Seeing Programming Through the Eyes of an Artist
The health benefits of creative output are well documented – a May 2012 article on CNN.com titled “A Healthy Life is a Creative Life” acknowledges a strong link between creativity and improved mental and physical health. “Creating helps make people happier, less anxious, more resilient and better equipped to problem-solve in the face of hardship,” says author Amanda Enayati.
Many recent studies have shown that stress commonly experienced by people in jobs they dislike leads to weight gain and higher glucose levels. Those issues can morph into to bigger problems, such as upper-respiratory infections and even cardiovascular disease.
With these proven facts in mind, students or adults seeking new career paths may shun the idea of becoming a computer programmer when choosing a profession. Long hours spent hunched before a computer screen writing endless streams of code seems to be the antithesis of a creative occupation. But, when one truly understands how engaging coding can be – when they see how it can be used to create limitless programs, utilities and applications – they begin to see computer programming as an exciting, modern creative outlet.
Coding is Creating
Writing code may not be the same as producing a novel, a painting, a new design for a building, a sculpture or a beautiful piece of music, but when the coder can see him or herself as an artist whose ideas impart limitless functionality to a computer program, a new facet of creativity comes to light.
The basis of programming is to solve a problem – for example, a programmer wants to create an app that generates sales tax information on any purchase made by a given user, using location-based technology. Through the design and testing process, the programmer achieves repeated, successful results and has thus created something new and useful. Just like any other creative pursuit, the more a person practices, the better he or she will be at the craft of programming.
Before he died, Apple’s Steve Jobs said, “Everybody in the country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think.”
Learning Method Matters
For those on the fence about whether to pursue education, then a career, in computer science or programming, the overarching advice is to learn computer languages in the correct order. Some are much more complex and more difficult to learn than others, and jumping into a difficult language first can hinder a learner’s confidence and progress.
This is where The Software Guild can have the best influence on a programming student’s education. The Software Guild is a fast-paced apprenticeship program that teaches programming and software development. It is a 12-week boot camp program in which enrollees receive staff expertise and personalized attention they may not get in traditional classrooms. This boot camp is intended to help students master the computer languages they need – in an order that makes sense – that they’ll then use to create software programs from the ground up. All of this is accomplished in a collaborative, hands-on way.
Students shouldn’t let the stereotypes of what they think computer programming and coding looks like sway them from a career in this lucrative field. With code as their medium, computer programmers can become intensely creative artists with important contributions that impact people around the world.