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Whilst some prefer total silence to concentrate, personally I find particular soundtracks work better when trying to get into ‘the Zone’ when writing code. Thankfully, the web provides plenty of playlists freely for Spotify and other radio station alternatives to make getting up and going and back at it that bit easier. I’ve grabbed them here as links for safe keeping, the developers among you may find them useful.
Ambient Background Sounds
Sometimes ambient background sounds help to block things out and help you concentrate even better than complete silence. The below are a couple of options.
Rainy mood does what it says on the tin, and is a loop of a rainy day / thunderstorm. It’s more of a white noise type soundtrack than it is anything else, but if you prefer simply listening to background sounds over music, its a pretty good place to start.
Perhaps the Sound of a Tropical Beach is more your thing? This Loop on YouTube is perfect for imagining desert island bliss.
Simply Noise is a free online white noise generator, although there are some paid for tracks in there as well; (with a honesty payment policy so you can pay whatever you want) you will however need Flash player to hear them, at least on the website initially.
If you want to go down the slightly more involved root, Boodler is an open source soundscape tool that lets you mash together your own creation. Python geeks eat your heart out.
What startups have on their playlists?
Startups typically encourage creative working environments for their staff, so its interesting to see what is playing on the office tracks. Fast Company did an awesome piece a while back sharing the sounds from inside particular startups.
What Pinterest Engineers are listening to:
What Facebook’s ‘Paper’ team have playing:
What’s making the airwaves at Snapchat:
and finally, Airbnb picks:
Such is the wonder of Spotify that it is relatively easy to follow relevant users from within particular teams and see what they are listening to.
Here are few Spotify playlists I’ve found on sharemyplaylists.com (a site solely dedicated to Spotify playlists) and have kept around:
Coding Music – Uptempo Electronica, Tycho, The Crystal Method
A soundtrack for coding – Mixture of Electronica, Moby, Massive Attack
Deep Focus – Much more chilled, includes Explosions in the Sky, Six Parts Seven, Shoegaze and Post Rock instrumentals
Coding / Programming / Hacking Slashing – Kosheen, Massive Attack, Phantogram, Thievery Corporation
Post Rock Coding – 65 Days of Static, And So I watch you from Afar, Metavari
Instrumental tracks for Coding – Includes some of the brilliant Trent Raznor Score from the Social Network, (you know, if you fancy pretending you are Zuck for an evening)
Other / Misc.
Some other links I found on my travels if you can’t quite manage to find exactly what gets you in the swing.
What sounds are helping you become that bit more productive?