Coding and Creativity

Coding and creativity may seem like opposite ends of the spectrum, but they actually can work hand in hand with one another.

Usually when we picture people coding, they are hunched over screens, typing away, following rules and programming languages the rest of us don’t understand. When we picture someone who is creative, we often envision a free-spirited artist who goes with the flow and has no rules to follow. While both of these images may hold some truth to them, coding and creativity are much more closely linked than we often think.

Coding Gives You Control to Create

Coding allows you (the coder) to control EVERYTHING that happens. You get to decide what stays, what goes, how it works and when it works. If you can think it up, coding allows you to create it! Want to create a game with unicorns who sail ships to Neptune? You can with coding! You’re the boss of what happens. This is an especially great feeling of autonomy that children don’t always get to enjoy in their day to day lives. The downside of having all the control is that you are also responsible for figuring out how to make your dreams come true, which leads us to the next reason coding and creativity work so well together.

Creative Problem Solving

Creative problem solving is a skill that all coders need to accomplish their work. Coding gives you opportunities to solve problems creatively, and it also helps increase your ability to do so. Problems and bugs ALWAYS appear when you are coding! Sometimes it’s an easy fix., but lots of times, you have to really think about why something isn’t working and ways you can fix it. It may mean starting over, or adding and taking away commands, changing the order, starting a new block of code, etc.…the possibilities are pretty much endless! Having an open mind that’s ready to think outside of the box is what helps coders smooth out all the bumps in their code.

Creative Expression Through Coding

Coding is also a place where you can express yourself. What are you interests? What are you passionate about? Issues you want to help fix? The music you like? Favorite food? How are you feeling? These are all things you can incorporate into your coding projects! If I want my project to feature a 3-legged rescue dog who listens to 90’s music while she chases lizards and eats Scooby Snacks, guess what? I can do that! Incorporating parts of yourself into your work makes it more meaningful to you and to others. And the ways to do that are limitless!

Coding and creativity really do go hand in hand. You can increase your creativity with coding and improve your coding with creativity. They are not boxes of your personality that don’t touch or overlap. In fact, the more they do, the better you’ll get and the more fun you’ll have!

Sarah Batmale