The funny thing is eventhough I write lots of software, I don’t consider myself to be “creative”. The reason is this: I usually just take existing code and clean it up, rewrite part of it, and add a new feature or two I like. And that’s it. I don’t write big complex software; I prefer simple software that does what needs to be done just right.
This is why I try to be very open towards the kind of people that many tech guys abhor: Paste-and-copy programmers, dreamers, feature blabers and microsoft admirers – these people don’t churn out well-documented readable code (which is what I prefer), nor do they produce cool frameworks of complex interaction that yields superb results (which is what the evil genius in our company prefers), nor do they write elegant applications that look and feel just right (which is what our product department head prefers). But they do something I know I don’t: They freely associate seemingly random stuff, and every now and then, something interesting is said, an idea is generated, and I have something to work on again.
Therefore, value the different personality types, know where you belong, and know what other types you need to keep around to get something done.
That is interesting Alex, I read you as being creative. As for me personally, I studied Computer Science and Fine Art in college, so I link programming with creativity pretty easily - (and have since gone on to be a union organizer - a job which I consider to be very creative.) – MarkDilley
Many people have odd ideas about what being “creative” means. If making something entirely new without using anyone else’s ideas or works was the only true creativity, I don’t think anyone would qualify. Like Mozart, for instance. This morning I listened to a program on CBC Radio called “In The Shadow”; it tells the stories of composers and musicians who were overshadowed by the “greats”. Today the story was about Johann Schobert. What I found particularly interesting was that young Mozart was highly influenced by Schobert. What few people outside of the classical music scene (not that I’m an expert or anything; I just listen to it) realize is that the main method of operation of many, many composers was to take other pieces and rework them until they could call the music their own. For example, the melody in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.2 in B Flat Major is almost entirely Schobert, with various musical threads by Mozart sewn through it. In short, you are creative, and you are following in the footsteps of many great innovators in many fields. – MeatBall:StephenGilbert
Interesting idea. Perhaps we have to much personality cult in our history – not only for leaders, but also for artists, scientists, etc. “We stand on the shoulders of giants” – or “we stand on each others’ shoulders”… – AlexSchroeder
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