Do you need to be right or left brained in order to be a programmer? Yes, you need to use both sides of your brain. For coding, you’ll need to use left brain traits like logic and analysis. When you are designing interfaces, you need to use right brain traits such as creativity and intuition. Web sites and web applications require you to use a wide variety of tools. You don’t necessarily need to be a graphic artist to make a web form both functional and beautiful.
To build web sites today, you need to be creative and to get it to work. Just because you can’t draw doesn’t mean your not creative. It takes creativity when coding an application that helps people get things done. To do that, you have to use your whole brain not just a certain half.
Andrew Houle, MyInkBlog, describes the Developer/Designer paradox. He admits to being both.
On the Freakonomics blog, Kal Raustiala of UCLA and Chris Sprigman of University of Virginia Law School wrote about Geeks and Tweaks. They explain that tweaking is a good thing, but the copyright law doesn’t allow it. A “pioneer” or inventor creates a new product or service. People like Thomas Edison are the ideal lone genius who develops new ideas. Tweakers change a pioneer’s work and improve it for the better. In the article, the professors use the example of programming contents to show how contestants can build on an existing solution to a problem and improve it.
Currently, Copyright law rewards you for being a pioneer and penalizes for being a tweaker. You can’t tweak a pioneer’s work and sell it. The law also makes it very hard for you to even get permission to tweak someone else’s work. Kal Raustiala and Chris Sprigman suggest that the copyright law should change to benefit both pioneers and tweakers. Shouldn’t both pioneers and tweakers benefit from their innovative ideas?
*Image from Free-Stock-Photos
As a programmer the more distractions you have, the less likely you can develop elegant solutions to problems. Distractions like email, Twitter, Facebook, your blog and people needing help forces you to divide your attention. The more time you spend on distractions, the less time you have for coding. You may think that multi-tasking or doing multiple tasks at one time makes you more efficient. Multi-tasking doesn’t work because it requires you to switch between tasks. When you switch, you lose focus, make mistakes and forget things. When you are coding, this means you create more bugs that you will have to fix later.
How do you get focus? Leo Babauta of ZenHabits.net wrote Focus: A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction, a guide on how to focus on one task at a time, limit distractions and simplify your life. He provides you with tips for focusing, tools for beating distractions and finding simplicity. Focus helps you to decide what activities, website and other things you want to do and get rid of the distractions that don’t work for you. As a programmer, I found this guide to be useful for learning how to limit multi-tasking and focus on the project or problem at hand.
Curiosita is one of the seven principles of Da Vinci, as defined by Micheal J.Gelb in How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci.
An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.
Curiosity is part of being a developer. You can’t create new applications without being curious on how things work and a desire to make your own. Or learn new things. Inspiration for new ideas can come from many sources. Being a developer means to balance the art and science of programming. Leonardo DaVinci helps us to learn how to do just that.