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SKILLS NEEDED FOR A COMPUTER SCIENCE ENGINEER 

 

Rohit, a young energetic boy, always dreamt of becoming a software engineer - right from his school days that was his only ambition. He studied hard - when he completed 12th class; he joined an engineering college and started studying earnestly. 

He had many doubts regarding his career; his only passion was to be on 'top'. He wanted to know everything about the engineering course and above all, he wanted to know about the skills needed to become an effective and successful software engineer.

He met his professor and asked him about the job prospects and the skills needed. His professor then explained to him saying that a Bachelors/Masters degree in computer engineering is a must for any job. He went on to say that in order to: 

Work as a Systems Analyst in a corporate office 
Skills needed:
o Knowledge of different technologies
o Strong logical and analytical skills
o Knowledge of Rational Suite and visual modeler 
o Knowledge about software development life cycle

Work as a Systems Programmer 
Skills needed:
o In-depth knowledge of various operating systems 
o In-depth knowledge of system internals
o And programming languages such as C, C++

Work as an Application Programmer
Skills needed:
o Knowledge of Operating systems
o Knowledge of VB, VC++, JAVA, and Powerbuilder

Work as a Database Expert
Skills needed: 
o Knowledge of programming languages 
o Knowledge of designing information systems 
o Knowledge of database packages such as Oracle, Sybase, MS SQL Server

Work as a Network Engineer
Skills needed: 
o Knowledge of network protocols
o Knowledge of network operating systems such as Windows NT, LINUX, UNIX, and Solaris
o Knowledge of configuring small and larger networks and internet 

Work as a Enterprise Resource Manager
Skills needed:
o Knowledge of different ERP packages such as SAP, ABAP
o Strong logical and analytical skills
o Knowledge about software development life cycle

Work as a System Administrator
Skills needed:
o In-depth knowledge of operating systems such as Windows, LINUX, Solaris
o Trouble shooting operating systems 
o Various software installations 
o Should be able to provide network security 
o Knowledge about firewalls 

Work as a Web Programmer 
Skills needed to be a client side programmer: 
o Knowledge of scripting languages such as HTML, XML, JavaScript, and VB Script
o Knowledge of web programming languages such as JAVA, C#, VB.Net 
Skills needed to be a server side programmer: 
o Knowledge of server side programming such as JAVA, EJB, ASP, and JSP 
o Knowledge about Web servers such as Web Logic, Web Sphere, and TomCat

Work as an Embedded Systems Programmer
Skills needed: 
o In-depth knowledge about hardware 
o In-depth knowledge about real time operating systems such as Vxworks/WinCE.net/RTLinux
o Knowledge of programming languages such as C, C++, JAVA

Become an Entrepreneur 
Skills needed:
o Organizing skills 
o Communication skills
o Leadership and planning
o Risk management skills
o Management skills
o Knowledge of the specific field where the person intends to work

Work as a Software Architect 
Skills needed: 
o In-depth knowledge of various technologies
o Knowledge of programming languages
o Knowledge of operating systems

Work as a Computer Faculty
Skills needed:
o Strong theoretical and practical knowledge of 
o Operating systems
o Programming languages
o Databases
o Software engineering case studies
o Data structures

Work as a Testing and Quality Assurance Engineer
Skills needed:
o Knowledge of programming languages and operating systems
o Knowledge of Rational Suite and visual modeler 
o Testing tools such as 
o Winrunner
o Loadrunner
o Silk test

Work as a Technical Writer
Skills needed:
o Knowledge about latest technologies
o Ability to document software manuals
o Knowledge of documentation tools such as MS Word, and Adobe Acrobat
o Strong writing skills
o Knowledge about technical writing tools such as 
o Winhelp 
o Robohelp
o Adobe Distiller, and Framemaker

Inspired by his professor's speech Rohit went to the Internet center and browsed for some hours for additional skills required for a computer science/software engineer. When he got the material he was overjoyed.

He carefully noted all the points. The first point stated that software engineers should have high logical and analytical thinking capacity in the sense that they should be able to make good decisions. They should be creative and highly inventive. They should have good communication skills apart from sound technical knowledge. They should be able to work under pressure and in teams. Above all, they should be proactive. They should seek opportunities to broaden their technical skills and advance personal development. They should display world-class expertise in their relevant subject. They should maintain clear communications with customer regarding mutual expectations. They should recognize their strengths and limitations and try to develop their strengths and overcome limitations. They also attend seminars and workshops to hone/develop their skills. They are ready to provide direction to team and if given a chance define roles and processes. They always promote team identity and are willing to build the team. 

Given below are some skills that are very essential to a software engineer:

(-) = negative point
(+) = strong positive point

KNOWLEDGE UPDATION
o They attend programs or seminars related to their subject.
o They know about the latest developments in their field.
o They spend considerable time in improving their subject knowledge.
o They participate in subject-related discussions.
o They avoid discussing current issues with their friends.(-)

NUMERICAL SKILL
o They enjoy mathematical calculations.
o They can multiply numbers quickly.
o They find it difficult to understand a table with figures.(-)
o Arithmetic calculations involving large numbers are not easy for them.(-)
o Mathematics does not interest them. (-)

WILLINGNESS TO WORK IN TEAM

o They work better while working with others. (+)
o They like their contributions to be recognized while working in a team. (-)
o They perform better when they work alone. (-)
o They do not make any more contribution in a group if their suggestions are not accepted. (-)
o They can contribute better if they are not a part of a team. (-)

ORGANIZING

o They arrange books subject-wise in their bookshelf.
o They keep their things well organized.
o They forget to put things back. (-)
o They leave their belongings and do not bother about it. (-)
o They are not bothered by disorder. (-)

CALM

o They are relaxed most of the time. (+)
o They are not easily frustrated. (+)
o They act quickly without thinking. (-)
o They feel anxious when they don't have situation under their control. (-)
o They get angry easily. (-)

PROBLEM SOLVING SKILL

o When they encounter a problem, they reflect on past experiences to generate a solution. 
o They can find more than one way of solving most problems.
o Sometimes they don't weigh the positive and negative sides of an argument. (-)
o They often miss the important information while dealing with an issue. (-)
o They don't think about alternatives; they start working on the idea which comes first to their mind. (-)

ANALYTICAL REASONING

o They can identify patterns in data that seem disordered.(+)
o It is hard to see the root cause of problems that they face. (-)
o Drawing logical conclusions from problems is difficult for them.(-)
o They find it hard to compare different theories and seek similarities among them.(-)
o It is difficult for them to make a complete picture from many bits of information.(-)

After collecting the information from the Internet, Rohit went to his uncle, who was a consultant, and asked him to give him some steps for success. As an answer to his question, his uncle gave him a 10 point-success ladder.

10 STEPS TO BECOME A SUCCESSFUL COMPUTER ENGINEER

Step 1: Choose a right career path from the above mentioned careers. You need to consult experienced people to make the right career choice. 

Step 2: Right from the first year, you need to focus on Communication skills and interpersonal skills (Soft skills). 

Step 3: Use the Internet to hone your skills and acquire knowledge. You can also get much information from career web sites www.careercampus.net  to name one such site. You can also browse various search engines like www.google.com,  and www.altavista.com,  and www.askjeeves.com

Step 4: There are many organizations which conduct regular seminars and workshops in various fields of Information Technology such as CDAC, CSI, and IEEE. You need to enroll yourself as a member and attend these seminars to equip yourself with the latest technologies. 

Step 5: There are many Internet groups and discussion forums - Yahoo groups, LINUX groups to name a few, which help you to enhance your existing knowledge and skills. 

Step 6: You can subscribe or visit libraries to browse magazines such as Developer IQ, PC Quest, Digit, and Linux for You. These magazines give you the latest trends in both hardware and software fields. You can also refer to various journals such as IEEE journals, MIT Press journals, and Oxford University Computer journals. You will also know various career opportunities that are available to you. 

Step 7: Start observing the trends in the employment papers such as Employment News, The Hindu Career Opportunities, The Times Ascent to know what skills the employer/Industry is looking at.

Step 8: As you have chosen a field of interest, take a project that will enhance your employability and skills. This project should also fetch you a job and give you the edge over others. You can approach a world-class organization such as Globarena and complete your project. 

Step 9: Prepare your resume which highlights your skills and strong points. It should also highlight your project. 

Step 10: You can enroll yourself for courses such as Communication Skills, Soft Skills with www.Globarena.com  , www.Careercampus.net  and such other organizations.

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