The rise of the creative class

Tim Stutts from PushPopDesign wrote a very apt post titled “Who works with creative coders?“, analyzing the responsibilities of what’s assumed to be creative coders and listing a bunch of (great) companies in the process. Choice quote:

The world is also no longer flat, but fully 3D, immersive, augmented, to the point where traditional design planning deliverables are no longer able to do it full justice. Furthermore, companies are beginning to recognize that a work-flow where designers strictly design and developers strictly develop, though resulting in stable, requirement-driven software, is prohibitive to the kinds of synaptic leaps and bounds that can happen in the minds of talented individuals who are given the freedom to move back and forth through designing and coding to see a concept to completion. It can no longer be ignored that today the ideas resulting from ‘creative coding’ explorations aren’t just ending up as side projects on company sites, but making their way into actual applications, websites, commercials and physical products of top design and technology players in the industry.

To which I fully agree, despite the fear of creating a new ridiculous title that becomes devoid of meaning (like “Guru”, “Ninja”, or “Rockstar”).

I’d even extend Tim’s point a little bit – it’s important to notice that in at least in part of today’s programming world, it’s not that important which platform you learn, but how you use it. I’ve considered myself a Flash/ActionScript developer for the past 15 years, but now all of a sudden I find myself doing Android and JavaScript development more than anything else. One would assume my knowledge may have been rendered irrelevant. But while my knowledge’s syntactical layer has been replaced, and while I still do stupid mistakes when switching between languages once in a while (like declaring a float in JavaScript, or a var in Java), something more importantly has remained: the knowledge on how to build great user experiences, and on how to learn and find solutions to problems. At least in part of the industry, being flexible and agile in learning, experimenting, and finding solutions to problems is more important than accumulated knowledge of a very particular platform. And that takes a creative mind – something that everyone is prepared to have, but demands practice lest it’ll bring atrophy to the serendipity muscles.

Tim also does us the honor of listing Firstborn in his list of creative companies. Thanks, Tim. And you know what? We’re hiring frontend and backend developers.