Squeezing Creativity out of a Rock
Software engineering is more of a scientific profession than an artistic one. Your typical computer science degree even has science right in the name!
But is it really not artistic?
Is code art? Can you be creative while programming?
Encoding algorithms is just a matter of translating steps to complete a task into whatever programming language you’re using. Where’s the art? Where’s the creativity?
A software engineer’s brain may seem too analytic to be creative. It might even seem like you’re trying to squeeze creativity out of a rock. And in this case, that rock is a solid piece of granite in between a coder’s ears.
It’s time to soften up that cranial rock and realize that creativity is a necessary component of software development.
What does software do? It solves a problem. It meets a need. It moves things around. It does math.
How does it do all those things? Creatively. And that creativity comes from the developer’s head. Coding might be analytic, but deciding what to code and how to solve unique problems takes creativity.
As a programmer, you need to take steps to exercise your creative muscles. So how do you do that?
Make a short horror movie on your phone and upload it to YouTube.
Write short stories. Or long ones.
Draw or paint.
Binge sci-fi shows and then discuss all that cool shit over beers with friends. Human friends. In person.
Sing great songs terribly.
When you exercise your creative muscles (I’m aware they aren’t actual, literal muscles), you will see software solutions in a different way. Instead of three or four ways of doing something, there are seemingly infinite solutions.
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