Work and Music.

With Cat in Chicago for the week, I’m taking care of Zach and doing lots of my own stuff. Part of this is taking him to school and back every day, which takes up some serious hours in the day, making it hard to get a good long set of work done.
So today I took my laptop with me on the morning drive. After I dropped him off I drove to Burlington, where I was going to meet a friend for lunch, and parked in the Barnes and Noble next door. I took along my new set of Koss Portapro headphones, (which was a replacement for a set I hard worn out) and sat down in the B&N coffeeshop.
After finding a power outlet and settling in, I jacked in the headphones, set up the laptop, and worked about 2 hours on some design documentation and other bits. I designed an entire new module for CONGO, and fixed a lingering logging bug in the code. Very nice. This sort of work groove is what I enjoy the most. The best situation is when I’m writing code – I can get into a sort of fugue state, being totally focussed on what I’m doing, ignoring everything around me. In this case it was design work and documentation, but it still gave me that sense of productivity and accomplishment.
By the way, there’s a book written about this state, called “Flow – The Psychology of Ultimate Experience“. I read it once a long time ago.
But here’s the question for the masses. I was listening to Afrocelts’ third album , ‘Further in Time’ at quite frightening volumes. It’s a remarkable album, and I’ve found most of their music is -fantastic- for coding or concentrating on work.
So what do YOU like to listen to when working or thinking hard?

Dave Shevett

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A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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9 thoughts on “Work and Music.

  1. Only slighly off-topic, on Friday a wasp was buzzing around and landed on my keyboard. I nabbed it in an empty can (of Wasabi Peas), to take outside later.
    An hour later, coding furiously, I absently picked up the can and placed it on my palm, thereby causing enough pain to be unable to code for like an hour.
    Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. Many lessons here, about all sorts of bugs…..

  2. Almost anything works for me. As long as it’s not instrumental only. For some reason, that tends to be too relaxing (for the most part) and make me drowsy.

  3. coding music: almost anything. i’ve flowed to eric clapton, the indigo girls, u2, stone temple pilots, rem, liz phair, they might be giants… i don’t generally keep classical music near my machine (read: in my ogg collection), and i think in general i prefer anything that has a beat and is familiar. (can’t flow to a new CD, i’m usually too busy paying attention to the lyrics.)
    and i want to know more about the new CONGO stuff, too 😉

  4. I rarely listen to music while doing something else because I find it distracting. Out of necessity, however, I trained myself to go to sleep to Enya my freshman year of college, so I can use that as a background-noise blocker when I need to.

  5. Wow, i can’t listen to heaven lyrics-y stuff at all, it gets too distracting. Things with a beat and reasonably strong melodys though will get me going wonderfully 🙂
    Oddly, I haven’t gotten enough classical together to really find things I connect with. You’d think that would be a natural choice, huh?
    Also, heavey beat / club / techno / dance? All beat, no soul 🙂 Some folks swear by it for coding, and I can see getting trance-y with it, but gimme something someone worked on rather than just set up a sequencer and hit ‘go’.
    As far as the new CONGO stuff – CLIK is spec’ed out (CONGO Local Information Kiosk), now I have to code the interfaces. This’ll be a registration / information kiosk that lets attendees enter their own information, rather htan have the operator key it.
    Stay tuned 🙂

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