alex wrote:

I imagine work has already been done in this area, could anyone
suggest references?  I'd be very interested in any opinions on the
above ideas too, and on the subject of programming and creativity in
general.


You can find a general overview of creativity and theories thereof in:
Robert Weisberg, "Creativity: Understanding Innovation in Problem
Solving, Science, Invention, and the Arts", Wiley, 2006.

As creativity is related to knowledge and competencies you may also want
to look at another tome: Ericsson et al (eds), "The Cambridge Handbook
of Expertise and Expert Performance", Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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