“What you need to learn is that being creative is not enough in this business. You have to become technical. Creative people are born creative – you’re lucky. Technical people however can never be creative. It’s something they’ll never get. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many creative people don’t want to learn how to be technical, so what happens? They become dependent on technical people. Become technical, you can learn that.
If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”
– Robert Rodriguez (emphasis mine)
This quote was sent around work at precisely the wrong time.
The Tech team had been working for 16 hour days, and in some cases 30 hour days, for a total of three weeks without a break, scrambling hard to meet hard deadlines.
The entire tech team almost walked out.
[By this time we were too exhausted to move ;)]
This quote shows some very sloppy and arrogant thinking.
And from the director of Spy Kids no less.
[A little ad hominem to spice up my rant ;)]
It highlights common misperceptions about the craft of technologists.
Unfortunately the creativity involved in technology is obfuscated by it’s very nature!
Only a person who understands PERL can appreciate the creativity and beauty of a well written PERL script.
Only a person who understands software architecture can appreciate the creativity involved in an appropriately and effectively used design pattern.
Lack of knowledge and comprehension becomes a barrier to even seeing any of the creativity involved in technology, and thus people dismiss all acts of technologists as being intrinsically uncreative.
They liken technologists to unskilled blue-collar workers operating a stamping press.
Not being capable of seeing the creativity involved does not mean that it does not exist.
The blanket statement of “Technical people can never be creative” is just offensive nonsense.
The best technologists are intrinsically creative.
They are creators.
[They create damn good technology!]
Although it is true that you can gain a good rudimentary understanding of a specific technology from books, to become really proficient and creative in its use is something that takes experience and skill and ability.
Being able to play chords on a guitar does not mean that you are able to compose a symphony.
As such my reply-all to the email was as follows;
“What you need to learn is that being technical is not enough in this business. You have to become creative. Technical people are born intelligent – you’re lucky. Creative people however can never be intelligent. It’s something they’ll never be. You can’t buy it, find it, study it – you’re born with it. Too many technical people don’t want to learn how to be creative, so what happens? They become dependent on creative people. Become creative, you can learn that.
If you’re technical and creative, you’re unstoppable.” (emphasis mine)
Full of it’s own arrogance and absurd assumptions I hope that it exposes the offensive arrogant BS in the original.
The only part of the quote that is not utter biased ignorant crap, the only part the colleague should have included, and also something that I truly subscribe to, is;
“If you’re creative and technical, you’re unstoppable.”