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Which is better: Hardware Engineer or Software Engineer?

in software engineer salary, ($100,000 per year)
software is depelopoed using the several independent module
while
in hardware engineer , ($95,000 per year)
a product is developed using different hardware parts .

Quote:
In the computer software stream students learn the basics of operating system structures, memory management, compilers, middleware, etc. Computers today are designed in conjunction with compiler technology and almost all make use of an operating system – this includes laptops, cell phones, and PDAs. Students will also study the basics of data structures, programming languages, databases, security, and software engineering.

Potential employers include Intel, AMD, ARM, Microsoft, IBM, ATI, Cisco, Oracle, Sun and many start-up companies.

Students in the computer hardware stream will learn the basics of digital design at the gate and system/architectural level. Most people will spend their entire life no more than one meter away from some type of digital system (e.g. laptop, cell phone, PDA, iPod, GPS, auto, controllers, etc.) Digital hardware surrounds us all and affords many interesting careers. Students in this stream will study computer hardware, computer architecture, VLSI systems, and digital systems design.

Employers include OEM Silicon, Intel, Gennum, PMC-Sierra, AMD/ATI, Altera, Xilinx and many start-ups.



source:
http://computerengineeringsalarydata.com/computer-hardware-engineer-vs-computer-software-engineer/
computer engineering salary
http://www.ece.utoronto.ca/software-hardware/
9 answers Last reply
More about hardware engineer software engineer
  1. Both are really good. But one has the edge: there's no software without hardware.
  2. Like Kshasm says, and you really can't have one without the other, so best to do them both.

    Software Engineer would probably be better, there are not may software engineers as there were back 10 years ago, even for XP OS, there were quite alot but not as many as there were for Windows 98 OS. It was all new back then and PC's were more affordable than in 1990. My first PC cost me nearly $2000 including OS Windows 3.1, Dos, Lotus 123, Wordperfect for Windows back in 1989.

    As Pc's became more appealing and accessible, PC users becam e more interested in creating their own programs to which they could sell to the public.

    When Microsoft did not include VB4 with XP, there was a really big outcry and eventually Microsoft caved in and dispatched updates to include it.

    With Vista OS, considering that it has been around since 1999, has a big followng of programmers and software & game developers but it took about 5 years before they became available.

    As for Windows 7, there are not many programmers or software developers writing for it, they are far and few between. Not many games specifically for Windows 7, you virtually have to use compatibility mode for most games, they are Vista or XP platform based.

    Windows 7 has been given a big miss so it would be wise to consider programming, software development for Windows 8 platforms.

    The future of computers is the 128 bit OS platform expected to be released near the year 2020.

    Handhelds, console games and applications, tablets iphones etc are more of the future than any of us really want to admit to as we still like our bulky do-it-yourself desktop PC's.

    Hardware Engineeer, might sound like a good idea and would be worth considering as an extra course (a Minor) however, you would also need to consider an Electronics Degree as well to implement the proper knowledge as to how things really work.
  3. So what is your favorite, software engineer or hardware engineer?
  4. Software Engineer is like a middle Management whereas Hardware Engineer is like the blue collar workers. Not a good analogy.

    It's up to you and how you feel working with electronics, parts, components, in a hands-on environment much like an inventor whereas Software tends to be more intense on the brain having to think more about scripting and sitting at a desk staring at a screen 16 hours a day (7 days a week), than putting "lego" together..

    I've done programming for about 15 years but in different fields, not even an expert even though I did achieve Distinction in Visual Basics (Dip IT), much of that knowledge goes by the wayside in todays' environment. I've done javascript. VB6, HTML, VBA for Ofice, but those sorts of things are just the tip of the iceberg, Software Engineer would most likely be for making machines work, or writing full programs for an industry rather than just a program for a small retail oufit.

    You'd need to go talk with the people in the industry to actually understand and appreciate the work involved.


    Edit -
    I'd just like to add than many software developers (and programmers) do tend to forgo Error Handling which is a big problem in the final product (patches, updates etc) so if you are keen to learn programming languages and software development, try not to use terms like
    "On Error got to 0", handle the expected (or unexpected) error as it should be done.

    The problem with error handling is that it does add about an hour or so to the scripting (sometimes days for extra large scripts) and the file size can, at times, more than double (sometimes 10 times larger in size than the original scripting) what would otherwise be a small executable. But that's programming for you, either you do it well the first time or do it badly and add patches and updates.
  5. If I were you, I'd think about which one I love more rather than thinking about the compensation you receive in the end. Both are high paying careers but it's a horrible feeling if you dread going to work every morning despite the fact that you get paid well. At least half your waking life will be about your career, if not more, so it's a good idea to love what you do.

    My brother's a software engineer and despite the fact that he gets paid pretty well, he hates his job but can't pull himself away because of the pay.
  6. Software development is very interesting work, you get to develop all sorts of things including but only as part of a team of other developers unless you freelance and take on side projects. Usually the Software developement team work from an officve with about 17 other developers working together.

    Hardware Engineer seems to imply something glorious but you don't work from home in your shed, you work in a factory or on-siter putting a system together.

    Neither are glorious careers and both types do tend to burn out people within 5 years however, the experience and training is invaluable and that is where you get to start up your own company creating web sites, developing software, putting together your own network and server for an intranet for a Community or school.

    As luxtux has said about his brother, the money is great but the effort is affecting family, relationships, and health.
    It might be time for his brother to go start up his own business.

    Ive been fixing up discarded computers for about 6 years but much of them are old, out of date, and have no future for much of anything except Windows XP. My programming knowledge is about the same, not much good for anything past 2005.

    Software and Hardware "engineers" do have to keep their knowledge up to date and are always learning new things, once you stop, you fall by the wayside and end up unemployed or working as a motor bike courier.

    Why are there so many negatives for these careers?

    At one time, the salaries were as much as double what you have stated, so not as many students are preferring those careers. About 6 years ago, computer related career salaries dropped from about $140,000 per year to about $80,000 per year, therre were too many graduates wanting that career.

    In India, 80% of graduates are learning computer related degrees, particularly Software and Hardware.
    The income for those two careers has dropped to about $40,000 to $64,000 per year.

    As times change, and you continue to improve, learn , keep your knowledge up to date, you will find that those industries will, again, improve to as much as what they were when Software and Hardware Engineers were scarce or lacking in proper education.

    Those figures (Salaries) you have stated are rather high, you'd need to be more than just a graduate I'd expect, and those courses would have to go for more than 3 years to be a Degree.

    Which one would you prefer?
    Which one do you have an interest in, preferably?
    Can you build your own PC from just parts on a table?
    Can you write a simple web page, or a sub routine to display a message?

    Without some sort of avid interest, you just can't learn something for the salary alone.
  7. so much misinformation in these answers. LOL about HW engineering being "blue collar" and not requiring as much brain power as SW engineering. You've never tried to design a high speed mixed signal electronics obviously. Crack open your cell phone and tell me that you can design that in your sleep.
  8. TenPc said:
    Software Engineer is like a middle Management whereas Hardware Engineer is like the blue collar workers. Not a good analogy.

    It's up to you and how you feel working with electronics, parts, components, in a hands-on environment much like an inventor whereas Software tends to be more intense on the brain having to think more about scripting and sitting at a desk staring at a screen 16 hours a day (7 days a week), than putting "lego" together..
    --------
    But that's programming for you, either you do it well the first time or do it badly and add patches and updates.


    This is why hardware engineers secretly despise software engineers. Here's the low-down, this software engineering guy has no idea was real hardware engineering is. Most sophisticated electronics are made as INTEGRATED CIRCUITS which means that everything is manufactured at the nano scale and you can fit a lot of transistors into a small area. All that is done on the computer. There is a huge design cycle that goes on between Specifications, Architecture, Logic Design, Circuit Design, Layout, Floorplanning, Verification, Timing, Signal Integrity, and more. It's very exciting but a very difficult field to get into because it REQUIRES an advanced degree 90% of the time.

    This lego bullshit he's describing is DISCRETE CIRCUITS with DISCRETE COMPONENTS. Outside of power delivery or analog circuitry that's not how things are done. Any and all digital circuits today are being made on INTEGRATED CIRCUITS. Again, it's a lot of CAD and signal timing. Something software engineers would know nothing about.

    Software engineering on the other hand is truthfully not that hard. Even hardware engineers design most of the chip functions using programming languages like Verilog and VHDL. Software engineers act like their job is so hard, but in my experience I NEVER found a programming course to be difficult. Most of the world's best software companies were started by college dropouts. The hard part about software is the rapid rate of change. There's hundreds of programming languages and more being added all the time. An employer might ask that you know about XYZ coding language but you only have experience with A, B, C. It never ends and thus was never appealing to me at least. The actual coding part is not that hard and something I COULD DO in my sleep. 50% coding 50% testing, guess which part doesn't usually get done?

    Anonymous said:
    so much misinformation in these answers. LOL about HW engineering being "blue collar" and not requiring as much brain power as SW engineering. You've never tried to design a high speed mixed signal electronics obviously. Crack open your cell phone and tell me that you can design that in your sleep.


    Yes.
  9. Why are you replying to a year old thread?

    Closing.
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