Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is Programming a Creative Pasttime? Discuss.

Martin Amis missed a trick when he called his book The War against Cliché. The War on Cliché would have been far more apt.
"What has a book on literary criticism got to do with software development?" I hear you question.

Well, programming is often said to be a creative pasttime. And when I was developing video games I would have totally agreed with that statement.

But now, with some years of professional development in non-entertainment-software circles, I'm not so sure that it is.

Beautiful software is built from well structured reusable components that adhere to design patterns.

The design pattern is the programmer's cliché, in that the world has seen it all before.

So when you're thinking about being creative and coming up with some fancy new algorithm, just remember that good ol' design pattern clichés are good.

What do you think? Is programming creative?

4 comments:

jimmythesaint said...

Sometimes programming is like doing a crossword - i dont feel its creative although it can be fulfilling. Sometimes when you create a new solution its the definition of creativity

Tom Gaulton said...

Would you say Monet wasn't creative because all his paintings were impressionist works? Working within design patterns doesn't mean programming isn't creative.

Ian Hickman said...

Some interesting points.

Consider this, when someone delivers you a functional specification that details exactly what your new software component should do, what it should interface with, and a rough idea of it's architecture, you become very limited in your scope for creativity.

Kris said...

Interesting points... and thank you for using my picture without asking.
:)