Lifedev has a great post on 14 ways to learn from Creative Programmers. I love the list. And very nice parallels are drawn. Being a programmer myself, I do see that, a lot of what the post says is very true.
Read the full post here.
Some points that I found very interesting:
4. Do it for fun
If you know any programmers, they are constantly building something. Even when they are done for the day on work-related projects, they all spend hours of time working on fun projects for themselves. Their work is also their hobby.
Continually mulling over new ideas and solutions is something that shouldnt be a chore. It should be something that you find yourself doing constantly, like a reflex. And it should excite you.
7. Master your tools
Programmers constantly improve their knowledge and usage of their tools. A great coder keeps tabs on software and is constantly finding ways to improve his usage of them. You’ll seldom find a programmer who doesnt tweak his toolbox regularly.
No matter what your skill set, youre limited to your skill with the tools you use to create. The more of an expert you are with your tools, the more youll be able to create
11. Always look for a simpler and more elegant solution.
A good programmer is one that understands that finding the simplest solution is always going to be better. Complicated solutions lead to complications. A practical approach to programming always works best in the long run.
Our ideas sometimes become too complicated. We get caught up in the novelty of the idea that we ignore how practical it really is. The simplest way to solve a problem is often the best way to solve a problem.
12. Dont be afraid to build off the code of others.
The beauty of the Internet is that the solution your looking for has probably already been done by someone else. When building a new site I almost always use pre-existing open source code. Why recreate the wheel?
Putting a great idea into motion doesnt mean you have to start from scratch to create it. Use existing ideas and turn them in to something better. Sometimes a great idea is only modifying something thats already been done. Gmail is a great example. They reinvented email by adding useful features to traditional email13. Dont be afraid to collaborate.
Some of the best coding or any creative projects for that matter are done not just by one coder but by many excellent people inspired to work toward the same goal. Assemble a great team, use the most brilliant ideas no matter who they come from, and let everyone contribute.
And the last and most beautiful point:
14. From the very basic, create the beautiful.
Programmers often use some very basic code over and over, and while those small bits of programming language arent necessarily beautiful in and of themselves, they can come together to create a final product that is amazing. No matter what creative project youre working on, pay attention to the details, but most especially pay attention to the effect those details have on the overall picture.