YapStone Blog

“3 Ways to Find Your Inner Creative if You Work in Tech” written by YapStone.

If you work in a tech-related field, you’re likely accustomed to the generalizations that come with working in an industry not exactly known for its artistry or creativity. Tell someone you’re an engineer or data analyst, and you can see the assumptions form that you spend all your time with your nose pressed to a screen furiously typing code.

But in reality, the very nature of the industry demands creative people. Creativity is rapidly becoming a required skillset in tech and engineering fields because it is seen as an essential trait in producing innovative work. So it’s no surprise that many who work in the industry have a balanced strength of both sides of their brains.

No matter what field you’re in, it’s important to involve yourself in activities that stimulate your creative side. Troy Scarlott, SVP of Marketing, says, “It’s time we stop labeling people as creatives or non-creatives. Every single person possesses the ability to be creative, so we should nurture and foster those qualities – especially if we want to continue produce work that is progressive and innovative.”

Take these tips from our team on how you can keep your creativity alive:

Work with your hands

According to a recent study, writing by hand helps us better process and retain information than typing on a keyboard.  And drawing doodles can actually boost attention span and memory. Maybe there was more to grade school finger painting than we realized.

Sometimes taking a creative risk means getting your hands dirty. And sometimes, if you’re YapStone employee Bryan Cooper, it means playing with fire. As a Product Manager, when Cooper isn’t writing requirements for the API and Trust & Safety teams, he’s honing his design skills. His favorite outlet is pyrography – the art of decorating wood by burning designs with a heated metallic point. If an artist takes too long to draw a line, the wood can catch fire and ruin the detail, and any mark made is permanent. Pyrography has taught Cooper to be more detail oriented as a Product Manager and helps him trust his instinct while working under pressure in heated situations.

Try something new

If you feel like your work is hitting a plateau, try taking on a new hobby for renewed energy. Not sure where to start? Take a tip from 13 tech execs with interesting hobbies.

As Jeff Kemper knows, finding the right fit can be a process of trial and error. Long before he became a Senior Software Engineer, at age 17 Kemper started brewing beer to learn more about microorganisms. But what began as a creative experiment became a lifelong hobby. Now, Kemper says, the skills he has learned brewing beer parallel the skills he applies to his craft as a software developer.

“A lot of software development is trial and error.  You learn by trying something and seeing if it works or not.  Generally, if you do it wrong you’ll know the next project not to do that again. With brewing this holds true as well.  Automation helps in my brewing process along with my development job. Having automation tools during code development is a must – and I’ve found it helps with beer making as well.”

If you’re still feeling stuck, maybe try exploring a business venture you’ve been brewing. Marketing Manager, Jillian Salinas and her husband applied their creativity to a small coffee roasting business – an outlet that Salinas says has taught her to be more proactive and analytical about the way she approaches her role as a marketing manager. All the coffee she drinks probably helps kick-start her work too.

Get a move on

We all know the physical benefits of exercise. But moving more isn’t just good for getting in shape. According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, regular exercise can actually increase creative aptitude. And you don’t have to be an athlete to get the good ideas flowing. Taking regular walks can help clear mental blocks. Even some simple yoga poses can open up your inner creative.

But if you really want to add a pep to your creative step, put on your dancing shoes. When Mugdha Goel, Principal Software Engineer, first started dancing, she didn’t realize the impact it would have on her professional life. But now, she says, dancing has taught her a lot about the discipline of being an engineer. “Messing up a small part of the routine can spoil the whole show. Similarly, we must work carefully and diligently with every small stage of a project – any negligence can affect later production.”

At YapStone, we encourage our over 450 employees to find and pursue their creative outlets, no matter their role. So if you work in tech, spend time nurturing your creative side – and who knows, it could just lead you to create your next masterpiece.