A couple weeks ago I talked about the misconceptions about Computer Engineers, so I thought it’d be great to talk a little bit more about the difference between hardware and software engineering.
Computer engineering, by definition, is a discipline that integrates electrical engineering and computer science to develop hardware and software solutions. Basically, I’ve spent the past four years learning how to build the outside and the inside of computers. This has led me to two core options: hardware engineering or software engineering.
Hardware Engineers design and develop processors, circuit boards, memory devices circuits and routers. They’re the ones that are making computers and other electronic devices work faster and smarter advancing technology further. Learning these topics in school were a lot more hands on than my software engineering course. I got to design and build circuits and various components of a computer and even had a final project where I built a virtual computer. I loved taking these classes because it reminded me of why I wanted to study computer engineering and allowed me to learn more kinesthetically which is my favorite learning style.
Software engineers design and develop software applications, operating systems, compilers, software applications and networking distribution software. They’re the ones that make the internal parts of a computer that allows you to use it. These courses required a lot of coding. To me coding is like a puzzle; you’re given a problem and it’s up to you to put what you know to the test. My favorite software engineering course was Algorithms because it allowed me to see how various code processes were applied to real life such as the algorithm used to determine flight routes and stop overs.
Both hardware and software engineering fields have their pros and cons and if you have a strong preference for one over the other, go with the one where you wouldn’t have to learn about the other. For me, I enjoyed learning both aspects and understanding how they connect.
If you have any other questions about software or hardware engineering. Please let me know! Don’t hesitate to reach out!