These Are The Most Popular Songs To Code To

Listening to music can help you get into that elusive, concentration ‘zone’, so we have found out the most popular songs to code to using global Spotify data.

We all know that listening to music can help you get into the ‘zone’. It’s that powerful state that developers hit from time to time where the only thing that matters is the problem you’re working on.

When you’re trying to focus, music is the best way to keep yourself entertained as it can be difficult to listen to podcasts or watch Youtube videos. And whether it’s the passing traffic, a squeaky floorboard or dull office chitter-chatter, a cracking playlist can go a long way to blocking out unwanted noise!

This got us wondering, what are the best songs to listen to get you into that elusive zone?

So, we decided to scrape Spotify for coding playlists and work out which songs and artists are the most popular to programme to. With a list of 58,000 songs from an eclectic mix of genres, we have been able to figure out the winner!

Intrigued by what made the cut? Well, scroll down to see the results of the most popular songs and artists to code to.

The most popular songs to code to

Outshining the rest of the competition was The Weeknd’s 2019 hit, ‘Blinding Lights’, which topped the list by featuring on the most coding playlists.

Whilst clearly a popular choice with programmers, the song is also a favourite all-round, with Spotify revealing that it is the second most-streamed song on the platform with over 2.2 billion listens.

Close behind, and tied with [bsd.u], is ‘One Day’ by Hans Zimmer, who nabbed 3 of the top 10 spots. ‘One Day’ was written and produced for the film, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, serving as the romantic theme for the movie and featuring in most of Will and Elizabeth’s scenes.

Well, its soft string ostinato is clearly a popular background choice for writing code.

The most popular artists to code to

A list of the most popular artists to code to

When looking at which artists are the most popular to code to, Daft Punk takes the top spot with their songs appearing the most frequently across the coding Spotify playlists. The French electronic musicians average over 15 million monthly listeners on the music platform in general.

Sitting in second place is the American duo ODESZA, known individually as Catacombkid and BeachesBeaches, whose electronic tunes average a respectable 5 million monthly Spotify listeners.

Electronic seems to be a popular music genre for programmers getting in the zone, with The Weeknd and Daft Punk appearing in the top 10 of both lists.

This isn’t surprising though, as a consistent beat can help you establish a rhythm while working; the faster the music, the faster you work, maybe?

But, it’s clearly not only about the upbeat tunes when it comes to coding. The German film composer Hans Zimmer ranks three times in the top 10 of the most popular songs list, and the muted tones of lofi music scores highly in both too.

A rather eclectic mix to say the least…

In fact, the beats per minute (BPM) in the top songs range from a heart-racing 176 BPM in Tycho’s ‘Awake’ right down to a chilled 69 BPM in Potsu’s lofi ‘[oops]’.


All results are based on Spotify data correct as of 10th May 2021.

We collated a list of over 58,000 songs by scrapping the song data of playlists that contain the words ‘coding’, ‘hacker’, and ‘code’.

By taking the songs from each of these playlists, we were able to find which songs and artists featured in the largest number of playlists, allowing us to discover which song is the most popular to listen to when coding and which artists are most listened to.

Full data available on request.

Chris Oddy

Chris Oddy

About the Author

Chris is an award-winning recruitment consultant who has specialised in the electronics and embedded systems sector since 2008. Chris is passionate about technology and customer service.


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