The Melody of Code

The Sound of Code is Music to Their Ears

At first glance, it may be hard to find the relationship between coding and art — but the connections are certainly there! We talked about the relationship between art and code with three musicians from LaunchCode - Kansas City, here is what they had to say:



What skills or qualities have you found are helpful in both art and code, and why?

Adam: Music and recording are very helpful in coding as well as song structure. You must have some basic computer knowledge to record music digitally and these skills will transfer to coding when building applications and understanding how the computer works.  

Patrick: Diligence, Practice, Planning, and Expression. Being diligent about writing code is important because it helps develop the skill. The same is true when you are writing a game, building a game board, playing or writing music, or telling stories. Without practice every skill grows stale, coding is the same. Click to tweet

Without plans, the best told tales sometime fail to end, the best music doesn't get written, the best board game ideas have huge holes. Learning to express yourself in your art and communicate what you are doing is absolutely essential. The best programmers learn that communicating through the code to other humans is the most important thing about writing clean code.

Carl: Keeping a clear goal in mind shapes the end product and makes obtaining it more predictable. Also, the ability to ignore the guidance of the "best practices" is helpful at times.

If there are things about writing code that feel similar to making art, what are they?

Adam: Coding is a very creative process. You see an application in your head, not unlike how a songwriter hears a new song in their head, and you start to think about how you can put it together. With coding, it takes a little more time because you have so many tools and ways of achieving your goals. It makes you want to find the right tool for the job at hand and make the application more elegant.  

In what ways are making art and writing code different?

Adam: Coding takes a special kind of patience and a hard work ethic to learn. Some artists, however, pick up on their art form naturally, without much instruction. It really seems unnatural to write instructions to a computer at first.  

Patrick: Great art doesn't have to be logical, but great code must be logical.

Great art doesn't have to be logical, but great code must be logical.   

Carl: Human art is without bounds - engineers and coders must have bounds, whether given or determined.

In what way(s) is writing code creative?

Adam: It is in every way creative. You are literally making something from nothing but skills and cleverness.  

Patrick: There are a million ways to draw a picture and picture says a million words. Code can be created a million ways, and how it is created says a million words.

Code can be created a million ways, and how it is created says a million words.

Carl: Every choice is matter of "art", variable names, functional/object comp/decomposition, colors of items, size and type of font, everything that is now bound up in the term "user experience".

What has surprised you about learning to code?

Adam: How much I enjoy it. I think you have to really love it or try to convince yourself that you love it to get better at it. Attitude is a huge part of taking this career path and if you find you just don't like it then you shouldn't do it.  

Patrick: Learning to code has surprised me with how close to creating art it is.  

Carl: There are many ways to solve problems - there are almost always better ways to solve the problems we encounter than the means that we use.

What might you tell a fellow creative who is considering learning to code?

Adam: Be patient and learn with a friend.  

Patrick: If you like puzzles, logic, and art, learn to code.

Carl: Keep the desired "living form" of the solution in mind, permit it to grow naturally.


/// If you like making music, you'll LOVE the magic of code! Start building your skills or apply to be an apprentice today!