I’m getting addicted to coding under the influence of music.
It all started with the fine mixes posted at musicforprogramming.net.
I am going to quote that website directly:
Through years of trial and error – skipping around internet radio stations, playing our entire music collections on shuffle, or just hammering single albums on repeat, we have found that the most effective music to aid prolonged periods of intense concentration tends to have a mixture of the following qualities:
Textures without rhythm
Minor complex chords
Early music (Baroque, lute, harpsichord)
Very few drums or vocals
Walls of reverb
Music possessing these qualities can often provide just the right amount of interest to occupy the parts of your brain that would otherwise be left free to wander and lead to distraction during your work.
This is saying something very interesting. Basically, “you” are not a discrete unit, but different parts of your brain act autonomously and sometimes even “fight” each other for control. You want to distract the ones that keep you from getting immersed in a sea of productiviry.
Although this guy mentions “years of trial and error”, other sources repeat most of these claims, and indicate that they have actually been confirmed not only by personal experience, but through rigorous, peer-reviewed studies.
So there. I’ve confined my favourite rock’n’roll music to my free time, while at work I’m now listening mostly to ambient and other weird experimental brain-tunes.