The Best Music for Programming

A developer wearing headphones, working in front of a screen and 2 laptops
Photo by Jefferson Santos on Unsplash

Programming is a work that requires concentration. Sometimes we need to focus on a complex task, and sometimes we do chores.

It depends on the programmer, some prefer to have a background noise like a coffee shop, some prefer some ambient music, some prefer to listen to their favorite tunes, others prefer to listen to new music… not all of us have the same preferences.

In my case, it depends on the task I’m doing and my state of mind. For complex algorithms I need silence. Even the most ambiental music can disturb my thoughts, so I just stop any music that is playing and focus on the task.

I remember my times in the university when I studied difficult topics. Even silence was “disturbing”, so I tried with classical music and it worked! So for complex things, I would bet for classical music.

For chores and simple tasks I like to keep my music player playing ambient music.

Special music for programming

Music that is specially selected for programming is relaxing and helps to be focused.

  • The source of music I like most, and the one I find more focusing, is musicForProgramming. It’s a collection of MP3, each one being a mix of ambient music, especially selected for programming.

Radio stations

Although not designed for programming, there are lots of radio stations that help to keep focus.

  • Every Noise at Once is a cloud of genres. Just click on any and you will start listening to a specialized radio. There are tons of genres and subgenres. I’m sure you will be amazed.

Music services

If you like subscription services, there are interesting playlists for focusing.

  • In Spotify I find the Mellow Beats playlist one of the best. It’s just instrumental music, especially from popular hip-hop songs.

Noise generators

Besides real music, you can also create an ambient with tools.

  • Noisli is very cool. Just select the elements you want to mix to create the ambient you feel comfortable with.

What are your preferences? Do you know of a good source I missed?

Computer engineer. Working as a web developer since 2000.

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