“What am I doing?” is a common sentence you might hear from a Creative Technologist. It can mean that you made a mistake, don’t know what you are learning or just frustrated about something you did. However, sometimes it is doubt about your education. Doubt of the unknown future you are heading towards as a creative technologist. Just when you thought it will all be okay, a fellow CreaTer posts an article on Facebook that says you need to be a great programmer in order to succeed as a Creative Technologist. Then why the hell don’t we just study Computer Science and learn Java or C!? Let me explain Creative Technology the way I explain it to companies I visit as the Officer External Affairs of S.A. Proto. This may shed a different or new light on this fundamental question. Creative Technology is a combination of multiple disciplines, such as Electrical Engineering, IT, Business and Design. Students choose their own interest and will become a professional in this area while using the knowledge of everything they know. This is called a T-shaped
professional. This means you have IT driven programmers, but also design driven entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter what specialisation you choose, you will always be creative and you will have a comprehensive look on technology. Next to that, the study has a unique combination of practical work and academic theory which makes us very practical people. You can actually prototype, demonstrate and explain your idea in a professional way. Nowadays, companies are looking for talented highly skilled engineers, developers and ‘the new engineer’. This engineer is not a master of one specific domain, but has a broad view of multiple domains. It also comes with a talent of dividing a
problem into multiple tasks, called systems engineering. A Creative Technologist can understand all the domains in an abstract way and knows the language of the people that master it. We must find technology important enough to not just let the technologists use it. They are product minded, whereas we are people minded. Jef Staes, an innovation speaker and founder of Red Monkey company, has a vision of the future that fits well within the CreaTe curriculum. Jef states that we are going from a 2D age to a 3D age and compares this with an ocean. In history we had a calm ocean, where people got their knowledge from schools and universities. Now we have access to information everywhere, which is driving innovation in a stormy ocean. This results in a turbulent future, where tons of information leads to more innovation, which leads to more information. Therefore, we need innovators that know how to use these new tools and know how to swim in this new stormy ocean of information. That’s exactly what a creative technologist can do! We learn a lot from the internet and that’s a good thing. So why do you need the university, when the internet is full of information and the university does not have a monopoly on knowledge anymore? We are here to experiment and socialise with each other. We do not want a society full of isolated people, but full of people with good social skills and a network. It takes two to tango and it takes this study to become a social innovator. That’s why it’s so important to still go to the university. Now to come back at the article that was shared on Facebook, stating that they would not hire creative technologist who cannot program. This lead to many people believing that you need to master the skill of programming to be successful as a creative technologist. This is not true. A creative technologist needs to know just enough about programming to talk about it and to realise prototypes. Nevertheless, knowing how to program is a useful skill to master. Not only could you help Proto with its ICT systems in the Have You Tried Turning It On And Off Again Committee, you can get work very easily. Also note this article very much focuses on a Creative Technologist as part-programmers; however at our study, there are of course several other skills to focus on as mentioned: electrical engineering, human media interaction or perhaps another skill you choose to master such as industrial or graphics design. The question remains: is that REALLY what you would like to do for the rest of your life? In my opinion, a Creative Technologist is useless when he does something he doesn’t like to do. You are the person connecting the professionals from multiple divisions within a company.
“That is why you fail.” Listen to Yoda and start to believe in yourself.