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Discussion on: Why do some developers listen to music while they code?

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Julian Engelhardt

For me, there‘s two reasons to Listen to music. Also I go with the stuff that most will say is too distracting for them: Metal, Hard Rock Blues-/dirty rock and anything in between. Guess this relates to 2.):

1.) I am (and was in previous job) surrounded by people that are talking much in person and on telephone. Music helps me block these conversations out and replace them with something less interruptive, otherwise I would tend to concentrate on these conversations, at least partly, getting my focus taken away from the task at hand.

2.) and this is pretty personal I think - If I concentrate solely at my Task, I have to „listen“ to my thoughts, meaning I will concentrate on formulating thoughts in my head very much. Since I tend to jump between scopes and single modules (classes, functions, etc), this is mentally very exhausting to me. Listening to music takes part of this focus away - on most days exactly this listening thing - leaving enough focus on the task so I don‘t feel interupted. When laying out architectures or something, I mostly can‘t work with music since I need more focus, but with programming tasks, music really helps me. Also, in the last year or so, I notice thid „listening“ thing fading and being able to work without music more often, so it‘s also probably a habit.

Of course, there‘s also the signal sending factor. People approach you differently when they see you are wearing earphones or headphones.