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14 Ways to Learn From Creative Programmers

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The common stereotype for programmers is this: nerdy, pocket-protector wielding, and very, very boring. One doesn’t typically link a programmer as a creative individual. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Working with code is one of the most creative jobs one can have. Programmers have to balance two very different worlds: a world of structure and a world of imagination. They create abstract concepts using very structured programming languages (like PHP or Java). It’s not an easy task. Programming is actually a great exercise in creativity. Here are a couple reasons why:

  • Programming gives ultimate control. Creating something from nothing is possibly the best example of creativity. The ultimate control over software or web site that a programmer has is perfect for taking the application to any direction that they wish.
  • Many ways to do one thing. Programmers have to essentially build a framework for the web site. They’re laying the foundation for something that, up until that point, is just an idea. The programmer uses a wide palate of tools and methods to find

Programmers are a great example of thinking outside the box because programmers can actually create the box. Here are 14 ways to Learn From Creative Programmers.

1. Learn a new language
2. Start from the ground up
3. Question everything
4. Do it for fun
5. Never stop testing ideas
6. Find a passion
7. Master your tools
8. Start making abstract associations
9. Think of structure as a tool, not a limitation
10. Don’t rule anything out until you try it.
11. Always look for a simpler and more elegant solution.
12. Don’t be afraid to build off the code of others.
13. Don’t be afraid to collaborate.
14. From the very basic, create the beautiful.

Source: 14 Ways to Learn From Creative Programmers

  • Nakiloe

    This is exactly how I’ve always think about programming! A good programmer should have enough imagination, otherwise he’ll go nowhere ^^

  • I think #4 and #10 are the most important. I think #12 (Building off the code of others) can be pretty intimidating and confusing, especially if the original coder didn’t comment and/or was inconsistent with coding conventions.

    Great post though!

  • I have always maintained that programming is a form of art unequalled in it’s need for creativity and form, design and expression.

    Programming is a form of computational haiku that is driven by a passion for creativity, a desire for perfection and the knowledge that perfection will never be achieved.

    Point 6 is at the crux of programming, you have to be passionate about what you are doing and in all things, endeavour to do it better than before. The mechanism of creativity should never be over looked…you should always flex your creative muscles by engaging in abstract exercises such as “word leaping” when trying to look at a task, remove the normal associations and as you say, try to create new more stretched meanings. Word games help me as a developer, as does sometimes sitting in a field and admiring creation (or cosmic burp depending on your viewpoint).

    Programmers are artists pure and simple, to code without passion is to exist without breathing, to develop without desire to kiss without love ;)

    Great post. (yours, not mine!:o)

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