Popular psychology once had people pigeonholed as left-brained or right-brained – logical or creative. It’s a myth that persists, not least in online quizzes intent on revealing what makes you tick.
Yet scientific thinking has long held that the two hemispheres are less different and more connected than the simplistic dichotomy would have us believe.
At CodeClan, we believe that creativity and logic go hand in hand in programming. And it’s not just the output that can be creative – although in the case of games, graphics, music, art and wearable technology, it often is. The very process of coding is creative in itself.
So, whether your current career is as a creative guru, or you’re just creative full stop, coding could be your route to the next big thing.
10 ways in which creativity and coding converge
Technology impacts on all areas of our lives, from medical research to fashion, and coding is the crux of it all. Code itself is intangible, but you can use it to turn a creative idea into reality.
A programming project will often begin with the big idea. And dreaming up a winning concept may be easier as a creative used to ‘design thinking’. Looking at the issue from the end user’s perspective is what can make an innovation invaluable to people.
The structure of a particular programming language will set certain parameters – and creativity comes from navigating within, and pushing against, these limits. It’s up to you to create ways to do what it is you want to do, from this starting point.
It’s important to look at an issue from all angles. If you take the same approach each time, your coding will get stuck in a rut. Creative people have the curiosity – and courage – to explore the new rather than always stick with the old.
Debugging is perhaps a less obvious creative outlet. But fixing problems and coding workarounds is where the coder combines innovation and originality with logic and analysis. By putting a problem through its paces, you can arrive at a novel solution.
Trial and error
Doing something over and over in different ways often reveals how to steer oneself out of creative or coding dead-ends.
Just as any creative will expect to produce many drafts before submitting a final version, a programmer will tweak code until it performs at its peak. Rarely is there only one way to go about things: it’s up to you to pursue the most efficient, elegant or effective option.
All so important in creative spheres, collaboration is also a big deal among coders. Hackathon events and online communities like GitHub let you contribute – or invite – creative input to programming projects. Open source code is a collective endeavour.
Like any creative, programmers are passionate about what they do, and coding is often an outside interest as well as a day job. Coding conundrums can be utterly absorbing, and you must have the creative drive to see the process through to the end.
As any creative knows, the simplest solution is often the best. And the same is true in programming.
Starting with an idea and ending up with a piece of software, a program, an app or a game involves innovation at every turn. Coding could be a new outlet for your creativity, and it needn’t take you long to get to grips with the basics.
Where could a programming course take you?