What do I know about Computer Systems Engineering? Honestly, not much. Most of the stuff I talk about in this section is really people’s (mostly first year’s) perception of the specialisation and may not actually reflect reality. There are definitely people who have it as their first choice (otherwise why do they even allocate so many spaces to it lol). Also, people have told me those who take computer systems go on to become software engineers anyway. Which is one of the reasons it’s my second choice specialisation…


Uh, well the computer systems part of my electrical course is awesome but circuit analysis kicked my butt (at the beginning of the semester anyway)…

Oh, did I mention it’s also the sweet spot between electrical and software engineering? Or if electrical and software engineering got married and had a baby. We’re all under the same department after all!

And if anyone’s curious about what my other choices are (not that it matters since I’m going to own these exams, just look at me writing the blog instead of studying!!):

I’ve just had a lovely lovely programming exam. You have to handwrite code which is always fun (not). Then comes materials science and electrical, all in one week. Joy.

By the way, computer systems is mostly project based and they only have like one exam per semester (so like constant stress instead of sudden, instantaneous stress). Which why I have no problem badgering people for your ‘regularly’ scheduled ‘Q&A’:

Why did you choose Computer Systems Engineering and what advice would you give someone considering it?
Computer Systems engineering has both elements of electrical and software engineering, in fact the entire 2nd year is shared with electrical.
It’s quite a versatile specialization, you could choose to focus on either software side or electrical side. It has a ton of group work, and it’s the 2nd smallest specialization in terms of spaces (65 in 2017 after biomedical), so you end up knowing the entire class really fast. If I was to give potential students advice, I would say if you have interest in both coding and electrical design, or are doing well in 131 and 101, then Computer Systems might be for you.

And here’s what someone else has to say:
Growing up I was quite interested in Computers & Electronics in general and when I came around to picking my specialization I felt Computer Systems was the one that catered the best to my interests. Going through the course I realized that Computer Systems is very much about the integration of hardware and software to solve a problem. This would involve a whole spectrum of things from circuit design, PCB development, microcontroller programming to front-end development. It is quite a broad field with many career pathways to consider. It would be an ideal choice for anyone with interest in computers.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone’s having a blast with exams 🙂

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Samantha Woon

Hi there! My name is Samantha Woon and I grew up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. aka some obscure country in Southeast Asia. I’ll be living at O’Rorke Hall in 2017; I haven’t even met them yet as of writing this but I know they’re awesome people (from what I gather from Facebook chats). I’ve chosen to study Engineering at Auckland Uni, mainly because… I dunno, why does anyone do anything?

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