Dibi Conference Aftermath - Designers Get Coding, Developers Get Creative

Some conferences are huge, some are very social, some are highly technical. DesignIt, BuildIt was the most creative and moving of experiences I’ve had in a long while. It has really inspired me to add so much more creativity to my coding projects.

There were some amazing speakers at this years DiBi, split into Developer and Design tracks. I took the opportunity to delve into the design track and learnt so much more than I can capture in one blog. So here is the first highlight from what I felt were the most passionate speakers.

@seb_ly - Hybridify yourself

Seb Lee-Delisle opened the day by making is all think about the possibilities when you combine creative design with technology.

JavaScript has really evolved to be a highly productive tool, when coupled with graphics tools like Processing and WebGL some amazing games and animations can be created really easily. For examples, take a peak at creativejs.com, creativecodeingprodcast.com and OpenProcessing.org.

With these kinds of tools at hand, there is no reason designers and coders shouldn’t code their own creative works. Althought there is still a big gap between these two disciplines, even at the DiBi conference there was The valley of incomprehension, with most people defining themselves as either designers or developers. Seb encourages us all to be a bit more of a creative coder!

coder + designer == creative coder

Seb also reminded us how easy it is to code something creative, with just one line of code on a commodore 64 emulator. Taking this further with code.seb.ly and 10 minutes of live creative coding in JavaScript, Seb created an eye-catching visuals that responded to mouse control and gravity.

Most coders get into it because they want to play games they create. Its much easier to create games than you think. When you get designers and coders working together it improves the communication and helps share skills. Designers discover much more when they learn to code. More importantly, working together helps share ideas; if designers and coders work together they can implement ideas in the easiest possible way.

Developers find the creative process hard, as many are too used to thinking literally. The more developers are part of the creative process, the more appreciation they will gain for it.

Developers should take the time to play with visuals more, start with small ideas and playing with tutorials to learn how to draw with code. By looking at the examples at communities like OpenProcessing it will help inspire coding towards more creative goals and help give software an experience that people have real affinity for.

In the next blog about DiBi12 I’ll cover Dan Ruben (Moo) and Cameron Moll. Both inspired in very different ways.

Thank you.

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