Do Electrical Engineers Code?
There are some Electrical Engineers who code and there are others who do not. It is worth noting that nearly every Electrical Engineer has written code at some point in their training or at work.
Electrical Engineering generally involves the designing, testing, and supervising the manufacture of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, communication systems, radar and navigation systems, or power generation equipment.
Many Electrical engineers are also responsible for designing the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft. In the process of designing, developing, and testing electrical systems and equipment, many Electrical Engineers may write code for the system or equipment they are working on.
Back in my University days, I took a few Electrical Engineering classes that involved programming. I took an Introduction to Information Technology class, a Computer Engineering Class, and a Microcontroller Technology and Embedded Systems class.
These classes were heavy on programming and all the students in Electrical Engineering were required to take these classes, including those majoring in Electrical Machines and Power Engineering.
Most Electrical Engineers code at a low level, they are often referred to as systems engineers or hardware engineers. Electrical Engineers use programming languages like Assembly Language, VHDL, C, C++, and MATLAB to write low-level code.
In my video THE TOP 5 PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES FOR ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS, I highlighted the programming languages that are commonly used in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and what they are used for.
There are some Electrical Engineers whose work involves a lot of programming, these engineers can write code for operating systems, Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), embedded systems, microcontrollers, telecommunications systems, device drivers, and many other systems.
On the other hand, there are some Electrical Engineers whose work does not involve any coding at all. Actually, it is very common for many Electrical Engineers to work in an environment where they are not required to code at all.
If you desire to work for big technology companies like Intel, Google, IBM, NASA, Apple, Dell Technologies, etc. having a good understanding of Systems programming would be helpful. However, you can still work for any of these companies as an electrical engineer without having to code.
Ultimately, not all electrical engineers code.
DO ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS USE PYTHON?
Some Electrical Engineers use Python while many others do not. Python is not a very common language in Electrical Engineering. But there are some Electrical Engineers who use Python to quickly build programs that are used for testing and automation.
Python makes developing programs easy and quick, you can write less code that does a lot of work in Python compared to other languages. But Python being a high-level language is not suitable for most Electrical Engineering work.
Some Electrical Engineers use MicroPython, which is a lean and efficient implementation of the Python 3 programming language to work on microcontrollers and embedded systems. However, this is not a popular approach and it has many limitations.
CAN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERS BECOME SOFTWARE ENGINEERS?
Yes, Electrical Engineers can become Software Engineers with little effort and hard work. Most Electrical Engineers are already familiar with the fundamental of Software Engineering and they can easily switch from Electrical Engineering to Software Engineering with less friction.
Of course it is going to take some learning and time but the foundation is already laid and Electrical Engineers don’t have to start from scratch. When you consider all the engineering disciplines, you will realize that apart from Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering is the closest to Software Engineering.
It is easy for Electrical Engineers to become Software Engineers because the Electrical Engineering training includes some of the principles and fundamentals of Software Engineering. Most Electrical Engineers are already familiar with the concepts of computer systems and applications.
Some Electrical Engineers write programs for different electrical systems and equipment, this experience and exposure to programming can easily help them to become Software Engineers.
It can be seen that even though many electrical Engineers are familiar with programming, not all electrical engineers can code. Most Electrical Engineers who write code can work on embedded systems, microcontrollers, device drivers, operating systems, compilers, FPGAs, etc.
Although many Electrical Engineers are familiar with code, it is not required for many Electrical Engineers to know how to code. Not knowing how to code will not reduce your chances of being hired.