What are two or three personality characteristics I need in order to become a successful computer engineer?
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To become a successful computer engineer, you need to persevere at school through any of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs in a university. The actual program you take doesn't really matter as long as you have enough computer science courses for your degree.
In addition, you need to be always willing to solve problems with a computer. Most successful computer engineers also enjoy programming just for fun. If you don't like working with computers, it will be a challenge (although not impossible) to make a living doing it all the time.
Finally, you need to be able to work well in a team. Gone are the days when a computer engineer can work on his or her own in a cubicle. Now most projects are large, with teams of tens or even hundreds of other engineers that work together for many months or years at a time.
You need patience to be a computer engineer. I have found that anything involving computers requires patience. You will be solving problems involving computers, so while you do need to be creative, you also need to be patient enough to keep working at it until you get a solution.
You need creativity and resourcefulness. Programmers and hardware engineers have to solve problems they can't foresee beforehand. They have to learn how to use the resources they have in innovative ways. Computer engineers also have to be able to create new tools to solve new problems. You also have to be able to work with people. Computer engineers do not work in isolation. They work in teams and depend on each other’s feedback in order to move forward on projects. You don’t have to be completely extroverted, but it is important to engage in conversation with other professionals on a regular, sometimes daily basis.
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