Though distinct from computer science, computer engineering is thought innovation and powers devices, computer engineering we use every day, such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.
Though the field involves concepts, practices, and skill sets that sometimes differ from those needed to code, being familiar with computer engineering can improve your skills and make you a better coder.
As such, programmers have much to gain from learning about computer engineering and applying it to their coding.
Also Read: 60 Best Quotes About Software Development
What Is Computer Engineering?
You may be wondering, “What exactly is computer engineering?” Computer engineering is a field that aims to make computer devices capable of doing more. It also aims to make computer devices more useful in more scenarios.
It involves two distinct fields — computer science and electronic engineering — and many consider computer engineering an amalgamation.
A deeper understanding of computer engineering can help a general understanding of computer science and electrical engineering.
Computer science is the study of both computers and computational systems. It often involves applying and utilizing advanced algorithms to solve applying and utilizing abilities.
Computer science also involves data structures, information processing, and computer and network architecture.
Electronic engineering is a field that centers around the technical aspects of developing and designing the physical elements that comprise computers.
This involves circuitry and other hardware elements. These elements power computers and give them the ability to function correctly.
Computer engineering is a field that combines elements of both computer science and electronic engineering. This breadth of expertise allows computer engineers to improve upon computer designs and create new forms of hardware for computers.
The primary function of a computer engineer is to create and improve computer systems. This involves every piece of hardware in a computer, ranging from circuit boards to microprocessors. Creating and improving these elements requires a good deal of testing and iterating.
For this reason, an essential part of computer engineering is bringing new ideas to life and rigorously testing them to ensure they can be implemented.
Also Read: How to Create an Empty Array In Python
How an Understanding of Computer Engineering Can Help You Be a Better Coder
At this point, coders may wonder how understanding computer engineering can help them become better coders. There are several ways in which knowledge about computer engineering can help coders, and understanding these benefits can encourage coders to consider studying computer engineering.
Working knowledge of computer engineering can help you become more versatile as a coder and allow for more job mobility. Typically, programmers have a skill set that only allows them to make software-focused careers.
Software-focused careers include:
Software developers typically create and improve software systems. They consider user needs and experiences and aim to craft software that meets their user’s needs.
Software developers are also tasked with maintaining software, catching bugs, and improving upon outdated aspects of the software.
Developers are also responsible for communicating specific instructions to programmers, who will write the code to make this software function as intended.
In addition, software developers will record their process of developing and maintaining software, ensuring that this process documentation is always accessible.
Web developers create and maintain the technical parts of websites. This involves communicating with others to determine the types of operations that the website will need to perform, along with the structure of the website.
Web developers will utilize various programming languages to create and iterate websites and their different functions to do their technical work. They are then tasked with maintaining websites, ensuring that their performance remains consistent, and making necessary changes if not.
Database administrators typically organize and store data in ways beneficial to certain organizational employees — such as those in charge of making important decisions.
The role of database administrator can be crucial to organizations because these professionals can collect specific types of data and organize them in ways that can be insightful and can inform decision-making.
They can do this using specific types of software that they have the knowledge and expertise to utilize. Database administrators are also charged with ensuring that data is stored safely and is not at risk of being lost.
When you understand computer engineering, you may qualify yourself for some job roles that are more hardware-focused.
These roles can include:
Systems analysts are responsible for designing and maintaining the information technology systems that a specific organization requires. These professionals will typically consult with those in managerial roles in organizations to determine what systems to design.
After these consultations, systems analysts can begin creating critical systems with the necessary functions to meet the needs of an organization. They then maintain these systems and instruct others in an organization to use them appropriately.
Network architects are responsible for designing computer networks for a specific organization. In addition, they test their designs to ensure that it is functional. They then install these computer networks for organizations.
These computer networks can include local area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs). These professionals are also responsible for ensuring that all communication through these networks is kept safe and secure, making it difficult or impossible for hackers to infiltrate an organization’s network.
Network architects must also keep up-to-date on their field’s newest technologies and advancements to ensure they create and improve in the best possible ways.
Cloud computing engineer
Today, cloud technologies and services have become a more normalized way of storing and backing up information. Unfortunately, this means that organizations are now vulnerable in a new way.
Cloud computing engineers facilitate an organization’s information transfer into cloud storage systems and keep the information secure. Typically, cloud computing engineers will specialize and have expertise with one of the leading cloud platforms, though one can have expertise in multiple.
By learning more about computer engineering and the technical processes of creating computers, programmers can move into new fields requiring different skill sets than coding.
Increasing Analytical Skills and Critical Thinking
Computer engineering requires developed analytical skills and critical thinking. Computer engineers often have to overcome challenges such as fixing bugs and communicating concepts to people outside the field. Coders often face similar challenges, and having these skills in your toolbelt as a coder can improve your abilities.
Like computer engineers, coders too often have to fix software bugs. By becoming familiar with computer engineering, coders can strengthen their analytical skills and potentially become quicker and more effective at finding and fixing bugs in software.
In addition to fixing bugs, there are scenarios in which coders have to communicate concepts and ideas to others who don’t have the same expertise in the field.
Understanding computer engineering — and the soft skills that computer engineers must have — can improve a coder’s ability to communicate ideas about code clearly to others.
Also Read: 5 Best Free Online Hex Editor Websites
As a coder, you can benefit from exploring computer engineering because it can increase your expertise. When writing code, having a more profound knowledge of computer hardware and the components that make up a computing system can be helpful. By understanding the electrical components in a computer, you can think in new ways and potentially become a more thoughtful coder.
Having a more in-depth understanding of electrical engineering can also be helpful. By understanding how electrical components work, coders gain a more holistic understanding of computer systems and their functions.
Increased Value as a Coder
Those looking to increase their value as coders can benefit substantially from developing deep computer engineering knowledge.
A working knowledge of computer engineering’s key concepts and principles can set you apart from others who lack this knowledge and expertise.
This can be a significant advantage when applying for jobs and could even be the difference between landing a specific role and not.
Also Read: 9 Best Free Online YAML Editor Websites
How to Learn More About Computer Engineering
You may wonder how to learn more about computer engineering as a coder. Depending on various factors — such as your schedule, budget, and level of interest — there are several avenues you can pursue to learn more about computer engineering.
There are options for everyone, including those merely curious about the field and intend to pursue a thorough understanding of computer engineering. Here are some ways that you can learn more about computer engineering.
Pursue a Degree
If you studied computer science in college and thought about pursuing an advanced degree, it might be a perfect opportunity to jump into computer engineering. As a coder, an advanced computer engineering degree may increase your job scope and broaden your skills, knowledge, and expertise.
Computer engineering may still be a great field if you want to pursue an undergraduate degree.
While the major will touch on concepts from computer science, it will also allow you to develop a deeper understanding of electrical engineering, the physical components of computer systems, and how they function in software.
Also Read: 10 Best Computer Science Learning Websites
Connect with Computer Engineers
Connecting with computer engineers is easy to ease into computer engineering and pick up some quick tips. This can be through friends, colleagues, or even cold messages on LinkedIn.
Computer engineers with experience working in the field may be able to provide you with tips and advice that can help you improve your coding abilities.
In addition, these individuals will likely be able to answer any questions about computer engineering and whether it’s right for you to pursue it.
Also Read: 20 Best Online Coding Camps For Kids 
Utilize Free and Low-Cost Resources
You can take advantage of several free and low-cost resources when it comes to computer engineering. Community colleges may offer low-cost introductory classes that relate to computer engineering that you can take to see if pursuing the field is right for you.
In addition, the internet has several free resources — such as YouTube videos and essays — that you can utilize to learn more about computer engineering and its key concepts.
If you prefer to read physical books, your local library might have some books on computer engineering that you can refer to.
Also Read: 5 Best Free Dictionary APIs for Apps
You’ve likely sought ways to improve your skills and become a better and more advanced coder as a coder. Understanding computer engineering can help you broaden your expertise and learn new technical and soft skills.
In addition, by becoming familiar with key concepts and ideas in computer engineering, you may be able to qualify yourself for more careers in different fields that focus more on hardware than software.
You can deepen your understanding of coding by exposing yourself to ideas about how physical components come together to interact with computational algorithms.
In addition, the soft skills that many possess in computer engineering — namely deep analysis and critical thinking — can help you become a more effective coder.
However, it may seem like an odd change of gear at first glance, but studying computer engineering as a coder can help you develop your skills and hone your coding talent.