What do I listen to while programming?

September 12th, 2018

Music is, of course, a slightly touchy and very subjective topic. Especially when discussing what to listen to while doing various tasks. Though for me personally, I have clear-cut answers to what works best for me while programming.

To start with, I typically avoid anything containing vocals. I like massive ambient soundscapes with intricate details. It seems to stimulate the logic-processing parts of my brain (whether or not that's true, I have no idea). But it definitely keeps me productive.

Tracks like this one by Shulman are among my favorites.

I also prefer listening to longer tracks or full album mixes instead of single tracks. This is because when tracks are constantly changing, I feel like my mood and productivity is also changing. It takes a little bit to get situated into a track and find your rhythm within it, but when tracks are short and rapidly changing, I feel my productivity suffering.

When I have a project or task that I need to pump out quickly, I typically put on the Wobble Factor mix by Tipper.

The high energy and constant basslines keep me in my groove, and it's a full hour seamless mix! I don't personally recommend mixes this high-energy when problem-solving or debugging a complex issue though. I find that the ambient spaces I mentioned above work much better for that. Songs with heavy basslines or rapid kick rhythms can actually become quite annoying when trying to carefully analyze error messages.

Honestly though, for most programming tasks, I typically listen to artists like Shulman or Bluetech

Ott is another one of my favorites that is a bit more dub than ambient

And finally, my last artist recommendation is Sephira. He creates incredible story-telling atmospheres that bring chills to my skin every time he comes on my Spotify playlists.

If you like the style of music I've recommended in this post, I created a 15-hour playlist encapsulating this deep psydub style of music. If you're on Spotify, give it a try next time you sit down to write some code.

Oh and one more thing! These Spotify playlists are embedded in my blog posts via my new plugin gatsby-remark-embed-spotify. It allows you to paste valid Spotify share link anywhere in your markdown posts and automatically transforms them into embeds!

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