7 types of Engineering jobs in Japan that require Python today

The ability to code in the python language is becoming an increasingly sought-after skill, particularly within engineering. In industries underpinned by computer programming, this skill is critical for data analysis and visualisations, artificial intelligence and machine learning, as well as automation.

The knowledge of python is pertinent with traditional engineering tasks changing across disciplines, and as computing technologies transform the way engineers do their jobs. Coding is becoming an even more important skill today.

But be it coding or computer programming, they are both becoming a core skill requirement for many well-paying jobs across a broad range of sectors including the industrial sector and within manufacturing industries.

According to the website MyNavi, python ranks first on the list of programming languages engineers want to learn in 2021:

 

#1 Python (32.8%)

#2 Java (9.3%)

#3 JavaScript (5.9%)

 

Engineering and python in Japan

The common myth is that niche sectors of engineering such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or industrial engineering are not connected with any type of coding. But as we move into industry 4.0 which is tied up intrinsically with electric cars, autonomous transportation, and automation, the next era of mechanical, aerospace and automotive engineers need to understand how they can integrate mechanical engineering concepts with the various computer languages in order to simulate concepts or automate them further.

Python for that matter is an extremely easy and efficient programming language. It can solve complex problems in a matter of seconds. According to Indeed Japan, recruitment for talent who use python increased 162% in H1 2021 as an increased number of companies in Japan are trying to hire experienced Python programmers but are faced with its serious shortage.

 

Why engineering jobs require python?

Python is a versatile programming language as it provides extensive libraries with numerous cross-platform and cross-browser testing frameworks like PyTest or Behave. This includes top World Class Companies who use Python to build, maintain and keep their sites top-notch.

Common responsibilities of engineers with python background include:

  • Implement open-source SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems that can perfectly sync an industrial project;
  • Handle large data sets that engineers can develop algorithms around, to meet the ends they require for their setups.
  • Automate some of their more repetitive tasks to free up their workers and direct them towards more productive tasks;
  • Teach a machine what to look for in a set of input and output data. This alerts personnel when a system breakdown has occurred or when part of a system requires maintenance. In the machine learning world, this is referred to as supervised learning;
  • Utilise an extensive library of available pre-written code that can quickly be expanded upon and implemented within a system;
  • Manage security and protection.

 

Learning Python in Japanese?

Japan’s efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increase of free educational websites including:

python Japan
This site is run by volunteers and offers general python information. They have mailing lists and Slack rooms to share information, so you can practice by interacting with other Japanese engineers in the native language.

Python-izm
This site stands out for all the sample codes it includes, so you can practice reading real coding examples in Japanese. I recommend this site once you have learnt to read some code.

Dot Install
This site offers educational videos. The materials for intermediary levels and above are paid, but all of the beginner-oriented materials are free. Videos offer a great way to learn spoken Japanese.

progate
This educational site allows you to practice coding even without a coding environment. You can learn the basics for free. This is highly recommended for those who are beginners in programming.

 

If you are planning to pursue an engineering career in Japan, there is a myriad of platforms to learn from. You can also try searching the web for terms “Python 無料 学習” (muryou gakushuu — free education), and these sites can allow you to study wherever you are on-the-go.

 

Here are the top 7 common engineering jobs in Japan that use python:

 

1. Software Engineers

Typical software engineers in manufacturing companies need the knowledge to design, implement, and verify software for advanced manufacturing machinery and automotive electronic projects. Software development knowledge may also be needed to learn image processing, pattern recognition, inspection systems and automation systems.

In times of industrial revolution, system architectures are optimised to cater to robotics and software engineers as such, will be needed to ensure smooth functionality. Unlike the past where software engineers might work in a silo environment, you would now get the chance to work closely together with the research and development teams or even product management teams.

 

2. Automotive Engineers

You may wonder why automotive industries would require engineers with python knowledge. Assuming you are working in a manufacturing team who is trying to find the pressure difference across a pipe when there is a liquid flowing through it. Not only will the problem take a long time to resolve, it will also be extremely hard to obtain accurate values or plot the differences in a graph. With programming languages, you can solve such problems in a matter of seconds and obtain graphical simulations at the same instant.

Learning numerical analysis and coding with python opens a plethora of opportunities in areas like manufacturing, automotive, energy, and even mechanical jobs in software companies. These engineers use programming languages like python to write scripts before importing them to CFD software to test numerous designs.

 

3. Quality Assurance (QA) Engineers

As a QA specialist in the engineering space, you will need to understand the built-in functions to write automation test suites. Expertise within regular python expressions will go a long way to write these tests quickly.

QA engineers will also need to make sure that test codes are of high standards and familiarise themselves with HTTP libraries which will be useful for testing APIs.

 

4. DevOps Engineers

As a DevOps engineer, you will need to understand the various advanced operations and automation concepts DevOps has with Python. You must be comfortable writing and debugging smaller scripts in at least one scripting language like Python, Bash, PowerShell or Ruby. DevOps helps with automating the manufacturing processes and ensure robust operations.

 

5. Software Development Engineers

Whilst the scope for software development is larger than what python can do, the programming language can still assist greatly in the following:

  • Automatic log retrieval;
  • General automation of remote access and command execution;
  • Automating live monitoring

As automation continue to pick up pace in Japan’s industry 4.0, there is no doubt that software development engineers, along with machine learning engineers, will only peak in demand.

 

6. Machine Learning (ML) Engineers

Python can be used to automate most of the operations and maintenance that were previously done manually, so network administrators can now handle network management work by running a simple programme. And since these jobs arise every time a network is built or changed, it creates a lot of demand for work required.

About 36% of all python recruitment in Japan is for automating network or server maintenance and operation. With the growth in Artificial Intelligence (AI), ML engineers will be in even greater demand in the years to come.

 

7. Mechanical Engineers

If you are a mechanical or an automobile engineer, python will be extremely handy for you. Mechanical and automobile industries use python to automate tasks. Even when the script is written in another programming language, it is rewritten in Python before automation since it is the most common language and hence the interface between industries and codes.

 

Ultimately, with over 14,000 python packages available for download online, python is a very accessible language compared to its alternatives. It saves time and enhances productivity and efficiency given that you would not need to code from scratch.

 

Looking ahead: Japan’s Society 5.0 and Industry 4.0

Japan recently introduced the idea of Society 5.0, which looks at digitalisation from a societal viewpoint aiming at the ‘Super Smart Society’. IT, especially AI, will change many things in both businesses and our everyday life. Large Japanese companies are already well into digitalisation and innovation, and the same goes for local start-ups like Skydrive who aims to launch their first flying car by 2025. This is where the concept of “Connected Industries” comes into play.

The goal of both Society 5.0 and Industry 4.0 is to enable robotics to create zero downtime and maximum efficiency. As robots use more sensors and become more digitally connected, they will become a lot less susceptible to disruptions, and we can see this play out in growing automotive engineering and automotive manufacturing start-ups in Japan.

If you are looking for the right talent in engineering that requires python and automation knowledge, or if you’re a professional within this space and are looking for an opportunity to move, we can help.

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