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Listening to music while working - Yay or nay and what to listen to

lankydandev profile image Dan Newton ・1 min read

Recently, I have really been in the mood to code and work on my blog. I contribute a good part of that to the music I am listening to at the moment. I feel pumped up and just able to enjoy both my work and the music.

That being said, when I am working on my day job where I really need to think, I tend to turn it off so I can concentrate. But when I feel like I know what I am doing, I will turn it back up and move through the motions that I have already planned out.

I term of what I actually listen to myself. At the moment, pop-punk is what does it for me. I think the fast beat gets me pumped, but in a few weeks, I bet I'll feel different. I guess I'll have to wait and see πŸ˜„

So, that brings me to my questions.

Do you like to listen to music while you work? Whether or not that is on your own stuff or at your "real" job.

If you do listen to music. What sort? Do you have a preference or does anything float your boat?

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Dan Newton


I write tutorials on my blog at www.lankydan.dev . During the day, I am a Platform Engineer at r3 where I work on Corda, an Open Source DLT/Blockchain Platform.


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For no-brainer-activities like updating tasks, HTML/CSS etc. I listen to podcasts, or music like Ryan Adams, John Mayer, Damien Rice, nothing heavy.

For "deep" work (at least as deep as interface-development gets 😬) I have two playlists I listen to:

Slow scary industrial techno-music

Indie-game soundtracks (my own playlist)

Also there is this pretty awesome website listentothe.cloud, where you can listen to live airport-chatter mixed with ambient-music from Soundcloud. Works pretty well!


"slow scary industrial techno" sounds appropriate for software development πŸ˜„


Oh and I think "spooky" is a better word, not "scary"


Maybe "industrial" is usually something else, but it's mostly some slow subgenre of techno, like youtube.com/watch?v=nxg4C365LbQ


Thanks for the recommendation of listentothe.cloud - Strangely satisfying!


Obligatory plug for the FreeCodeCamp Radio stream on Youtube

I used to like coding to stuff like 90's rock etc. but these days I find that if it has words in it, I get distracted. So anything instrumental is the way to go.


Been considering this as well. I struggle to find instrumental music that I can enjoy though.


I'm a big spotify user - I enjoy a lot of 70's rock bands or some funky blues rock type stuff day to day, the suggested stuff or artist radios are good to just have running in the background.

If it's mundane stuff i'll sometimes stick a podcast on but to be honest I don't really retain much of it when i'm working.


Podcasts are never something I think I could do while working. I listen to them all the time on the train, walking to work and on the tube but can't do both. I feel like I want to take in the podcasts which is probably why I cant do it.


Hi Dan!

Don't stay with headphones plugged in all day, but in conjunction with them pomodoros a bit of 🏠🎡 keeps me going!

Some great playlists have been put together by dev's on Spotify that I like to dip into too.


I can generally listen to music when I'm coding. Rarely I need to time to stop everything I'm doing for very deep focus. One suggestion I heard was to listen to game soundtracks which are designed to be as background so might be ideal for some people.


Absolutely YES! Genre: Movie soundtracks


+1 for soundtracks, although most things without lyrics work pretty well for me. I tried listening to podcasts for a while, but ended up getting distracted and concentrating more on what they were saying than what I was meant to be doing!


For me it depends on the task - if I'm elbows-deep into a super intellectual problem I prefer silence. Any kind of brainstorming and planning requires no external distractions.

For "easier" problems, tutorials, or tracking down and stomping bugs I'll listen to music. Usually metal & industrial. Listening to Tool right now :)


yaaaay super yaay! It depends on the task. If I don't need to think and concentrate I would go pop. but if it does, I go jazz or just music.


YAY for sure! Totally helps me get in the zone. Depends on what I am working on but it is either something very upbeat or some John William's movie music


If you like house music, check this out: youtube.com/watch?v=ZSk8k6basWw