A Day in the Life of a Systems Engineer

Systems engineers are the experts behind the complex systems you may see every day. But what exactly do they do?

Let me tell you about a day in the life of a systems engineer. It’s full of difficulties and satisfaction. So if you are ready, keep scrolling down to check!

An Overview Of Systems Engineering

Systems engineering focuses on designing and managing systems from start to finish. After building the systems, the systems engineer is in charge of maintaining them. If there are any issues, the engineer will fix them.

Moreover, systems engineers advise clients on the best software and hardware for computer systems. The chosen ones have to fit their specific demands.

Systems engineering is a rising job because many organizations rely on computer systems these days. In 2023, according to ComputerCareers.org, a systems engineer can earn about $122,214 a year.

What does a systems engineer do?

A Day In The Life Of A Systems Engineer

I’m a full-time systems engineer. Thus, most of my time is in the office. Let me tell you how this job keeps me engaged!

At Work

I’m responsible for the whole life cycle of a computer system. Here is what I do for it:

Design and develop systems

My main job is to design and develop computer systems. To do this, I work with people who will use the systems like stakeholders or users. So, I talk to them and ask questions to understand their needs.

Once I know their requirements, I use them as system guidelines. Of course, the requirements should make sense.

However, things may change as I work on the systems. Sometimes, my clients ask for new features. So, I set up tools and processes to record all the changes. Then, I continue the development process and ensure the changes fit the initial requirements.

Next, I create the design of the systems. All parts should work well with each other. Otherwise, they can’t function properly.

Choosing the right components and technology is important, too. The tools I choose have to handle what the systems need.

Test the systems

When the systems are ready, I have to test them before giving them to the stakeholders and clients. Testing is about letting them run and look for errors.

So I create a checklist first. All components of the systems need testing. Thus, as a systems engineer, I ensure nothing is left behind.

Besides, I think of different cases and issues that may happen. Then, I recheck the systems. They should handle all of those situations well.

My goal here is to guarantee that the systems are reliable. I want them to be efficient and secure. Thus, I must work with other engineers and developers for the testing phase.

Manage risks

Even after testing, the systems can break down sometimes. So, I talk with my team and users to find out what may go wrong. Then, we check each case to see how bad it can be if the problem really arises.

After that, my team comes up with some plans that minimize or prevent the impact of those issues. We are always ready for the risks!

But that’s not all! I also talk with clients and stakeholders so they can understand the risks. They need to learn how to use the systems correctly. It’s the best way to avoid bad things from happening.

Join meetings

I work with many people. Thus, meetings are a familiar part of my workday. If the project is in peak time, we meet up more often.

In meetings, I bring managers, stakeholders, and technical teams together. We figure out the requirements of the project first, then brainstorm ideas to implement it.

After meetings, I take notes and share updates with everyone on the team. They also give me feedback and ideas on how we can improve.

Support and maintain systems

When the systems are ready to use, I help with their deployment and maintenance. If any problems come up, I’m here to help! Sometimes, my clients or stakeholders want to improve their systems. So, I add new features to them.

I also plan for old systems. They can’t perform as efficiently as they did, and there is no way to improve them. Sadly, I have to say goodbye to them.

I work with the systems all day

After Work

I like to relax after work. Dealing with computer systems all day may overwhelm me. So, I recharge my battery by enjoying some leisure time.

But I also have a curious mind! Hence, I often read books or take online classes in my free time to expand my knowledge.

Additional Tasks And Schedules

Apart from my regular tasks, I have additional duties. One essential part is documentation. I need to keep records of everything I do. Then, checking the progress will be easier.

Lastly, I sometimes get to train new engineers who have just joined my team. The documentation helps me a lot during these training sessions!

There is time for other tasks

Is Systems Engineering The Right Profession For You?

If you love solving problems and computers, then systems engineering can be the right career for you.

When working in this position, you can use your problem-solving skills to handle complex systems. You will also work with cutting-edge technologies.

Moreover, this job brings you many chances to work with different people. You become a bridge between them in every meeting.

But please also note that this role requires many other skills. For example, you have to develop your time management, teamwork, and analytical skills. So be ready for the challenging journey ahead!

Systems engineering can be the right path for you

Final Thoughts

Being a systems engineer is a dynamic job. I work on exciting projects and collaborate with different teams.

I feel great because I can help many people with their computer systems. Relaxation becomes more precious after a hard-working day!

Thank you for reading!