The Coder as Artist: Painting with Pixels and Numbers

Short Form


Popular culture would have us believe that programming and art are polar opposites. In reality, code is just another medium with which we are creating art every day. Learn how embracing code as our art and artists as our community will help us create a more beautiful and accessible world.


As a culture, we often construct development as the realm of pure logic and reason, devoid of all emotion and spontaneity. We place art on the opposite end of this spectrum, as the realm of pure id, with no need or desire for structure or technical considerations.These stereotypes persist in both the arts and programming communities, where they cause division and strife and create less diverse communities for us all.

In this talk, we will explore how code is a creative act, and art demands technical skill. Many of the processes we already use in software development overlap with time-tested techniques utilized by artists. What can we discover by examining the places where our practices both intersect and diverge?

At this boundary we will see people working in the space between code and craft and examine how each community can inform the other to create a wider space in tech and the arts. Together, we can improve our code, our art, and our world!


art, craft, community, diversity

Speaking experience

Currently, I have no speaking experience other than ad hoc introductions and informational announcements at user groups and code school classes.


  • Img 1925


    Shawna is a software engineer in Portland, Oregon. She works at 38 Zeros in Ruby on Rails and to increase empathy through software. Shawna strives toward social justice and creating spaces and communities that are affirming and accessible to all. To that end, she is a member of the Calagator core team, co-organizer for Women Who Hack, and a sometimes-responsible member of the PDX Ruby Brigade anarchist ghost pirate ship.


      • Title: The Case for Junior Developers
      • Track: Culture
      • Room: B202/203
      • Time: 2:303:15pm
      • Excerpt:

        Are you passionate about building tech, but think there is no place in your organization for junior developers? Come explore the true costs and benefits of hiring junior developers and see how you can improve your company while helping juniors become the best developers they can be.

      • Speakers: Shawna Scott