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Creativity in Technology


I was planning to write a blog post on how you can find ways to be creative in any technical pursuit. Then, I found out from a friend that they generated most of their last blog post from ChatGPT. I had to try it out and see what it came up with versus what I came up with. I had a clear plan of what I wanted to say before I enlisted ChatGPT. I will make it very clear what it says versus what I say. TL;DR you can be creative in anything you do.

My Take on Tech and Creativity

I consider myself a creative person outside of tech. I always thought “what am I doing in a tech field?” because I assumed it was not creative, but I had some “outside of my own brain” sources tell me that you can be creative in anything you do. I didn’t really believe that at first.

I was convinced that I would not be happy unless I switched to a strictly creative career, such as in the arts. Well, this black-and-white thinking gets me into trouble – at least happiness-wise. Why can’t I be technical and creative at the same time? And not even have to change careers?

I read the book The Creative Cure a few months ago. I loved this book. It opened my eyes to the fact that anything you do can be done with creativity. The author talks about how even making a cup of coffee can be creative. He also talks about how creativity in your life is a vital part of being whole and healthy. The author says, “If we don’t exercise our creativity regularly, our lives can feel dull, stagnant, and rote.”

Then I started working with Cindy of Befriending Dragons. She does career coaching, but it’s really so much more than that. What behaviors are you doing and what stories are you telling yourself that you never realized? Cindy is AMAZING at getting to the heart of a matter. She sent me a Creativity Affirmator card that says Life is Art. Some insights from the card include: Every day is an act of creation and I see my entire life as a work of art.

Wow yeah, I didn’t see it that way. I thought maybe I was just slogging through trying to find myself instead of creating myself. I had this printed out hanging on my wall for the longest time. I likened returning to myself to the process of creating or recreating myself.

I even have a notebook cover that says “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.” I had all these messages around me for so long, and finally, something is starting to sink in.

Let’s not even get started on the number of self-help books I’ve read. There was going to be an answer in there and it was going to be THE answer to all my problems. As if I could “find myself” in a book somewhere, somehow and it would fix everything.

Why Are We Still Talking About This?

You are probably wondering, what does this all have to do with tech? I only wrote all this to say that yeah I’m a database professional, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not also very creative. That doesn’t mean that I’m only creative outside of my job. I infuse creativity into almost everything I do. You do, too. You may not even realize it like I didn’t for a long time. Maybe you already know this.

With that newfound vision of my work, it can be a real work of art, even when I’m doing something that’s not traditionally thought of as creative. The upshot is that I look for creative ways to solve problems at work, creative ways to write blog posts, and creative ways to do just about everything in my life. You can bring this same creativity to what you do, and you will help the world be a better place. Maybe that seems like a stretch. You are making the world a better place with your tech solution, especially when you view this as an act of creation. No one is exactly like you and doing exactly what you are at any given time (even if you are twins). You are a unique creation in and of yourself.

Yeah, I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to you so I can also convince myself.

Creativity in Technology in Action

What are some ways you can use creativity in your database role?

  • Query tuning – There is a science to this, but there is also an art to it as well. You can get a lot of guidance from others about how to approach this. Then you have a very specific example you are working with and you need to get creative about how to fix it.
  • Database design – There are specific guidelines for how you should design your database. Then the business wants what it wants and you might need to get creative with your design.
  • Troubleshooting – This always requires a lot of creativity. Sometimes you’ve seen the issue before and sometimes not. Googling is a skill and an art, too, and your creativity helps you solve problems quickly.
  • Automation – There are a lot of choices and opportunities for what and how to automate. You get to use a fair amount of creativity in creating a solution.

That’s just a few ways you can be creative in a database role. There are plenty more and you can let your creativity shine all over the place.

Thank You For Your Input, ChatGPT

And here’s what ChatGPT had to say when I prompted it with “creativity in technology”:

Creativity is an essential ingredient in technology, as it drives innovation and inspires new solutions to problems. Without creativity, technology would not progress, and we would not have the tools and resources we have today.
In the technology field, creativity is evident in a variety of ways, such as:
Developing new products: Creativity is essential when it comes to designing and developing new products. Engineers and designers must think outside the box to create new devices, software, and tools that can solve complex problems.
Improving existing technology: Creativity is also essential in improving existing technology. Developers must think creatively to find ways to make technology faster, more efficient, and more user-friendly.
Solving problems: Technology is used to solve problems, and creativity is often required to find solutions to complex issues. Engineers and developers must be creative when developing new tools and solutions to tackle these problems.
Design and aesthetics: Creativity plays an important role in the design and aesthetics of technology. Designers must be creative when designing interfaces, products, and experiences that are visually appealing and user-friendly.
Overall, creativity is a critical component of technology. It drives innovation, inspires new solutions to problems, and creates a more efficient and user-friendly experience for all users.

Two “People” with Different Takes

I like my version of creativity in tech better, but I do see how ChatGPT gives you way more specific examples of how creativity is at work in tech. I may have done that leg work to outline the ways you can be creative in tech, but ChatGPT did that for me. And ChatGPT gets it right because it says “Creativity is an essential ingredient in technology” and one day it will create Josephine 2.0 who will be a much better version of me and who will already believe in her intrinsic ability to be creative in any situation. I hope not because I like being the me I am, most of the time anyway.

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