Sunday, February 24, 2008

Is it good to listen songs while code???

Hi all, well, after writing several tech oriented blog posts, I would now like to share something else.
I guess it sounds a little bit shaky, but still, most of us do that: "listen songs while code"!!!
Actually, it’s not a good habit to get distracted with some kind of lyrics based music or any noise while you code. But on the contrary, when you are lost in some multi-nested for loops or some calling of an object that is far beyond your approach in that scope, you probably would like to completely disconnect with outside world. Rather, I do have a different approach to tackle this sort of situation or race with the error called "object reference not set to an instance of an object!".

I listen music.

Through out our school lives, we’ve been cautioned to keep TV, radio and music out of scope while doing homework, rather, this study says something different.

lets face, most of us – the programmers, spend most of our time sitting in front of computer, hitting our 10 year old keyboard at a speed of aprox 45 to 50 words per minute, isn't that a noise that distract you? clicks of mouse and shouting pings from peers that come online.. yes they all do distract. It increasingly come out to boredom.

I do became increasingly bored too, sometimes while coding my precious programs, so I began keeping music on. Nothing extraordinary happened... until I attempted coding in silence again. Without noise, I was restless and far more easily distracted. I didn’t bother kicking the habit, realizing that I can get into the zone more efficiently with noise "on" than "without".

Sometimes I get so absorbed writing code that everything besides my awareness of the screen, and the sensation of my fingers hitting the keys, it seems disappear better to say completely lost :s or specifically, the rate and rhythm at which I hit the keyboard is in sync with the current backbeat. Then I hit compile and my program works flawlessly, and I say: "WHAT THE HELL!!!"

Thus, the simple solution, release your mind with soft music.

The music I prefer to listen while coding does depend upon a number of factors. I prefer classical, soft or a little bit slow music like rihanna, Junaid Jamshed old vital sign songs, while debugging, but interestingly fast and rap music like bon jovi, ricky martin and to some extent Pakistani Strings,,,, while I am into a fast code or perhaps when some one plays Russian roulette and place it on my head :P I might increase of decrease volume, as per the ambient of noise and my current mood, but more over, as per my colleagues hit my back neck and tell me to keep silent. hahhaha

As far as headphones are concerned, they get distracting, and become uncomfortable and sweaty after being worn for hours. I’ve given up, and now I got speakers. I prefer never go back to headphones. I suggest putting down at least a few hundreds for a good quality set of speakers that will last. Speakers are better option as I see when I like to have rap, lounge or elevator sort of music running in the background like the one by linkin park, Eminem or limp bizkit, even when I’m not on desk. I wasn’t able to do this with headphones unless I turned up the volume to max, in which case the music sounded so bad there was no use keeping it on.

So now, let’s share, Do most of you listen to music or talk radio while you work? If so, what kind of music fits in with your coding? I wonder if you can guess a person's programming style and thinking approach, based on what they listen to.

I know its a meaningless and silly and some would say as "Stupid" question …. but not every post has to be a technology geek post ;) wht say ???


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Atif Siddiqui - Technology Evangelist

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