or be on call. They work in offices, computer laboratories and workshops.
What is Required to Become a Computer Engineer?
To become a computer engineer, you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or a related discipline.
A computer engineering program is similar to that of electrical engineering but with some computer science courses added to the curriculum. Prospective computer engineers should have a solid background in math, physics and computer programming.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Differential equations
- Linear algebra
- Linear systems analysis
- Probability and statistics
- Engineering design
- Automation design
- Numerical analysis
- Computer- aided analysis
- Electrical circuits
- Discrete mathematical structures
- Computer and assembly language programming
- Data structures
- Computer Software
- Operating systems
- Computer organization
- Switching systems
- Digital integrated circuits
- Machine intelligence
- Embedded systems
A computer engineer may specialize to become any of the following:
- Computer Hardware Engineer - an engineer who designs, develops and tests computer hardware
- Network/Systems Engineer - an engineer who designs, installs, and troubleshoots computer networks or systems
- Computer Software Engineer - an engineer who designs, develops and tests computer software
- Robotics Engineer - an engineer who designs, develops and tests robots and robotic systems
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Computer engineers need to have:
- scientific aptitude
- creativity and innovation
- diligence and persistence
- manual dexterity
- physical and mental stamina
- good memory
- good eyesight
- good attention to detail
- good hand-eye coordination
- good listening and communication skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- time management and organizational skills
- leadership skills
- math, computer and programming skills
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to design and conduct experiments
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to learn new skills and stay up-to-date with new developments in the field
- the ability to identify real world problems that can be solved by engineering principles and techniques
- the ability to apply the knowledge of science, mathematics and engineering to solve real word problems
- the ability to work with small parts (if they are into hardware)
- knowledge of statistical modeling
- knowledge of computer virus
- knowledge of electronic and electrical circuits
- knowledge of control systems and automation
- knowledge of networking
Should I be a Computer Engineer?
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