Music to test by

About a year ago, Danny Faught and I team-authored an article on Music to test by for the Association for Software Testing’s magazine. Sadly, they had a change in editorship, well … from having one to not having one. (It is a volunteer position)

So the article was never published. I just got an iTunes Gift card and find myself listening for music to test by.

So instead of listening to me pontificate, I am curious: Do you listen to music while you test or code? (Or do you have any music playing in the background while you pair or collaborate?)

I’ve found that movie soundtracks often work well because they are /designed/ to be on in the background. But I’m curious what you think …

5 comments on “Music to test by

  1. Good tip on movie soundtracks, I'm going to have to try that.

    Two different types of music for me:

    Bug Fix Reviews: Sinatra or other classics. Keeps outside sounds drowned out while I keep switching gears.

    Regression Testing: I mentioned to you Theory of a Deadman, but really any alt-rock keeps my eyes on the screen when I'm finishing the seemingly unending task of testing the whole application.

  2. Hi,
    when it's heads down, break the system there's nothing better for me than Combichrist – Sent to Destroy.

    The beginning of the video with the product ad is a bit creepy, especially when you're a tester 🙂

    I'm one of the people who can switch off everything around them when listening to music making it easier to concentrate. It's different though for everyone.

  3. I use two different types of music as well.
    Testing: AC/DC, Aerosmith, Van Halen and other really hard rocking tunes.
    All other related work: lite, easy listening, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz, Barbara Streisand, Rock opera's by Andrew Lloyd Webber, you know, sound!

  4. I'm a metalhead as well. I listen to my full music collection on shuffle while I test/code/write. Like Thomas, above, it helps me shut out everything else.

    Mostly Judas Priest, and 80's thrash and hardcore. And movie and game soundtracks.

  5. Depends on what sort of work I am doing, when I do listen to music if its writing I like jazz or classical something that can be in the background and not interrupt my flow. For bug fests or intense testing I like alternative or punk rock, sort of like audio-caffeine.

    I like the soundtracks though, that does sound like something to try.

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