Creativity and Coding: where crossroads reconvene


When we think of the word ‘creativity’, we often think of the arts. As such, creativity and the arts have often been associated with being right-brained - for the free, imaginative, and uninhibited. Coding, on the other hand, is often associated with logic and following a certain set of rules. Consequently, those inclined to creative trades are quick to assume that coding is not a good fit for them. They tend to see it as rigid, or too left-brained for their taste. Well, buckle up, because in this blog, we debunk these myths and share how coding and creativity come hand in hand.


What is creativity?

So, what exactly does being creative mean? As the old adage goes, being creative means ‘thinking out of the box’: transcending conventional limits and imagining new and innovative ways to express a message or approach a problem. A common misconception about creativity is that it’s solely about artistic expression, but creativity comes in many different forms - the entrepreneur designing a product is being creative, just as the biologist coming up with a new scientific theory is being creative.


Another common myth is that creativity generally applies to approaches or innovations that are largely new. However, finding new ways to approach a problem and presenting solutions is also a form of applying creativity. In fact, many of us don’t realise that we apply creativity in our lives much more often than we think we do - have you ever rearranged your desk or the applications on your mobile phone (widgets anyone!)? Well, that’s one simple way you applied your creativity to make things more accessible for you!

A common misconception about creativity is that it’s solely about artistic expression, but creativity comes in many different forms - the entrepreneur designing a product is being creative, just as the biologist coming up with a new scientific theory is being creative.

How do creativity and coding reconvene?

Here is a revelation - it takes a lot of creativity to be able to write good code. As we’ve learnt in our previous blogs, coding involves a tremendous amount of problem-solving. One needs creativity to visualise a problem, and figure out how the tools they have can solve it. It also takes creative skill to type code that can run smoothly, while still being easily read and understood by other programmers who are working with you or aiming to maintain or utilise aspects of your programme.


Let’s dive a little deeper: one of the challenges in programming is finding a way to utilise a limited amount of keywords (think of these as basic commands that instruct a computer what to do) to perform a wide array of functions. Java and JavaScript are two commonly used languages for web pages, or even complex computer/mobile applications. Yet, they both only have about 46 to 50 keywords. It takes a great deal of creativity, paired with technical skill, to counter this problem of limited resources and come up with methods to achieve your desired result. It’s like solving a puzzle, but applying tools to paint and modify the puzzle pieces to produce the picture you want!


Another reason why creativity is important in coding is through optimising. When you first code a programme, the main objective is to get your code to work. But once you’ve got it up and running, there are a number of ways to further refine your code and optimise run time, or make your programme more efficient overall by reducing the amount of memory or space needed to run it.


Bridging the gap between imagination and creation

A mere three decades ago, smartphones didn’t exist. If you told someone then that in 10 years, people would be walking around with handheld computers, they’d probably laugh at you. And yet, here we are! Coding acts as the bridge between imagination or creativity and actualisation. It trains one to see both the details and the bigger picture (after all, in approaching a problem, one must see all of its facets) and provides the tools to turn even the wildest of imagination into attainable goals. More and more artists are taking to digital mediums to produce their artwork and giving the audience a uniquely immersive experience that was not possible before.


So go on, get out there and get creative! Once you open your eyes to all the ways you can get creative in your daily life, you’ll see that the possibilities are endless.


Getting those creative gears running,


Zubaidah