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Discussion on: Computer Science vs Software Engineering

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Paula Gearon

My own POV developed from my education. As an engineering student we learned a lot of science, but this was as a tool for engineering. Scientific research (i.e. the observation/hypothesis/testing cycle) was what scientists did. But if that was the case, then what did engineering researchers do? Well... sometimes they research practical techniques for applying science, but then that is science too. And sometimes engineers do purely theoretical work.

Then I went back to university and studied science. That's when I learned that many scientists research practical applications that I would have thought was more in the domain of engineering.

So the line is extremely blurry.

Despite there being no clear division, in general I still think that science is more about understanding theoretical underpinnings, while engineering is more focused on the application of existing science to the real world. But each does reach into the domain of the other. This applies as much to electrical engineering/physics, chemical engineering/chemistry, materials engineering/materials science, etc, as it does to software engineering/computer science.

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