Best music for coding + developers’ recommendations

Music can improve our productivity in many ways.

According to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report: Work from Home Edition, three quarters (75%) of people listen to music while working from home at least once a week, and 40% reported tuning in daily. If you are one of these people, you surely know how easy it is to get carried away by music. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to use your favorite tracks properly so you cant increase your creativity and productivity without overheating your brain. Finding the best music for coding may be challenging,  but now, you have probably already guessed what we’re going to be talking about. Let’s talk about creating a perfect Spotify programming playlist

Coding while working from home 

The pandemic has brought many changes to our lives – for a lot of people, it has turned their life around 180 degrees. The situation has brought us to an entirely new lifestyle that we are still getting used to. Sometimes it’s hard to stay focused with so many things happening around us in our lives. Music can be an essential element of your well-being and daily self-care, as well as being a helpful partner when dealing with challenges while working from home. 

Today’s topic is looking at remote working with a powerful companion – music. We will be focusing on the impact of listening to music during work, especially in the fields of programming and IT, particularly asking  – what is the best music for coding? When you are at home with work to do, and you have no one else to talk to or to distract you, what helps you to feel comfortable and focused? After all, there is so much to do at home!

Does music improve our mental/intellectual abilities? Is there any music that will bring out the best in my coding job? 

best music for coding

A little fun fact 

Music activates both the left and right sides of the brain simultaneously, stimulating both hemispheres, maximizing learning, and improving memory. Research carried out by Cambridge University shows that hip-hop music can provide an uplifting effect on its listeners that can help them to accept, manage and deal better with mental health issues, as well as improve their motivation. If you don’t code with hip-hop music, it could be very helpful to try listening to it during work breaks – releasing good energy and motivating vibes that will surely help you to focus and do your best while coding.

Science tells us that programmers who listen to music while they code might actually have an edge over their colleagues. For example, developer Rob Walling wanted to prepare a concentrated pattern of work to maximize his concentration, and he came up with a great idea. While programming, he would listen to the same piece of music for hours, over and over again, until he could concentrate completely on his work. The experiment turned out to be a great success. Thanks to this training, Rob now needs only to listen to this particular musical piece to get his brain ready and focused on coding. Pretty clever, huh? Conclusion: it’s worth finding your favorite music for coding.

Music can meaningfully reduce the perceived intensity of pain, especially in senior care, intensive care, or palliative medicine. Similar to how a lullaby calms babies, listening to music can also help you to relax by lowering your blood pressure and easing muscle tension.

What kind of music can improve my coding? Spotify programming playlists.

There are several hacks when creating the best music for Spotify programming playlist, such as: 

  • Choosing music without lyrics, with complex sounds, to help you to keep a good pace of work, like electro/deep house music. Or you can always choose a song in a language you don’t understand
  • Listening to music that is super familiar to you (like, really – you know every word and every beat).
  • Instrumental music such as classical, electro, jazz, lo-fi is perfect for setting the right conditions to get some serious work done in a calm mood. These styles of music are also thought to help you sustain your focus, so they might be perfect for coding.

BUT when it comes to having a break, literally shake off the rules and pump up the volume! 

Engineers in general need balance, actually their brains, in particular, need this. So when it is time to give your mind a rest, take full advantage of the fact that you can play whatever music you like. And if you are working remotely, it’s even better! Play your favorite track at whatever volume you want! And when you head back to work at the end of your break, you’ll be able to do so with a boosted mood courtesy of your musical interlude. So, do not forget to place those tracks on your Spotify programming playlist.

Another good tip while choosing your coding music playlist is something  known as the “Mozart effect.” The phrase was popularised after 1993, when it turned out that people perform better on specific spatial tasks, such as folding paper, after listening to Mozart for 10 minutes. Folding paper is cognitively demanding, as well as coding, so classical music is worth considering ;).

What do people say about their productivity while listening to music at work?

Research from staffing firm Accountemps shows that most workers are more productive when they can listen to music at work. All respondents were asked the same question: “Are you more or less productive at work when music is playing?” Their responses:

best music for coding

Why precisely that track?

Problems solved. This is the key to your matrix. But let’s be specific, each of us has different tastes and moods, so I decided to ask some developers: If you had to create a Spotify programming playlist with your favorite ‘’work-time’’ tracks, what would it be? 

Artur Komorowski, DevOps Engineer

While listening to the music during work, it’s pretty essential to choose instrumental songs. Any occurrence of speech will limit your ability to read and write – try reading a book while listening to rap music. You’ll understand what I’m talking about. That’s why I love to listen to deadmau5′ Strobe – no words, regular rhythm, and simple melody.

Choosing the songs you know is also pretty important – you don’t want to waste your cognitive skills on analyzing new songs while working on the function that melts your brain. Therefore the best thing you can do to enjoy the music while coding is to listen to the song first.

Kamil Babenkov, Scala Developer

Music for those moments when you are trying to finish a task in 7 minutes and 39 seconds before the deadline

Some of the developers like to code with songs that bring back nice, lasting memories while listening to music, to improve our mood, and of course, reduce our stress levels. To be honest – I like it too because it allows me to keep the proverbial golden mean. Music with certain positive emotions helps me to not completely dive into my work, which happens while I’m listening to work-focused music.

Jorge Vasquez, Scala Developer 

I recommend listening to music in Spanish. The singer’s name is Luis Miguel, he’s a great singer and very famous in the Spanish-speaking world, especially Latin America. I’ve always liked his old-fashioned style, and it makes me remember my childhood too :).

Lucas Batistussi, Scala Developer

I have a lot of songs on my Spotify programming playlist which I love to code with! Hard to choose! But there is one that I particularly like coding with Mother by Pink Floyd. I think that song is great for coding because the melody is relaxing, the lyrics are very clear, and I can sing along easily.

Music sharing is a part of our culture.

Music is a great way to express your vibes, and it can also help to get to know your team better. It can become a great bridge builder because of, for example, shared memories related to a particular song. Music and work are a pretty good combination not only when it comes to improving our work and well-being, but especially, when you want to have a team that has a strong sense of teamwork and friendship. 

“Sometimes you have to take a break from being the kind of boss that’s always trying to teach people things. Sometimes you just have to be the boss of dancing.” (Michael Scott, The Office, Season 2, Episode 11)

Okay, now I have The Office fans’ attention, so I can get down to business and tell you how Scalac connects our team members.

Scalac is an international company so, in order to improve our communication, we have created a Slack #music channel, where we can share our favorite sounds and rhythms that are for sure gonna get to you too. We have collected all of our favorite songs into a Best Of The Best Spotify playlist, so everyone can find their banger there. Besides that, it’s also fun to listen to some foreign music shared by colleagues.

We also have a #memes channel where we can share our Scalac-made memes. This is a nice way to save memories. We keep our work-life balance at a really good level. We also try our best to keep growing all the time. If all of this sounds interesting to you, you can discover more about us from the backstage area by viewing  Our Popestocks – where we have fun – as well as check out our Careers to see more about Scalac’s vibes and values.

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Authors

Agata Nowak
Agata Nowak

Marketing Specialist at Scalac. At work I value creativity, willngness to learn and good teamwork. Besides, I love to travel, I am piano player and #catlover.

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