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Versatile of technology, the computer engineer is a general computer scientist whose functions differ according to the structure. In which he exercises his profession, thus becoming a specialist in a particular technology field or technical field. With recent technological developments and his expanding field of action, this engineer will be in greater demand in the future.
The nature of the work
“It is a discipline which integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science, necessary for the development of software and computer hardware. Which encompasses the study, use, and application of electronics, computation digital, computer hardware, software, networks, and communications ”, explains Joe Tekli, assistant professor of computer engineering, specializing in intelligent web data processing and currently acting vice-dean of the school of Engineering from the Lebanese American University (LAU).
A computer engineer is involved in several areas. He can thus be a specialist engineer, among other things. Such as in software development, internet, and multimedia, industrial IT, networks, and telecoms, data management software, or information systems. In summary; “the main mission of a computer engineer is to apply scientific knowledge relating to computers and computer technologies to the resolution of concrete problems,” says the professor.
In light of the considerable impact that developments in computer engineering had towards the end of the twentieth century, with innovations such as personal computers. The internet, telecommunication networks, or computerized factories, this field is going; “ reshaping the world in the 21st century with the drastic developments and applications of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, computer vision, and cybernetic systems, ”emphasizes Joe Tekli. It will spill over into our daily lives, with the use of smartphones, smart cars, smart homes, or robot doctors. With all of these applications, the mission and goals of the IT engineer will expand.
As for the various activities that an IT engineer must perform, they include “the discovery and description of problems; the design of solutions, their implementation according to the constraints and available resources, their testing; as well as their maintenance and evolution according to customer and market demands ”, adds the specialist.
The skills and competencies required
The computer engineer must master advanced knowledge and skills in computer science. Versatile, he may work in different engineering specializations. Demonstrating rigor, he must be endow with an acute mathematical and analytical sense.
The IT engineer works within a team where the members often come from heterogeneous backgrounds.
He will therefore have to develop his interpersonal skills and adaptability; allowing him to listen and understand the issues that are put to him, but also to communicate his work to his colleagues who are often non-experts.
Difficulties and constraints
“The field of work of the computer engineer is abstract by nature; one cannot easily touch or see low current electricity, orbits, and bytes in a computer, compared to other fields of the world. ‘engineering where the product and the technologies used are both visible and tangible; ”explains the professor, who asserts that a computer engineer must therefore be comfortable in the study and use of abstract sciences, in particular mathematics and logic.
At the same time; the computer engineer must be able to understand the problems according to their different levels of abstraction. The machine level, platform level, application level, security level, and user interaction level, continue Joe Tekli. He must be able to navigate between these levels transparently to better develop adapted solutions. “
Also, to exercise this profession, you must be able to communicate effectively with non-expert users as well as with other engineers, whether they are in the same field or not. “Presenting things to these people by adapting to their different levels of expertise and knowledge is a major communication challenge. “
This profession also requires hard and stressful work. It involves many responsibilities and different tasks.
Presenting both a generalist and a specialized profile, the IT engineer sees his chances of hiring increase. He is recruited by the IT departments of companies, in different sectors of activity, or also in IT engineering services companies.
Also, after taking specialized courses in a specific field, the computer engineer can work as a design engineer, test engineer, integration engineer; maintenance engineer, sales engineer, planning engineer, or research engineer. .Technical positions include Hardware Engineer, Software Engineer, Computer Network Engineer; Communication Engineer, Database Systems Engineer, Data and Knowledge Engineer, Computer Security Engineer, or Robotics Engineer, up to bioinformatics.
Besides, “each of the previous categories includes several sub-domains,” notes Mr. Tekli, who specifies that the most popular in Lebanon and around the world are at the current stage; web data engineering, databases, ‘data mining, artificial intelligence, mobile computing and services, the emerging and soon-to-be-established Internet of Things, cloud computing, data and privacy security, medical computing, and data analysis.
“Shortly, every component of the real world, such as your shoes; belt, t-shirt, watch, or car, will have an integrated computer chip connected to the internet. Computer engineering will therefore be one of the most sought-after jobs of the 21st century, ”concludes Joe Tekli.