Monday, January 4, 2016

Creativity in coding.

Of all the places to get inspiration for coding, I got it on Sunday at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. There's a really amazing exhibition of the works of Edvard Munch & Van Gogh right now.  I've gone to the exhibit a couple times, and it still blows me away that I live where I can bike 10 minutes and see pieces of art like this.  I don't think I'll ever get over this feeling of awe, but I digress...
My favorite painting from the exhibit. Cupid and Psyche (Munch 1907)

On this visit to the exhibit, I noticed a Van Gogh quote that I had missed during my prior visits and it really resonated with me:
"Great things are done by a series of small things brought together." 
In the context of the exhibit, it was reminding us that the series of paintings by each of these artists should be viewed in a collective manner, where the themes of life, death, love, angst are not singular events.

It also had a lot of meaning to me in regards to what we do, when we code in our dev team (or working on your own project).  When we work on a project, we are all working on individual parts- building new features and functionality- which, on their own, might not mean that much, but when we are constantly repeating this process, all those small things, written by the different individuals of our team, can collectively add up to a really cool web application.

Maybe it's weird to some, but, to me, coding is the most creative job I've ever had.  Sure, there are rules to follow- syntax and best practices- and, yeah, you have to have 'tuned' your brain to have a good grasp on logic, but approaching how to solve problems is all up to you.  I don't think of the rules as limiting; they are what actually allow you to be creative.  I see the rules as simply outlining the canvas, but within that canvas I am free to design and build as I want.