Jan 18, 2010

Creative Programming

Some time ago, I was asked to give a presentation about Creativity At Work. This was part of a series of presentations where people from different fields were asked to give there view on creativity. I wasn't very shocked (but a bit sad) to find out that most of the speakers were visual artists or designers and I was the only programmer. So, holding the fort, I started working on my presentation which mostly revolved around my personal view of creativity and my creation process. All the time, I was expecting some weird comments coming from non-programmers regarding the fact that a 'computer-guy' would have something to say about creativity but, to my surprise, most of the sarcasms came from other programmers. That'll teach me not to watch my back. Apparently, for some coders, no creativity was involved or needed when programming...

I was baffled, because I see coding as a medium. I use it to create, the same way I use paint or clay. I then decided to spend a good part of that presentation demystifying coding and showing it for what it really is: just another tool. Now, it's one of my favorite presentation to give. I love the reactions I get out of it.

Why would a person sitting at a piano be closer to creativity than a programmer at is keyboard? Playing the piano is pretty hard an not that many people can master it. But if they do, it can be used to invent and break new barriers. For me coding can be used that way too, whether the output is music, image, video, robotics or anything else that can be experienced by other people.

#define JAZZ printf(“Do de do, de do wha!\n”);