Art as Code: How to Embrace Your Inner Artist / Become a Better Coder

Measurably Daring™

Today’s blog focuses in on the people who sit behind today’s software project delivery and technology products. I’ve always tended to think of them as artists, not mere “coders”.

It’s clear that both left-brained logic together with right-brained restlessness are needed today to achieve the highest level of coding. So it makes sense that today’s new generation of coders should thrive on research and learning just as much as the code. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Beings passionate about the subject and/or the prospect of learning new skills or ways of working to me is what makes the distinction between being the Artist Coder or just an average one.

As someone who has over 16 years in the industry I can vouch that I’ve had my own love/hate relationship with the software delivery process overall. But I’ve had to adapt and continually learn new skills and ways of doing things, which has given me sharpened lateral thinking skills (common sense really!) to find solutions to problems.

Whilst a hunger to learn is the key ingredient for success, a word of warning: learning stuff isn’t easy.

I’m a self-taught Developer and I admit development never came easy to me. Only through hard work, long hours and dedication have I managed to build a pretty good understanding of software principles. As I continued indulging in a new skill and creating code, which made me feel like an Artist. Coders are indeed Artists, and I have the upmost respect for the ones who have taken the long road, learnt to write from scratch (versus the cut & paste) and who care about writing code that eloquently structures with the smallest footprint. They are the Picassos of the modern world!

I’m disheartened to see a worrying emergent trend where a ‘hunger to learn’ is lacking. It’s something I weed out when hiring new recruits, it’s just important to care: about your work quality, your responsibilities and ownership in a team environment.

Today…if I were just starting up in my software career and had all the code snippet, repository, videos, tutorials online and the ability to learn everything on the move, I would be over this like a rash.

Whilst all of this is imminently available I’m worried when I see a lack of enthusiasm to just pick up the “book” and learn. Today’s coder is an eternal student. When I see a lack of curiosity I have sometimes wondered if perhaps we have too many resources at our disposal?

So onto my advice to emerging Artists and Coders. We must embrace and connect with our inner voice and thirst to learn. I’m realistic and appreciate that software development or delivery can sometimes be a challenging task. These roles are also not for everyone, but boy, for those with persistence and passion, you can create magic.

I want to challenge you to believe in yourself; you’re never too old to learn a new skill nor to explore better ways of working and collaborating. Do it yourself and embrace technology and coding now because the opportunity to learn for free has never been greater! In as little as 5 years’ time it’s suggested that automation will be greater and more jobs may sadly cease to be. So why not by-pass Netflix tonight and see if you can learn a new coding skill instead?

Below is my top list of learning resources and things that have helped me in my career. I would like to pass this onto you and also to say thank you to the authors and individuals who provided this:

Getting started with Microsoft C#

https://mva.microsoft.com/en-US/training-courses/c-fundamentals-for-absolute-beginners-16169?l=Lvld4EQIC_2706218949

Keeping up with technology trends

Sitepoint

Pragmatic Press

O’Reilly

Learning code snippets

W3Schools

Paid for learning services

Pluralsite

Udemy

Coursera

All comments welcome and if you think you are ready to learn and want to put in the hours to become an “Artist”, get in touch as there could be an opportunity at Fetch.

Byron – Chief Technical Officer at Fetch

Disclaimer: These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the Fetch Media Ltd of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Fetch Media Ltd bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.