Developers often listen to music while programming. But, like teenagers who rock out when trying to do math homework, are we doing ourselves a favor?

The research so far shows that listening to music during repetitive work can boost productivity. Fine if we're creating lots of classes that follow a pattern.

But what about creative or demanding cognitive work such as intensive debugging, having to hold a dozen dependencies in mind at once for thirty minutes? Then, music can be a serious distraction. Often, the best solution at those moments is to turn off the music, or use ambient/white noise to mask office sounds.

Developers spend lots of time in demanding mental activity. Find music that doesn't distract you, and be mindful if it is. Change your music to change your mind.