Friday, June 14, 2013

Technical + Creative

It's amazing how many people fail to realize that computing can be a creative field.  In fact, in many cases, it has to be! For example, it makes no sense for me to try to come up with completely abstract game stories to test my ideas for systems to put those stories together.  I don't have to win any writing awards, but I have to be creative enough to come up with some reasonable examples.

ViruStream 0313
ViruStream 0313 / Widianto Nugroho

That doesn't mean it's always easy.  I like to think of myself of a relatively creative person: I did drama and band in high school, love scrapbooking, have some ability in graphic design, and even won a couple of story contests way back when.  Even still, I often find myself staring at my story spreadsheets and not knowing what to write next.

And it also doesn't mean that these more obvious ways of being creative are the only ones that are important in this field.  I think that all computing is creative! No matter how low level the code you have to write is, you will always have problems to solve.  Code structure to design.  Functionality to figure out.  All of these things benefit from creativity.

I just wish we did a better job of emphasizing the idea that the best computer scientists are both technical and creative.  I wonder how many new students we could attract if we did a good job of this.


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