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What does a Computer Systems Engineer do?

Research, design, develop, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, military, communications, aerospace, business, scientific, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. May design embedded systems software. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.

What are the Main Tasks of a Computer Systems Engineer?

  • Modify existing software to correct errors, to adapt it to new hardware, or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance.
  • Advise customer about or perform maintenance of software system.
  • Analyze information to determine, recommend, and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing system.
  • Consult with engineering staff to evaluate interface between hardware and software, develop specifications and performance requirements, or resolve customer problems.
  • Direct software programming and development of documentation.
  • Store, retrieve, and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements.
  • Confer with data processing or project managers to obtain information on limitations or capabilities for data processing projects.
  • Consult with customers or other departments on project status, proposals, or technical issues, such as software system design or maintenance.
  • Coordinate installation of software system.
  • Prepare reports or correspondence concerning project specifications, activities, or status.
  • Develop or direct software system testing or validation procedures.
  • Design or develop software systems, using scientific analysis and mathematical models to predict and measure outcome and consequences of design.
  • Train users to use new or modified equipment.
  • Supervise and assign work to programmers, designers, technologists, technicians, or other engineering or scientific personnel.
  • Monitor functioning of equipment to ensure system operates in conformance with specifications.
  • Use microcontrollers to develop control signals, implement control algorithms, or measure process variables, such as temperatures, pressures, or positions.
  • Evaluate factors such as reporting formats required, cost constraints, or need for security restrictions to determine hardware configuration.
  • Recommend purchase of equipment to control dust, temperature, or humidity in area of system installation.
  • Specify power supply requirements and configuration.
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