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“Professional” stereotypes—those relating to a specific line of work or career field—are difficult to shake. Despite the mountain of inherently beneficial work performed by lawyers, the actions of a select few profit chasers continue to, in many ways, define the professional sphere.

Similarly (albeit less perniciously), the idea that software engineering has always been an exercise in mathematical precision—a means of allowing advanced minds to apply technical thinking to technical problems—has become more prominent in recent years. Most individuals believe that creativity is to software engineering as physical fitness is to art: not part of the equation.

In actuality, creativity plays a major role in software engineering, to the point that most software engineers would be unable to meet the duties of their work if they didn’t think creatively. Yes, mathematical precision is also a big part of software engineering, but it and creativity are not mutually exclusive.

Let’s take a look at three ways that creativity is utilized by software engineers!


To Solve Algorithms

Algorithms require both mathematical prowess and creativity to solve in a timely manner. Attempting to use only mathematical knowledge to solve algorithms will prove an exercise in futility; entering thousands of solutions is hardly an efficient means of completing the work. Similarly, neglecting mathematics and opting to be creative won’t get the job done, either.

Starting with math, thinking outside the box, and using math to prove a solution beyond a reasonable doubt is the way to go—as all veteran software engineers will attest to.


To Create New and Exciting Things

Programs, engines, applications, operating systems, and much more don’t appear out of thin air; they are products of vision and thousands of hours of hard work.

Stated in short, if software engineers were solely “number crunchers,” some of today’s most beloved pieces of media wouldn’t exist. Creativity and vision conceive good ideas and help software engineers to overcome hurdles; numbers and extensive thinking make these ideas come to life.


To Stay Sharp

Lastly, creativity helps software engineers to stay sharp. Thinking on one’s toes and attempting to innovate require creativity, and software engineers who don’t do these things won’t be part of the industry for very long.

Some professional fields require creativity and technical work to achieve results. Who’s to say where society would be without architecture and software engineering?

Creativity is an important ingredient in the recipe for software-engineering success. It’s not the only ingredient, but without it, final products simply wouldn’t come together.