To become a creative programmer you first need to get basic programming skills, and then learn how to "think outside of the box". As Thomas Edison once said, invention is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. I had an idea years ago on how one could extend classes, both structures and methods, without programming. It took 5 years of thinking and working on it before I was able to work it out. I now have a US Patent for adaptive systems software for that work and it is utilized in software that runs many semiconductor, display, and disc drive plants all over the world!
Do you mind if I ask how you managed to get a patent without the "big boys" claiming they thought of it first? As I understand it, it is common for deep pockets to threaten to tie you up in court (knowing you don't have the cash for lawyers) unless you sell out for a fraction of what the technology is actually worth.
to be creative should know what comes first (Logic of your System).
1. What form you will show first?
Sometimes it depends on the system your developing.
2. Some form need to be ask before close and some don't need
3. Some data need to be delete and open a msgbox ask if you are sure you want to delete this data? what if your deleting a hundreds it will ask 1 by 1.
4. Enable and Disable of Icon/Button/Textbox/etc..
5. Hiding the form that is not needed and showing form for every events
6. Use the right term for the name ex. btnRegister not Button1
7. Use comment for the codes that are complicated or unusual to you.
This are some of my experience when I was starting in programming.
Well for me I will say first of all, you need to have love, passion, of programming, then the term "Creative" is kinder broad in programming as there are many things you can be creative on within software development which may include (Creative GUIs, Creative Protocols your software will follow, Creative use(encryption, etc))
So secondly you will have to simplify the term Creative to how your software will be in terms of GUI, how your software will function, how its saves/transfer data, how data is accessed those are the things you must be creative on so that your software will be unique and also if its deals with valuable information it won't be that easy to be hacked, but for that you need to be able to think out side the box and conduct tests to ensure that is safe and its not hacked easily.
1) Get basics of Programming
2) Have passion, and love for it as it sometimes make you even think of throwing your laptop away, but remember its all about love, passion.
3) Get idea of your software
4) Plan your software activities step by step.
5) Start developing piece by piece of the steps.
6) If you are stuck feel free to ask and show us where you stuck, if we could we will help you out where you stuck.
7) Finish your project (software).
Its that simple but don't forget its also stressful but that's how it is, if you ask me.