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The Art of Programming with Erika Heidi

erikaheidi profile image Erika Heidi ・1 min read

One of the most consolidated misconceptions about programming, since the early days, is the idea that such activity is purely technical, completely exact in nature, like Math and Physics. Computation is exact, but programming is not. The first is a result of a machine operation, and the latter is still a human activity.

This talk presents a different perspective about programming as an art and a form of personal expression, showing the importance of curiosity and creativity for building excellent developers.

Speaker Info

Erika Heidi is passionate about community, open source, and building things. A software engineer / DevOps turned writer, Erika currently works as senior technical writer at DigitalOcean.


Here is a download link to the talk slides (PDF)

This talk will be presented as part of CodeLand:Distributed on July 23. After the talk is streamed as part of the conference, it will be added to this post as a recorded video.

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erikaheidi profile

Erika Heidi


Code sorceress and machine enchantress. Passionate about writing and creating technical content for a variety of audiences.


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I love the artwork in the opening slide


I love the doodles on this slide! So cute!


that was an actual drawing that my mom kept :D


I thought you're live :p good talk BTW.


That just makes it so much better! Lovely!


Great to hear your story! My mother is an artist, my grandmother was a mathematician, my grandfather a scientist, and your talk is makng my think about how my decision to go into coding is kind of like a combination of all that heritage.


That's a rich heritage - you're blessed πŸ˜„


Make more codes. Make more open source. And then let people decide. And while they are deciding: make more codes, make more open source. Don't be afraid

Great quote. Loved how you adapted it to software development. Great presentation :)


It's just that math is commonly correlated with logic, and programming is this perfect marriage between art and logic... But the way they want to teach the logic part using plain old math just doesn't work for everyone! I'm totally into alternative ways of teaching logic, specially for children and grad students


I can definitely relate to the "journey of self-discovery" that is being an artist in code.


I really enjoyed this presentation so much. As an artist who creates visual novel games using Ren'Py (based on Python scripting), it was refreshing to hear that programming can be a form of art and being creative with your applications instead of having to feel that it should only be on math. I also didn't do well at math as well, but I managed to program because I enjoyed coding and making my creations come to life.


This is so eye opening to me on why I hit a roadblock to my CS degree when it came to the upper level math. Calculus II completely demolished me and I had to change my major to Information Technology. I love coding and I passed my programming fundamentals courses, which used Java, with all A's and I really enjoyed the courses. Love your presentation!


All respect for Margaret Hamilton , I have it as wallpaper for 3+ years <3.
It's my motivation when I get off the road :)


I'm wearing that exact same shirt today πŸ˜‚


Margaret Hamilton is an icon <3 One of my heroes!


I love how creative I can be while programming <3


The slide deck is marvelously designed! πŸ˜„


I have that shirt! Loved doing Hacktoberfest.


I had always believed that I wasn't creative and that was why I'm a programmer. But I feel like I should challenge that mindset after listening to your talk! Thanks for the new ideas Erika!


I haven't had to think about maths since working as a software developer. For someone that did so much maths, I have been given the chance to forget it all :p


I personally miss it, to be honest! I loved math in school (up until I hit linear algebra, then it lost me), and I'm kind of sad that I've forgotten so much of what I learned after being out of school for a few years. It might be time for me to hit up Khan Academy again!


I feel you! I haven't missed it since I still get my fix from solving problems in software development.


eeee Hacktoberfest t-shirt representing πŸ€™πŸΌπŸ€™πŸΌπŸ€™πŸΌ


I love the slide on demystifying art <3 It gives me so much freedom :)


Internet Relay Chat:) Very popular when I was a teenager in the late 90's


Interesting. I remember ICQ but not IRC.


An early form of a chat. The most famous app back then was mIRC.


Programming truly is an art of its own. I can spend hours sitting in front of a piece of code wondering why the programmer wrote it the way they did.

Next we just need to open a code gallery featuring the greatest pieces of code nice and framed.


Great talk Erika! Super relatable.


The captioning is really great, thank you!