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Aerospace engineer as software developer?

  1. Oct 20, 2014 #1
    I am new here, and i really wanted to know if an aerospace engineer (today's aerospace engineers) have the ability or the skill to work as a software developer ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2014 #2


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    Probably only on projects involving development of aerospace engineering software. Software development these days requires a lot of skill and experience with current software development tools, which take a lot of time and practice to learn.
  4. Oct 21, 2014 #3
    This is exactly what I did. I implemented turbulence models in CFD software. Programming and numerical mathematics was my hobby and I wrote my own finite element software during my masters thesis project. But advanced programming was never part of the official curriculum and I don't think that you get the necessary skills to become a good programmer by just following the curriculum. What I did get is a solid background in the mathematics and physics that I end up programming.
  5. Oct 22, 2014 #4
    In general, the answer is probably not. In some cases, possibly. What do I mean? A course of study in aerospace engineering generally prepares you to design wings and engines and control systems and such for planes and rockets. This is oftentimes a subset of mechanical engineering. In general, that is not considered good preparation for software development.

    However, individuals who studied aerospace engineering may also happen to have the proper skills and interest to be a software developer. Your capsule description of yourself indicates that may possibly include you, but I'm working with limited information here, so don't take that statement for more than it is worth. By way of example, a consultant I hired recently to do vision inspection programming has a masters in aerospace engineering. He and I were talking about how common it is for people to end up in roles are that completely unlike their degrees. It just happens.

    I would tend to disagree with SteamKing that your background would limit you to aerospace software. In my opinion, programming is programming, with only a few niche specialties where that is not the case. Tools are also not so different, or so difficult to learn that I have found them a significant obstacle in practice. If you can't just "pick up" an IDE in short order, you probably will never succeed as a software developer.
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