Hi everyone, I am currently doing IT and majoring in Java, C++, Database Systems(Mysql, Oracle, SQL Server and Networking). Someone has advised me to do System Engineering and I really do not know what it is.

I would like to continue my studies doing this course, so if anyone has a simple definition of what it means, please reply.

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Last Post by NedFrankly

so if anyone has a simple definition of what it means, please reply.

The stuff you know already is a part of system engineering. SE is the whole shebang. From start to finish, the design, implementation, and maintenance for any given 'system' or project is system engineering. People who do this generally have many subordinates and the title of Architect. ;)


Well, the Systems Engineer path may NOT be the way to go for someone dedicated to Programming. From knowledge of job posting info (and the standard job description for Systems Engineer), you don't do much coding in the job.

In small shops, the architect generally codes (I'm one of the architects for my group of 6 programmers, and I definitely code) and the job is filled by a Software Engineer, typically senior staff, with some architecture knowledge. It's a complex discipline, and not one that is natural to me, but then I'm a Software Engineer, and now that I've stuck around long enough to be senior, I find that I have to architect and model as well as code. I am not a Systems Engineer, but our shop is not big enough to warrant a full time Architect, so we have to get by on the skills we have within our developers. Developers are not, typically, the best architects (we're prejudiced toward the code, so we have to consciously try to ignore the programming and think structure).

Some companies may call their Software Engineers 'Systems Engineers' or other titles. I know this, because in my company's profile, I'm a Systems Engineer, for the simple reason that the HR system didn't have 'Software Engineer' when our department was created a few years back, and it's never been corrected. We're working on it. You may have experienced a similar 'mis-naming' along the way, but don't let that lead you astray - Systems Engineers ARE responsible for the job start to finish, but they don't usually get to do what I consider 'the fun stuff' - they don't get to program.

Happy Coding (or Architecting!)


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