I don’t know about you, but the music I rock out to while I’m programming has a big impact on how I work.
If I’m listening to heavy, hard rock stuff, I find myself banging the keys on my (already battered) keyboard way too hard, feeling unstoppable but actually making a lot more mistakes than I should be.
If I go with trippy stuff, like Phish or MGMT, I float along, feeling zen, just flowing with the work at a comfortable pace, with only an occasional mental glitch.
Sometimes I’ll get nostalgic and whack on some Fall Out Boy, or Dashboard Confessional. The old familiarity just gets me in the zone instantly and I’m on fire for as long as the album lasts.
Other days it’s a dubstep kinda feel, and I find myself wriggling around my seat a lot more than I would usually. Those days I feel super energised about my code and I go to bed really satisfied.
Unfortunately, since every day is different and brings different challenges, I can’t just settle on one style to go with every day.
For this reason, I’ve created huge playlists that move me through each day, regardless of how I’m feeling or how the programming is coming. I made them carefully, intentionally listing tracks to move them naturally from one genre to another so I can get in a flow and not be distracted by a jump from dubstep to quiet classical.
This came up amongst some friends the other night and it was awesome hearing about bands and artists they are listening to. It gave me heaps of new material, so I encourage you to get out there are find some fresh stuff too!