Difference between Software Engineering and Computer Engineering

Key Difference: Software Engineering is the field of studying, devising and building a practical solution to a problem. The objective of a software engineer is to understand a problem within a computer and create software that eases the problem. Computer Engineering, also known as Computer Systems Engineering, is a course the combines Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that is required to develop a computer systems.

Software Engineering and Computer Engineering are two of many fields of study that are related to computers. SE and CE are confusing for many people as both have a lot of things in common. However, the major difference between the two subject includes that SE has more to deal with software designing, implementing, testing and maintenance. On the other hand, CE has more to do with hardware aspects of the computing.

Software Engineering is the field of studying, devising and building a practical solution to a problem. The objective of a software engineer is to understand a problem within a computer and create software that eases the problem. This could include either manipulating existing software or creating a new one from scratch. Software is required to make computer function. This job is mostly a team effort. Engineers group together with programmers in order to build a software that works with the system at hand.

Many subjects that are learned in SE is similar to the ones learned in Computer Science, but it also includes additional subjects such as requirements engineering, software architecture, software testing, and software deployment. Other areas that play an importance in this field include leadership, communication, time management, people management, etc. The engineers must plan out the best way to tackle the situation at hand and create a step by step process on how to accomplish this task. They may require to code in certain time, but most of the coding is done by programmers. A software engineer requires a background in software creation, programming languages, mathematics and computer hardware.

Software engineers when developing software go through a software process. This software process model is an abstraction of software process and is also known as process paradigms. The first published model for the software process is known as the Waterfall model. When a software is being made it must first be conceptualized on the paper, following which the program is designed and then asked to be written. The software then goes through vigorous testing and a soft release before it is made public. According to Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge, a widely accepted standard; software engineering can be divided into ten subdisciplines: Software requirements, software design, software construction, software testing, software maintenance, software configuration management, software engineering management, software engineering process and software quality.

Computer Engineering, also known as Computer Systems Engineering, is a course the combines Electrical Engineering and Computer Science that is required to develop a computer systems. The first accredited computer engineering degree in the United States was established in 1971 at the Case Western Reserve University. Engineers are usually trained in electronic engineering software design, and hardware-software integration. The main focus on this degree is on the designing the individual microprocessors, circuit systems, computers, etc. The core of this degree is not only how computers work, but also how they fit into the bigger picture.

Computing engineering is divided into two main branches of study: software and hardware. Student can decided specializing in software, which includes writing codes and programs for systems or hardware, which includes microcontrollers, chips, sensors, etc. Computer engineers are also more suited for robotics research, which uses digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors. Depending on the college, engineering students can specialize during their junior or senior year, while other colleges require the students to complete one year of General Engineering before being able to select computer engineering as their major.

Computer engineering requires a strong background in mathematics and science. Computer engineering includes courses such as Coding, Cryptography, and Information Protection, Communications and Wireless Networks, Compilers and Operating Systems, Computational Science and Engineering, Computer Networks, Mobile Computing, and Distributed Systems, Computer Systems: Architecture, Parallel Processing, and Dependability, Computer Vision and Robotics, Embedded Systems, Integrated Circuits, VLSI Design, Testing, and CAD Signal, Image, and Speech Processing, etc.

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