Coding: A necessity for engineering
By Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering
December 5, 2017

Daniela Markazi, ABE student, shares her #ACESstory!

Inventive, curious, and pragmatic - these are all terms used to describe engineers. Engineers are known for applying math, science, and practical knowledge in order to innovate, design, and invent. Although the application of math and science is key, it is becoming blatantly obvious that coding is quickly changing into a necessity for engineering. 

Everyone uses devices that have to be computer programmed in their daily lives. For most, the first thing they do when they wake up is check their phones. Phones need to be programmed. They might also get on their computer or use a tablet to check their emails. These, too, need to be programmed. Later in the day, they may want to drive somewhere using their car. Most cars have been programmed as well. 

In the field of agricultural and biological engineering, agriculture is changing, and big data is moving into agriculture. Sensors are now being used on fields in order to retrieve detailed information on water availability, manure requirements, wind, and other crop information. Drones are helping patrol fields; precision agriculture is being implemented. Data analytics are being used to determine the best crops to plant in different areas with profit and sustainability in mind. 

With all of these new technological advances happening in agriculture, there is a higher need for agricultural and biological engineers to learn how to code. Unlike most of my peers, I have coded throughout high school and know multiple coding languages. Therefore, with the help of Dr. Kaustubh Bhalerao, a professor who does research in bioinformatics, we created the course, Mobile and Web Development for Agricultural and Biological Engineers. Through this course, I am able to teach students how to code in Swift, the programming language developed by Apple Inc. in order to make applications for Apple products. 

By taking this course, students learn all the basics of computer coding. Many start off without knowing any coding prior, and by the end of the course, they are able to make their own applications. Students are able to learn how to code, and they are able to realize that it truly is a necessity for engineering.