re: Is generalization killing creativity in the software industry? VIEW POST



You are mixing what is a work/study with a personal life.

Let's say the job is tedious, monotonous and boring. So what?. I worked in a boring job. However, I play electric guitar, I paint (a little) and I love Zbrush. My work and my personal life are unrelated and I'm not alone.

One of my colleagues is a member of a punk band. He dresses formally every working day. Other of my colleague was a painter and others play classical music.

So, if we want creativity then we could look for our own means.


What if you could have fun in your job? Some people can't tolerate working boring jobs for their dear life. Everybody is different, and we still need creativity in all industries.


The internet has become the vernacular. IMHO someone should always be creating in the space that is used by people in everyday life. Art is not just for the artist, art is for the people as well.


And they can and again, nobody is stopping to be creative unless it affects others.

Also, there is a difference between creativity and to act on your own volition.

For example, one of my colleagues was "creative". He wrote code like this one:


where the pony is a variable that means a customer. Why he called it "pony", because he is creative. But it was stupid and it affected the clarity of the code but again, he was creative.

In this case, he wasn't creative but he tried to push his vision!. Anyways, he was forced to rewrite all the code. Teamwork > individuality.

And for another part, I worked with the guys of marketing. Marketing is a creative job and trusts me, it is not fun!. But again, marketing is not about to put your vision but to put something with a specific aesthetic and meaning.

I also find a "creative" guy on marketing, he tried to put his vision and style on some job. He was fired in a week.

We can agree on one thing. There is a clear difference between someone being creative and someone being an egotistical jackass. They don't have to be one in the same. A creative person can still be a "team player".

I don't think this is a prime example of creativity in our industry. In any case, creativity pushes the boundaries and does illicit reactions. You can certainly have an opinion one way or another. Take Apple for example. They have pushed creative designs for hardware again and again. Love 'em or hate 'em. Some people have even commented the computers look like they "belong in a museum". Mac computers are also highly useable for the vast majority. Hell, they even invented an entire market segment with the iPhone. Apple doesn't seem to be hurting because of this, they have money in the bank to spare. Taking a risk can return huge rewards.


I don't think that this is the main point of the article. There are jobs where creativity is a hindrance. (Although there is some evidence that this type of job is slowly disappearing.)

But software development is essentially a creative activity. Even if you don't create new products but for example do maintenance of legacy code, it is creative problem solving.

If you have a developer job that does not allow and require creativity, there must be something going massively wrong.

Aside from that, separating work and private life is fine to a certain extent. But there are limits. I personally appreciate being myself at the job and not faking anything.


If you have a developer job that does not allow and require creativity, there must be something going massively wrong.

There are create jobs and jobs that don't require creativity.

In general, programming is :

  • X problem
  • Y solution.
  • Join X with Y and that's it.

However, let's say that we NEED creativity. Creativity is a hell of expensive, and it could tire everybody.

For example, the so-called "creative wall." It's not rare to find a writer that ran out of creativity; it's simply is not doing anything because he is unable to do. Now, how many programmers are out of creativity for days, weeks, or months and they are unable to work at all?.

Now, we could solve something using a creative solution or solve it by following-by-the-book but again, it's up to us and it is good.

Okay, I am probably using the term creativity in a broader sense than you are. Even if solution Y already exists for problem X, it typically requires some creativity to find it.

In my point of view, creativity is nothing mystical. It is the ability of our brain to generate more or less random ideas and then quickly rate them to find the better ones. Just like biological evolution but much faster.

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