Left Brain vs Right Brain: Can You Have a Creative Career in Coding?

Left brain or right brain? It’s a question that seems to be forced on us all the time as if making a binary choice between the world of tech, data and coding and the more creative career options out there is all we can do. But increasingly these days, people are looking to combine their interest in the arts with the possibilities of a technology-led career, and the choice certainly doesn’t have to be either/or. In fact, the point where creativity and logic meet can be startlingly inspiring. If you’re looking to combine the two areas, here’s just a flavour of the kind of arenas you could be operating in –  and who knows where you might be in ten years time:

Digital Product Design

An eye for technology and processes combined with ergonomics and splash of creative flair could well lead you down the path of product design. From web apps to digital products to physical objects out in the world, like cereal packaging design, you’ll need to drive projects with a vision that combines technical know-how with computer-aided design and a knowledge of aesthetics and what has consumer appeal. Knowing how things work and being able to apply that to a host of applications and products is a highly marketable skill. Familiarise yourself with multi-variate testing, graphic mock-ups, wireframing and site mapping to really understand your niche.

User Experience

Closely related, UX is big business these days, from disruptive start-ups to blue chips, as everyone competes for our shrinking online attention spans. UX articulates the emotional response of a consumer to site design and seeks to continuously optimise these in a relentless march down the sales tunnel to conversion nirvana. Constructing the architecture of a successful app or website is as much art as it is alchemy – there’s a ton of insight to be found in analytics, but a lot of subjectivity in design that leaves room for creative souls. From streamlining purchasing processes to creating branding guidelines, the scope of the work is highly varied.

Big Data Analytics

With data mountains stacking up around us all the time, and companies pushing to collect more and more information, there are heaps of untapped data lying around with companies desperate to analyse consumer behaviour and monetise it. It might be Machiavellian, but if you’re a bit of an armchair psychologist, such untapped access to behavioural analytics can be a playground. Defining user profiles, spotting macro and micro trends and translating them into workable strategies requires a keen eye for statistics, but also a massive dash of creative intuition to make the leap into saleable insight. Plus, the depiction of big data can literally be an art form if you’re feeling exceptionally creative…

Digital Animator

Web developers can use their coding magic to turn static designs into fully functioning realities, and creative problem solving and thinking outside of the box are skills in definite demand when it comes to this profession. There are opportunities to develop custom animations all round, and web development is definitely a skill best learned on the job. In fact, coding can be entirely self-taught, and can then lead you down the path of creating animations for other sites as a source of freelance work.

So there you have it – left and right brain, not destined to be mortal enemies after all, but creating viable and profitable careers paths in the brave new world.

About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is an Information Security Analyst, OSCP, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.

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