How can you be creative as a programmer?

Some people might think that being a programmer is nothing but writing codes. That’s true for some of them, but not all of us. A programmer needs to have a good level of creativity in order to solve problems, design a new system and so on… So how can we be more creative? I’ll write some ideas below that may help you to find your way as a “creative programmer”… ↓

Think outside the box

Think outside the box:

The first idea I wanted to mention is about thinking out of the box! If you always look from the same point of view, you cannot expect something different. In this case, you must shift your perspective!! I know it sounds easy but it’s difficult if you have never tried it. ↓ So, you need to start thinking out of the box! Take your time and try to change your point of view… For example, make a list with all problems you faced in the last few weeks, take some minutes and think how you could solve them differently by thinking outside the box. Find something new if possible or even better find multiple solutions for one problem!

What is interesting here is how different things looked by changing only one thing. The idea behind this process is that each problem has many points of view but we do not see all of them because we are used to our routine life. By changing just one “point” (for example) you can imagine hundreds of other ways to look at it… But what does it have to do with being a programmer? For example, if you are a developer working only on the back-end side then maybe try switching to front-end or vice versa. You can also learn new programming languages that will give you a different view on things…

Some people may say “but I’m not creative”… Just because you don’t think about something doesn’t mean that there isn’t a solution for it! People who say this have never tried anything, they just let their routines control them and turn everything into a habit… So please keep an open mind and use your creativity as much as possible. ↓

Try staying away from the computer

The idea behind this point is that we always look from our computer, learn new programming languages and write codes… But how can you be creative if you are always like this? I knew some people who were really good at what they did (programming) but hated their job. And it’s no surprise! You get used to something, everything becomes routine and boring… So please try staying away from your computer after work hours or learning time in order to have an open mind when coming back to code or reading documentation.

The sooner you do that the better, because then you will feel yourself more relaxed working in front of your computer again. ↓

Try doing something different

Try doing something different

This point is related to point 2 so I’ll not mention much about it here. The idea is that you cannot be creative if you always do the same! You need to try something new in order to see things differently. I know it’s difficult, but you can do it… For example, leave your routine job and find a new one in order to make changes! ↓

Or maybe start learning a new programming language that has nothing related to what you are using now or maybe learn by yourself how to play instruments or anything else that will help you with the above points. Try out things which are not obvious, talk with people with different views on life etc… ↓

Think about others

Think about others

This point is easy if you think about yourself more than others… But of course here the opposite stands true. By thinking about other people more than yourself, you will start seeing problems differently. Some people are really tough to understand and they don’t like talking about their feelings or using short sentences to explain what they want…

The worst thing is that some of them (when facing a problem) can come up with multiple solutions quickly but if it’s hard for them why not help them by thinking more about the problem? Just think how would others feel if they faced this problem and try to imagine all possible solutions… ↓

Don’t wait for anything

Another suggestion which is related (to some extent) to point 4! If you do something creative then there is no way that other people will tell you what to do… You need to be brave and accept the consequences.

This is because creativity takes courage, you never know where it will take you… So if someone tells you something about your work don’t get upset! Just try thinking of this as another perspective on things or advice which can help you see the problem from multiple angles. ↓

Accept criticism

Creativity (in most cases) requires people around with different views on life… By understanding other people’s point of view, we can accept their criticism positively and change our paths accordingly. Maybe some people won’t like your code or whatever that you did but that’s ok! This doesn’t mean that their opinions are right, but they still have the right to say what they think. If you disagree with them then just try to keep calm and ask back about how they would have done it etc…

An even better solution is to try out their point of view first before anything else! ↓

Don’t be afraid

Don't be afraid:

This point is related to the above one, but I’d like to stress on it more for this case. Being creative takes courage because no one knows where it will take you and by discouraging yourself in front of others (friends, family members etc…) you cannot show your true potential. No matter how many times someone will tell you that something is wrong with your approach or whatever that you did, don’t get upset or about it! Just laugh about it and try to see things from other people’s points of view (as mentioned above). ↓

If you do the 7 steps here, I’m sure that your life will become easier because simply you will be able to face new problems with an open mind! Moreover if you are working with others then these points can help you understand them better, which in turn can make them happier (and thus increasing your personal/technical relationship with them)!


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