You Should Actually Be Listening to Metal When You Code

DZone 's Guide to

You Should Actually Be Listening to Metal When You Code

Dubstep shmubstep. There is no better music to complement your IDE's dark theme than metal.

· Agile Zone ·
Free Resource

We already know that listening to music while you work can make you a better programmer, or at least a more focused one. And while everyone's tastes are unique and valid, but, in response to 'You Need to Be Listening to Dubstep When You Code,' and you can trust me on this one, heavy metal can give you everything you need when it comes to work music. 

JetBrains' developer survey found that only 17 percent of you listen to heavy metal while coding, but that number should be much, much higher. Well, if you want to be more productive, that is. 

JaxEnter reported that "epic soundtracks" can inspire developers to finish a project, "rapid guitar noises" can combat fatigue, soothing tunes can turn your stress level down, and headphones can deter even the chattiest of colleagues from bothering you IRL.

But what if I told you that metal, in all its glorious subgenres, can help you with each and every one of these struggles? Yes, metal can even be soothing its in own way. 

Now, before we start talking about the devil's music and how listening to angry music will only make you angrier, and is thus counterproductive to working well, there's never actually been a solid claim that listening to metal increases feelings of aggression or anger. Actually, according to Leah Sharman and Genevieve A. Dingle, listening to metal music can replace feelings of irratibility or hostility with positive ones like inspiration. 

Since not every subgenre of metal is for everyone, I've compiled a few playlists that'll help you see the light  darkness. (Note the tracks are in no particular order; just shuffle and enjoy.)

The Classics

For those firmly in the classic rock camp, this is a playlist that highlights some of the best non-extreme metal and proto-metal tracks from the 70s and 80s. If you like this, you may want to try some more modern bands, such as The Sword and Ghost, both of which cite bands like Black Sabbath and Mercyful Fate as major inspirations. All of these songs have pretty clean vocals too, so there's nothing too scary on here. 

Modern Hits

Everyone loves a good pop song, and if you don't, you're lying. For those who want the accessibility and melody of pop music but with less sugar and more spice, this playlist is for you. There are more harsh vocals here, but you'll learn to love them. Trust me. 

Atmospheric and Psychedelic 

According to Cooper Press, y'all love to listen to chill albums like Radiohead's Kid A and the soundtrack to The Social Network. Post-metal, doom metal, sludge, and even some black metal bands often focus on atmosphere and mood, and while the music is still crushing, it still works in the background when you don't want to rock out but still want distorted guitars and growls. If you're already a fan of post-rock music, like Explosions in the Sky, or listened to Deafheaven because Pitchfork told you it was okay, then this is the playlist for you. 

Taken to the Extreme

When you accidentally introduced a bug into the latest version of your product, everyone knows it was you, you've got to fix it before your next crucial release (even though you're sure it'll be delayed anyway due to totally unrelated problems), and you're mad as hell, these songs will get you through the day. They'll also make you more alert after PagerDuty wakes you up at 3am, so what's not to love? Most of these songs have screaming or growling vocals, so maybe ease into that style with some of the songs on the "Modern Hits" playlist before diving into this one. 

So, now you know that not only is metal great for your mental well-being and for coding, but there's also a metal subgenre or style for you.

Let's get this listening percentage up to 66.6% for the next developer ecosystem survey, shall we? And if you have any suggestions, tell us in the comments!

devlife ,music ,happy at work ,productivity ,focus ,creativity

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}