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.
- freeCodeCamp has a dedicated website where you can listen to a playlist of music for programming, curated by the DJ Lawrence Yeo. The genre is instrumental downtempo, and there are no interrumptions or ads.
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.
- Radio Garden. Using an Earth 3D map, you can navigate to any country to see some of the local radio stations. This is ideal if you want to listen to music that is being streamed live in each country.
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.
- For Apple Music there are good options like BEATstrumentals, an interesting playlist containing chill hip-hop beats derived from genres like jazz, funk or soul.
- Even the good old Jamendo has good free playlists. The ambient music playlist is an interesting option.
- In YouTube there are lots of live channels streaming this kind of music. The Cafe Music BGM channel is great!
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.
- Rainy Mood is a site to build rain noise, that can be combined with wind and thunders.
- If you like coffee shops and want to emulate them, Coffitivity is a good resource I used a lot, but you will notice the loop when it repeats some times.
What are your preferences? Do you know of a good source I missed?