Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

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21 Replies - 782 Views - Last Post: 22 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

#1 Zero Cool  Icon User is offline

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Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 21 June 2012 - 08:04 PM

I was just curious how many other people do this. I find I can work a lot more efficiently if I turn off the music and TV (streamed, obviously) but I seem to have a much more enjoyable workflow when I'm half distracted half the time. Anyone else ADHD like me?
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Replies To: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

#2 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:24 PM

I actually work faster, more effeciently, and more accurately with music playing. TV/movies on the other hand not so much.
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#3 fromTheSprawl  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:28 PM

Watching something while coding will require two senses(hearing, sight) while listening to music only requires one, which makes coding easier. And no, I do not watch stuff when I'm coding. What kind of IT office lets their employees watch tv and movies while working? No, don't tell me it's a multimedia IT kind of firm, that is a different thing altogether.
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#4 pablo9891  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:58 PM

Ussually i prefer to listen music while i'm coding it help's me to focus in what im doing.
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#5 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:07 AM

I don't watch TV. And I very rarely watch movies.

As far as music while coding, it depends what's going on around me.

If it's quiet in the office, I'll just enjoy the silence and code to the rhythm of my clacking keys.

If the loudmouths are in the office next door (which is about 50% of the time), I turn on the music to drown them out.

If I'm working on something mundane, like copy-pasting site content or fixing spelling errors or swapping images, I'll play something I can sing to.

If I'm working on something that requires hardcore coding and I need intense concentration, I'll put on some classical music so the lyrics and urge to sing aren't distracting me (although some instrumental pieces still make me want to sing - Ride of the Valkyries, anyone?).
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#6 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:33 AM

Yes, Several of my buddies do as well.

It's usually thrown up on an second or third monitor, and zero precedence is given to the visual nature of it. It's almost mostly for that audio. Recently I've been enjoying old reruns of 'Qi'. My buddy habitually rewatches old 'Twilight Zone' episodes.

I also do music, radio shows (NPR, APM, BBC, etc), and books on tape.

If I feel it's hurting my work performance, I'll turn it off and return to electronic music... electronic music gets me into a good work groove. But right now we're doing conversion on a huge pile of code, it being monkey work, combined with electronic music I'd get burnt. I need something to actually exercise my brain and get it thinking... so Qi it is!
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#7 Zero Cool  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 06:43 AM

View PostfromTheSprawl, on 21 June 2012 - 10:28 PM, said:

Watching something while coding will require two senses(hearing, sight) while listening to music only requires one, which makes coding easier. And no, I do not watch stuff when I'm coding. What kind of IT office lets their employees watch tv and movies while working? No, don't tell me it's a multimedia IT kind of firm, that is a different thing altogether.


I should mention that coding is not my 9-5 job. It's my hobby and side job that I someday hope to turn into a 9-5 career.

And I should also mention I don't watch mindless TV. I usually watch Eureka or Numb3rs or something similar. They are always doing sciencey things on those shows and it gets me fired up to do my own sciencey things.

But if none of you watch TV in the background while you code maybe that explains why my code sucks! Haha.

And here is a ninja emoticon for your time
:shuriken:

View Postlordofduct, on 22 June 2012 - 06:33 AM, said:

Yes, Several of my buddies do as well.

It's usually thrown up on an second or third monitor, and zero precedence is given to the visual nature of it. It's almost mostly for that audio. Recently I've been enjoying old reruns of 'Qi'. My buddy habitually rewatches old 'Twilight Zone' episodes.

I also do music, radio shows (NPR, APM, BBC, etc), and books on tape.

If I feel it's hurting my work performance, I'll turn it off and return to electronic music... electronic music gets me into a good work groove. But right now we're doing conversion on a huge pile of code, it being monkey work, combined with electronic music I'd get burnt. I need something to actually exercise my brain and get it thinking... so Qi it is!


This is what I do too. I'll have some TV streaming on another laptop that I only very rarely actually look at. I love to do podcasts but I always feel guilty I'm not giving the podcast my undivided attention so if I find that podcast particularly interesting I'll save it and go back later.

I think what I'm doing right now is pretty close to monkey work (working through learning programming books and building websites for friends starting businesses) so maybe that's why it still works well for me.
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#8 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:04 AM

I pretty much don't watch movies or TV, period, so no. Even if I did, I'd have a hard time - I tend to focus in on spoken words in my surroundings, so if there's a phone conversation going on near me, it's difficult to ignore it. If there were a movie on, that'd be pretty much all of my attention gone.
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#9 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:23 AM

I sometimes watch TV shows when I'm writing something simple and/or uninteresting. Otherwise I tend to find myself staring at the main screen every few minutes wondering WTF I was trying to do. (Or, worse, wondering how the hell the plot of the story lead to this stupid twist...)

Audio books are better. They don't draw the eyes away from the main screen. And because I'm not all that focused on what's going on in the story (it's more like background noise) I can recycle them every so often. I've lost count how many times I've listened to some of them.
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#10 Chris41  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 07:53 AM

I never really thought about it but this is probably what leads me to getting distracted the most when trying to do program or study for school. Its not necessarily watching it that makes me lose concentration but something that is talked about or a commercial for something and it leads me to get distracted on the internet.
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#11 codeprada  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

TV/Videos are way too distracting. Music seems to work better for me and most people.

This post has been edited by codeprada: 22 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

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#12 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:20 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 22 June 2012 - 10:04 AM, said:

I pretty much don't watch movies or TV, period, so no. Even if I did, I'd have a hard time - I tend to focus in on spoken words in my surroundings, so if there's a phone conversation going on near me, it's difficult to ignore it. If there were a movie on, that'd be pretty much all of my attention gone.

I'm the same way. I might have some music on, but when I'm doing anything more complicated than iterating over a file I usually turn that down.
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#13 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:20 AM

I will code with the TV on; but it's just white noise. Coding is an immersive activity for me; I only notice the external ambiance when I'm paused. If I'm actually watching what's on the tube, then coding has stopped and I'm taking an extended pause.

I prefer stuff I've seen before. A couple stations place the crap out of all the Law and Order, NCIS, Bones, and I often opt for those. I'll come up for air, notice a good bit for a moment, and back to coding.

I have occasionally had the surreal experience of watching an episode of something that I only experienced while coding. It's a lot like deja vu; conscious brain didn't see the show, but some part of brain did and is smugly talking about it.
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#14 Jstall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 09:42 AM

If it's something that doesn't take intense concentration I will usually stream some music or TV shows while I work. I love old Simpsons/Futurama episodes for this, but I will listen to other stuff too. Like I tend to like things I've already seen for this purpose.
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#15 WolfCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: Does anyone else watch tv/movies while they code?

Posted 22 June 2012 - 11:18 AM

I put videos in the background, mostly for the audio. It's commonly internet videos, but I sometimes load regular movies and TV shows.
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