Why do electrical engineering students have to study computer programming

In summary, programming knowledge is often necessary for electrical engineers and is frequently included in job descriptions. While some areas of electrical engineering may not require traditional programming skills, proficiency in programming languages such as MATLAB or C can still be beneficial. Additionally, even in fields where programming is not a primary task, a basic understanding of programming can be useful for various tasks and analyses.
  • #1
treehouse
105
0
Is it just to make it more likely that their creativity will make use of what computers can do? Am I correct in thinking that programming computers is not part of an electrical engineer's job description?
 
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  • #2
Programming knowledge is often necessary to function as an EE. A lot of times this involves writing tests and simulations. Almost every simulation of an electrical network relies on some programming language (SPICE included).

treehouse said:
Am I correct in thinking that programming computers is not part of an electrical engineer's job description?

Are you correct? No. I am an EE and I've seen many EE job descriptions (even IC designers) that prefer some programming experience.
 
  • #3
treehouse said:
Is it just to make it more likely that their creativity will make use of what computers can do? Am I correct in thinking that programming computers is not part of an electrical engineer's job description?

KingNothing said:
Programming knowledge is often necessary to function as an EE. A lot of times this involves writing tests and simulations. Almost every simulation of an electrical network relies on some programming language (SPICE included).



Are you correct? No. I am an EE and I've seen many EE job descriptions (even IC designers) that prefer some programming experience.

Good answer, KingNothing.
 
  • #4
Basic programming, (the language or the word basic taken at face value) is quite valuable for an EE if they go on to develope firmware. Having learned BASIC on a Commodore machine way back when was definitely an advantage when learning how a microprocessor does what it does.
 
  • #5
"Am I correct in thinking that programming computers is not part of an electrical engineer's job description?"

From my experience the number of EEs who will program at some time during their career outnumbers those who will not.
 
  • #6
They are inseparable in the real world of the EE. If you are doing circuit design but don't program microcontrollers then your EE skills in todays market are incomplete.
 
  • #7
I think it depends which area of electrical engineering you want to concentrate on. Let's say that you are interested in solid state devices, then you might not ever use traditional HLLs like C or python, but you would definitely need good programming skills with mathematical software like Mathematica or preferably MATLAB to create your own simulations. On the other hand , if you are into FPGAs, Microprocessors, etc. it would come in handy if you know how to program them to extend their functionality.( VHDl/Verilog for FPGAs, Assembly, C for Microprocessors, etc.). So base your choice on the specific field you are interested in , rather than EE field as a whole. Though it never hurts to be proficient in couple of programming languages.
 
  • #8
Also, even if you don't "do computer programming" as part of the job description there are a lot of situations where you need to do a quick analysis using MATLAB here, or a quick Perl script to format data there, or even a bit of VHDL or Verilog for FPGA programming. You'd be surprised how much programming the average EE does each month.
 

Related to Why do electrical engineering students have to study computer programming

1. Why is computer programming important for electrical engineering students?

Computer programming is a crucial skill for electrical engineering students because it allows them to understand and manipulate the software components of electrical systems. Many modern electrical systems rely heavily on computer programming to function properly, so having this skill is essential for success in the field.

2. Can't electrical engineering students just focus on hardware and not worry about programming?

No, in today's technological landscape, it is almost impossible to separate hardware and software. Electrical engineering students need a strong understanding of both to be able to design and troubleshoot complex electrical systems. Furthermore, many job opportunities in the field require knowledge of both hardware and software.

3. How does learning computer programming benefit electrical engineering students?

Learning computer programming provides electrical engineering students with a strong foundation in problem-solving, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. These skills are essential for success in the field as they are needed for designing and troubleshooting complex electrical systems. Additionally, programming allows students to automate tasks and increase efficiency in their work.

4. Do all electrical engineering students need to learn programming?

While it is not a requirement for all electrical engineering students to learn programming, it is highly recommended. In today's job market, having knowledge of computer programming can make a candidate stand out and open up more job opportunities. Also, as technology continues to advance, it is becoming increasingly important for electrical engineers to have programming skills to keep up with the industry.

5. I'm not interested in software development, so why do I have to study computer programming as an electrical engineering student?

Computer programming is not just limited to software development. As an electrical engineering student, learning programming will provide you with the skills to design and troubleshoot complex electrical systems, automate tasks, and increase efficiency in your work. Even if you are not interested in a career in software development, programming is still a valuable skill to have in the field of electrical engineering.

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