Constraint Breeds Creativity

As I grow a little older views I once held collapse like a stack of cards under the gentle prod of criticism. No longer do I think creativity solely occupies the arts; anyone can be creative no matter what (or even in what) they do. It’s only apt that I’ll use one example in this post from another domain.

For some time I’ve held the view that removing creative variables from a creative problem actually encourages creativity. In programming, the simpler solution to a complex problem is usually the best one. Writing code with fewer abstractions in mind (and writing simple tests) can allow programmers to think more creatively.

When we impose constraints (in other words removing the luxury of choice), we’re often required to “think outside the box”; we frame our thinking around these constraints. A first draft of this post included references to lots of other areas where one might exhibit creativity but I think the axiom needs no clarification: constraint breeds creativity. It’s as simple as that.

I’m Tim, a Software Engineer from the UK. I like to write code, cook, read & run.

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