The People in Information Systems

In this chapter, you will learn about the "people" component of management information systems. As you read, think about the Decision Support Systems video and the importance that each person plays in the success of an organization, not just the successful implementation of the technology.

The Creators of Information Systems

Computer Engineer

Computer engineers design the computing devices that are used every day. There are many types of computer engineers who work on a variety of different types of devices and systems. Some of the more prominent computer engineering jobs are as follows:

  • Hardware engineer. A hardware engineer designs hardware and test components such as microprocessors, memory devices, routers, and networks. Many times, a hardware engineer is at the cutting edge of computing technology, creating something brand new. Other times, the hardware engineer's job is to re-engineer an existing component to work faster or use less power. Many times a hardware engineer's job is to write code to create a program that will be implemented directly on a computer chip.
  • Software engineer. Software engineers tend to focus on a specific area of software such as operating systems, networks, applications, or databases. Software engineers use three primary skill areas: computer science, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Systems engineer. A systems engineer takes the components designed by other engineers and makes them all work together, focusing on the integration of hardware and software. For example, to build a computer the mother board, processor, memory, and hard disk all have to work together. A systems engineer has experience with many different types of hardware and software and knows how to integrate them to create new functionality.
  • Network engineer. A network engineer understands the networking requirements of an organization and then designs a communications system to meet those needs, using the networking hardware and software, sometimes referred to as a network operating system. Network engineers design both local area networks as well as wide area networks.

There are many different types of computer engineers, and often the job descriptions overlap. While many may call themselves engineers based on a company job title, there is also a professional designation of "professional engineer" which has specific requirements. In the United States each state has its own set of requirements for the use of this title, as do different countries around the world. Most often, it involves a professional licensing exam.