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What Music Do You Code To?

Filed Under Human Factors

Heads with headphones

I was having a Twitter conversation with Joe Ocampo and Chris Patterson about what music we listen to when we code. I thought it would be fun to start a blog meme on this topic – so here we go!

I have two music styles I listen to when I code: Hardstyle/Drum and Bass Electronic or Punk/Ska. I am a punk rocker by nature; however, I really enjoy the rhythmic and lyric-less electronic music. In either case, I can zone it out really well while still giving me a jolt of energy.

Here is my current playlist for both genres:

Hardstyle Electronic:

  • Prodigy
  • Massiv in Mensch
  • Daft Punk
  • Benassi Bros.
  • Luna
  • DJ XO (Bassdrive)
  • DJ Citrik
  • DJ Deception (Bassdrive)
  • Hardstyle Tunes (iTunes comp)
  • Ultimate Hardstyle (iTunes comp)
  • Propellerheads


  • NOFX
  • Rancid
  • Streetlight Manifesto
  • Bouncing Souls
  • The Vandals
  • A New Found Glory
  • Blink 182
  • Less Than Jake
  • Lifetime
  • Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
  • Mustard Plug
  • Operation Ivy

I am all music or no music type of guy, nor do I have certain genres based on mood or tasks. If I am coding I am listening to music, if I am problem solving or deep in thought the music gets paused.

By the way, coding to music is not the same if I don’t have my Skull Candy Headphones. These headphones are where it’s at. Do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of the Skull Crushers.

Now it’s your turn – keep the meme alive by blogging your playlist or leave it in the comments if you are a blog-less soul.

Tag – you’re it:

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15 Responses to “What Music Do You Code To?”

  1. Robin Clowers on February 28th, 2008 6:28 pm

    I like to listen to all sorts of music when I code, but usually rock of various sorts or underground Hip-Hop.

  2. Wyatt Barnett on February 28th, 2008 8:25 pm

    I’m too lazy to bother with playlists. 4 lyfe.

    oooch unnnch ooooch unnch [some eurochick singing] . . . .

  3. Dan Donahue on February 28th, 2008 9:44 pm

    This is a great post!! Seriously. I’ve noticed a ton of programmers, myself included, that are huge music fans – I think I care about music more than computing, which is saying a lot.

    Also – A++++ for mentioning Lifetime. Great, great band!

  4. Max Pool on February 28th, 2008 9:58 pm


    If you love Lifetime (hell you actually know who they are) – blog your playlist, I would love to see it!

  5. Dan Donahue on February 28th, 2008 10:43 pm

    Haha. Coming right up!

  6. Dan Donahue on February 28th, 2008 11:33 pm
  7. Coding Tunes on February 29th, 2008 9:54 am

    […] got tagged by Max Pool of {codesqueeze} regarding my choice of tunes while […]

  8. Mark on February 29th, 2008 1:21 pm

    The Black Crowes
    Drive-by Truckers
    Led Zeppelin

    I didn’t know there were any other bands.

  9. Justin Deltener on March 5th, 2008 8:48 am

    I’m an obsessive listener. I’ll literally listen to the same CD all day on loop if its a good one. I had to switch to headphones because it was annoying my coworkers.

    Camera Obscura
    The Shins
    My Morning Jacket
    Trespassers William
    The Ladybug Transistor
    Ulrich Schnauss
    Animal Collective

  10. Music To Code By | Caffeinated Coder on March 7th, 2008 8:03 am

    […] Max from {codesqueeze} tagged me last week with his "What music do you code to?" meme. […]

  11. David on March 7th, 2008 10:01 am

    I listen to a variety of stuff for coding. I don’t hear so well so I have a tendency to prefer stuff with a lot of bass, so Metallica and Daft Punk are particular favorites there.

    I also took up swing dancing last year, so I listen to a lot of swing/big band/jazz classics and also neo-swing like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — they fit the “lots of bass” criteria pretty well because they love their drums.

  12. Jeremy on March 8th, 2008 4:51 pm

    I love music so much that I *can’t* code to it. The problem is that music is not just background noise to me. When I listen to it, I *listen* to it, and it completely distracts me from forming logical thoughts. The same would go with watching TV or something like that while trying to code. On the other hand, I *can* code in a crowded coffee shop with people talking around me, since that really is just background noise.

  13. Jurgen Appelo on March 10th, 2008 4:45 pm

    I’m afraid that I’m a sucker for italian dance music. I listen to exclusively, every moment of the day. I even rip the stream and burn CD’s from it, so that I can play them in those rare situations where I don’t have Internet access. In my car, for example.

  14. To Code With Or Without Music That Is The Question on October 1st, 2009 5:54 am

    […] to music at the same time! That’s right, all my friend seem to be able to do it, most people I know swear by it, even popular media tries to push us that way, but I just can’t do it. Music distracts and […]

  15. James on October 1st, 2009 7:04 am

    I was blown away by your stellar taste in punk, your playlist is about 80% similar to mine. Bands like Streetlight and NOFX I find have that tempo that allows you to slightly zone out and bounce along at the same time.

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