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Mechanical engineering for beginners

  1. Sep 21, 2012 #1
    hey there! Sorry, if my post comes as one those repeated over and over but then here it is:
    I'm MechE student in freshman year and I'm looking forward to getting started with all the stuff that it encompasses....As such I was wondering what technical skills are required for a mechanical engineer. Do we guys need programming skills?...if not exhaustively then what and how?

    P.S: I am sufficiently proficient in C/C++ programming and it would help if you could tell if learning any more of such languages (Python, JAVA, FORTRAN etc.) would come in handy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2012 #2


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    In general, it's not that necessary to know much programming to get through a mechanical engineering degree. That said, you can certainly simulate a lot of problems from statics with simple MATLAB programming. My curriculum requires a couple of MATLAB courses, but other universities are different.

    I've done a few things with MATLAB, but much more so I rely on my previous experience working on cars and then industrial equipment to understand what's going on. Even for the most analytically minded of us, there's no substitute for hands on work. In your case, since you are already proficient in a couple of languages, leaning more languages doesn't really round out your skills. I'd suggest doing something that's outside of your current strengths. More tools in the toolbox means more to use in solving a problem.
  4. Sep 21, 2012 #3


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    I found programming skills to be useful for understaing better the iterative optimization methods in the numerical methods class. When I started college I had taken C++, and ended up taking 3 Java classes as tech electives in addition to my degree (the similarities between Java and C++ made this very easy).

    I think having some basic programming experience can be helpful for any engineering degree, and it sounds like you've got enough to be good to go.
  5. Sep 29, 2012 #4
    I too am in my freshmen year of engineering. I am taking intro to Fundamentals of Engineering this Fall term. In my lab there are a few guys who know how to use matlab, excel, and autocad. I suggest you try to learn how to use matlab solid works as much as you can.

    We will being going over excel's program and some other program I can't think of right now...
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