Should creative people become web developers?

In the world of the web, designers are most thought of as the creatives, whilst developers are seen more as technical problem solvers and troubleshooters. There is truth to this of course, but it’s not as black-and-white as it may seem.

Web design is often thought of as a creative profession. Weaving together the strings of a color scheme and inanimate objects on a screen is what most of us interpret as web design.

However, web development, on the other hand, has a much less creative reputation.

In the world of the web, designers are most thought of as the creatives, whilst developers are seen more as technical problem solvers and troubleshooters. There is truth to this of course, but it’s not as black-and-white as it may seem. In fact, whilst much of the visual creative tasks fall into the lap of a designer, web development can be a highly creative, intuitive profession too.

We've curated a list of our top thoughts on the topic.

  • Web developers are also creative; just in different ways. They use their minds in a logical way, formulating code, but also have to utilize their creative minds - because development and programming is not always straightforward. Sometimes workarounds have to be used, or sometimes code has to be implemented in an atypical fashion, which can mean writing code which creatively implements features or functionality rather than logical mathematic code which just performs a simple function.
  • Front-end developers have to use their creative minds to implement graphic design into working and functional website pages or app frontends. They have to use artistic flair not only to make things look good but also so that the visual features function in a particular way, which includes manipulating the code and the visual elements to behave in a streamlined and user-friendly fashion, which is not solely reliant on a visual/graphics editor or designer.
  • Web devs have to be creative with how they use their time which requires skill in order to creatively code in an effective way. As paradoxical as it may sound - a web dev creatively managing time to code - it’s very important because creativity in time management looks like creative code to get a task done quickly yet not sloppily.
  • Research and coding inspiration for projects is an  essential part of being a web developer and these activities closely mimic the responsibilities of designers, who are known to be creative
  • There is sometimes a lot of overlap between the responsibilities of designers and developers and the key to being a good developer is to also understand design and user experience which are both highly creative jobs
  • Backend developers have to use a creative mind to foresee how a system may be used, may grow, or to incorporate room for development of the code in the future, near or far
  • Developers have to be creative in terms of their coding or programming choices - most devs are proficient in more than one programming language and therefore have to exercise judgment and creativity in choice of appropriate and best fitting languages or solutions to a given task or problem.
  • Problem-solving or troubleshooting by nature is a creative task and something that is practiced by good developers on a daily basis. Because problem solving requires a creative mind to identify and develop solutions to a given problem.