10 answers

What is it like to be a computer engineer

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I'm asking because I want to be one and I want to know if that is what fits me. I'm also asking so I can see what the experience is like so if I become one I already know. #engineer

10 answers

G. Mark’s Answer


I like Irida's answer. As the saying goes, "Do for a job what you'd do for fun and never work another day in your life." I was extremely lucky to have been recruited a long time ago by a famous research company. They expected me to study what I would do anyway. But bear in mind that a "computer engineer" can end up doing a lot of different things. In my case, the company I worked for sent me for my MS degree, and there I learned electronics, robotics, coding, architecture, and on and on. A blast. The company I worked at had a philosophy of engineers being "general purpose" -- you would just do what's necessary to get the project done. I had a lot of latitude in design and architecture and working with customers and solving problems. We were expected to work a project from the original problem statement to a proposed solution, requirements, design, coding or building hardware all the way to working with the customers and teaching how to use it. After awhile I specialized in architecture and then in Systems Engineering. So you might end up doing all of these things or you might specialize in, say, "solutions engineering", where you would be responsible for communicating to various engineers and customer organizations. So the answer to your question is that it can vary quite a bit. But a really nice thing is that a lot of companies are aware of the fact that a happy engineer is a good engineer. Sure, there are times when you'll be expected to do something tough to get the problem solved. In my case, I had a great relationship with our legal department, so I got a lot of odd-ball, interesting problems to solve and inventions to come up with. Or you might find that you like doing what I've done in some companies, and that's assemble the entire system from scratch and get it running. You'll find your niche. It's quite a satisfying career.

Satyabh’s Answer


Hi Juan,

It's great to hear you want to be a computer engineer and curious if you will like it. If you are already thinking about it i am sure you will like it. I am a Wireless Electronics hardware engineer but I work with many and will be glad to add few points to help you.

1) What is a Computer Engineer ? -- In short someone who understands Electronics Hardware and writes Software Code (or firmware in technical term ) to make the hardware do something meaningful. Its really powerful role , once you understand the electronics and hardware behind it .

2) Do you play video games ? -- Ever wondered how the remote control works and follows your instructions ? -- A Computer Engineer writes Firmware Code after understanding the Xbox/PlayStation Hardware and tells it what to do when you Press any button. So you can be responsible for all the gaming users around the world to make them feel awesome while they use your Software to play games .

3) Do you have a Smart Phone or seen someone use it -- When you press the Phone's Power Button to turn it On -- The Computer Engineer decides what should happen inside the phone and in what order -- Like turn the display On - blink some lights -- say hello to you - and then in background it goes and setups up the hardware for you to make Calls, User any Apps, Save Battery when you don't use Phone or anything else you can think of while you use your Phone.

4) There are many examples i can add but just to give you an idea -- the possibilities are endless. If you really think you will enjoy this in future or will enjoy others using your Engineering work - you can be the best Computer Engineer ever ! It will not be a job for you but a hobby/dream plus you will get paid to do it.

5) Now comes the tough Part -- It won't be easy but you will be able to do it easily if you put your mind behind it. You will just have to finish your high school if you haven't yet - learn about Electronics and Hardware. Learn how to write software codes to control them. You can do these either by going to college and taking these courses . You can be the guy controlling the Next Autonomous Car ?

I hope you become a Computer Engineer and i get to use your passionate and awesome engineering product on a daily basis :)

Satyabh recommends the following next steps:

  • Study Basic Electronics
  • Learn Python or C Coding
  • Learn Some Math and other Science
  • Be Curious how things work and ask Questions like you did now
  • Be Passionate and Never Give Up

Dee Anna’s Answer


I apologize I am an electronic engineer. However I can recommend it's a wise idea to pursue the field especially as a software developer it's one of the most growing industries. It may allow you to work from home. Yet newer technologies of methods on types of developing software is always being conjured up, you must stay up to date. You can make yourself most profitable with much volunteered practice on especially Java, python, SQL, and HTML. The more years of experience you can attest to, the more often you'll be hired out. The field normally pays 80k and higher stemming from experience. The more experienced you are the higher the wage. Honestly the field is difficult requiring long hours and forcibly working at home after hours, but if you do not require much free time of your own and you prefer and enjoy software development this field is for you. Just practice, practice, practice and your will have work and job security. Stay encouraged.


Orlando’s Answer


Computer engineers solve real world problems by writing software to execute sequences of instructions that achieve a certain goal. These sequences of instructions can be used to carry out "algorithms" (pre-determined problem-solving formulas) or "heuristic methods" (a successive approximation technique). Computer engineers will either adopt or invent the most effective solution for the problem at hand. Computer engineers need to write software quckly and effectively to be able to test their ideas. In my opinion, having a solid foundation in math and science is more important than knowing how to write software, because that skill just about anyone can pick up but being a good problem solver takes more talent.

Orlando recommends the following next steps:

  • Go to a competitive programming site like codechef and read what others are doing
  • Go to Coursera or similar and teach yourself Python.
  • Develop a solid understanding of basic math (Algebra, Trig, Calculus)

Shraddha’s Answer


Do basic things. Research on it, Take a personality Quiz, Ask yourself one question "I'm I really that interested to be a computer Engineer?"

If you really imagine yourself in this field then you move forward.

Pallavi’s Answer


I am an electrical engineer, I have worked in the field of aerospace ,railways and hence understand the key role of computer engineering . And being able to function as a computer engineer would make me a complete engineer as I think any engineering product meant to provide a service is an amalgamation of electrical and computer engineering. It would definitely boost my values as a true professional.

sita’s Answer


Engineering is every where which involves designing ,manufacturing and maintaining ,building.SO everthing involvs engineering .So being an engineer really interesting .

Olaniyi Clement’s Answer


As an Engineer and Technologist in the field of Electrical Electronic Engineer Technology, with background developing embedded systems and software. Being a computer engineer will further strengthening my career path and take me more steps into what the future technology has installed for us.

Irida’s Answer


A computer engineer is like following your dream the whole life and calling it job.

Rick’s Answer


I am an electrical engineer of 25+ years. I think being a computer engineer would be a good choice looking to the future as our world continues to find new ways to use electronics and computers. I have not specifically been a computer engineer but have worked with those that do this. Its a mix of electrical engineering and software engineering. Circuit design will be mostly digital and you will need to know how to program. If you can do this will be able to do lots of things in your career.

Rick recommends the following next steps:

  • Not knowing your age or experience, I would definitely suggest taking some basic programming classes at your school or at a community college.
  • I would also suggest signing up for an electronics course in the future. High schools sometimes have them.