Application engineers occupy the space directly between their company’s research and development team (R&D) and the consumers who purchase and use their products. As a consequence of their unique position and various job requirements, application engineers need to be versatile professionals, strong communicators, and masters of a whole host of other technical and interpersonal skills.
In this post, we’ll explore seven essential skills to develop for any employed or aspiring application engineer:
Basic software and coding skills. First and foremost, application engineers must have a background in the technical and quantitative abilities required to do basic coding. This formal training – which most application engineers receive as undergraduates – will serve as the foundation for all of the subsequent sales, technical assistance, and inter-disciplinary project management work which they will be responsible for.
Communication. One of the primary responsibilities of application engineers is to communicate between trained engineering professionals and consumers (the latter typically having no technical background).
Sales. Application engineers can expect to spend long hours speaking with customers about the finer points of the product being developed and sold by their company. This means that they must hone the speaking, marketing, and interpersonal skills of a salesperson.
Business analysis. Often, application engineers will work with clients to determine how the technology that’s being sold will effectively integrate into an existing business and technology model. In other words, it’s vital for application engineers to understand the business landscape, requirements, and trends of the various clients that he or she works with.
Interdisciplinary collaboration skills. Application engineers must have basic organization and project management skills that will allow them to work between these different groups simultaneously.
Self-education. For application engineers to effectively assist their clients with technical problems, they need to stay up-to-date on all product developments within their company as well as with the broader trends happening within their field.
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