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Does hardware engineering need to be good at programming ?

I am a person who loves to learn and is very passionate about learning and repairing or manufacturing, that's why I study hardware engineering, but what I wonder is does a hardware engineer need to know programming? Because I see that I don't have much talent in programming and there are many companies that recruit employees with programming talent, so I always wonder and want to know if I can become a hardware engineer without doing anything about programming?

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Dan’s Answer

Being a hardware engineer doesn't necessarily mean you have to be proficient in software development or even like it. While it can be beneficial to have some knowledge in this area, and your university might require you to take a couple of software-related courses, there are definitely career paths that don't demand such skills. Throughout your academic journey and professional career, you'll have the freedom to choose your course of study and career path based on your interests and strengths. After graduation, you'll be seeking job opportunities that align with your preferences and areas of expertise. This could be in various industries such as manufacturing, high power electrical, food processing, automotive, and so on. You'll also be considering the specific company and the particular role you want to play, which in your case, might be strictly hardware-related.
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Jacob’s Answer

Hardware engineering and programming can be closely related, but it's not always necessary for a hardware engineer to be an expert programmer. Let me offer some guidance:

1. **Fundamental Understanding:** While you may not need to be a programming genius, having a fundamental understanding of programming can be beneficial. Basic knowledge in languages like C, C++, or Python can help you work with embedded systems and microcontrollers, which are often part of hardware design.

2. **Specialization:** The extent to which programming is required depends on your specific area of hardware engineering. For example, if you're focused on digital design or microelectronics, programming may be less essential. However, if you're involved in firmware development or IoT (Internet of Things) hardware, programming skills become more valuable.

3. **Collaboration:** In many cases, hardware engineers collaborate with software engineers to develop integrated systems. Having some programming knowledge can facilitate communication and collaboration with software teams.

4. **Adaptability:** The tech industry is dynamic, and skills can evolve over time. If you're open to learning, you can acquire programming skills as needed. It's not uncommon for hardware engineers to pick up programming as their career progresses.

5. **Career Paths:** Depending on your career aspirations, programming skills can open up additional opportunities within the hardware engineering field. For example, if you're interested in designing custom hardware solutions, programming knowledge can be a valuable asset.

6. **Focus on Strengths:** If programming doesn't align with your strengths or interests, focus on excelling in other aspects of hardware engineering. Your passion for learning, repairing, and manufacturing can still serve you well in various hardware engineering roles.

7. **Networking:** Build a strong professional network within the hardware engineering field. Networking can help you connect with opportunities and colleagues who can complement your skills.

In summary, while programming skills can enhance your versatility and career prospects as a hardware engineer, they are not an absolute requirement in every hardware engineering role. Your passion for learning and dedication to hardware engineering can lead to a successful and fulfilling career even if you choose not to specialize in programming. Focus on honing your strengths and adapting to the demands of your chosen specialization within hardware engineering.
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Muhammad Muaz’s Answer

Not in programming but the knowledge of system’s
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Dennis’s Answer

Hi Peter,
The world needs people who understand hardware just as much as it needs programmers. Now comes the "but." Just about every piece of hardware these days needs some software to make it work. Or make a device act differently, depending on the job it is supposed to do.

We all know that electric, battery-powered motors are replacing Internal Combustion Engines. Motors and engines are hardware. So are sensors and actuators. In vehicles, the engine or mortor provides the propulsive force to move a vehicle. How fast? Is it going up a hill? Did the driver apply the brakes? The motor has to do its job which is to generate torque at the drive wheels. But not too much torque, so the wheels don't spin on the road surface and waste energy. So, there is a symphony going on here between hardware, including sensors and actuators and motors or engines. The software must interpret what the driver is doing an make the system elements act accordingly and, meanwhile, try to ensure that the vehicle is operating in a safe manner. And, if the vehicle has autonomous control, there is even more software at work which eliminates some or most of the driver's input.
So, this SYSTEM needs both hardware and software to operate correctly. You, as the hardware engineer, still have to appreciate and understand what the software is doing, even if you don't do any of the programming.
If you focus on hardware, you will still have to use software. One way might be by making mathematical models of your hardware to understand how it responds to various operating conditions. Or what happens if you use a different material. Or change a critical dimension. Or to improve its performance in general. Again, you don't necessarily have to write the software to do this, but you do have to develop or understand the model you are using to do this analysis.
If you test your hardware, you will probably rely on software to control the test equipment.
It's pretty much inevitable that you will deal with software in some form. But, relax. You don't have to be the expert in software. But, be an expert in understanding what the software is doing or can do for you.
Good Luck, Peter!
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