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IT's Musical Habits 676

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the where-is-the-who dept.
operand sent in a fun little article about the listening habits of IT. It seems that developers are headbangers, Microsoft certified pros are Britney fans, and management goes for Mozart. Tragically The Who is not included... Linux users tend toward Electronica, and Security goes for The Dead.
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IT's Musical Habits

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  • by bje2 (533276) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:45AM (#9748074)
    "Shockingly, the results of its poll among 200 students at the Training Company's UK residential courses reveal that developers are malodorous headbangers playing air guitar to Megadeth, Microsoft Certified professionals get their rocks off to Britney while IT directors can be found sipping the finest wines while Mozart tinkles away in the background. No stereotype-fulfilling findings there, then.

    Wow, a poll of a whole 200 students...not exactly a big enough sample size for this study to be taken seriously...plus, what do the british know about music anyway...(oh, c'mon)...
    • by Wun Hung Lo (702718) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:47AM (#9748094)
      Lots of people get their rocks off to Britney...oh, you meant her music?!?!?!? My bad!
    • by anthro398 (729495) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:48AM (#9748106) Homepage
      I listen to whatever my DRM encrusted overlords order me to listen to.
    • by Threni (635302) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:16AM (#9748486)
      > plus, what do the british know about music anyway...(oh, c'mon)...

      Yeah, for every crappy Beatles there are 100 shiny, happy, commercial stateside Monkees wannabees....
    • You comment on ANY type of music saying that you're not into it or don't understand it and you're labled "closed minded" and have no understanding at all on music.

      What is it with people. Can't anyone have likes and dis-likes in music? If someone says they don't like hip-hop, then people jump down their throats calling them small-minded, yet would a hip-hop fan sit down and listen to an album of Hank Williams Sr.? Or Patsy Cline?

      Would a fan of opera actually spend his or her time going to the store to buy a Megadeth album? Life is too short, there are only so many hours in a persons life they can actually listen to and enjoy music...why waste it on stuff you don't like?

      There is no one out there that likes every form of music there is, you may think you do, but trust me, there is always something out there that will make your skin crawl no matter what you like. If you like a particular style or genre of music, don't worry if someone else doesn't like it. Music is a personal thing.

      People are different! Wow, what a concept!
      • , yet would a hip-hop fan sit down and listen to an album of Hank Williams Sr.? Or Patsy Cline?

        Well, by some chance, I happen to know that my wife's current collection of CDs in her car for the drives to/from work include Eminem and Patsy Cline. No Hank Williams Sr or Jr at the moment, but they are in the collection.

        She has mentioned humming some of Eminem's songs (which often do have real melodies, unlike most rap) at meetings, and enjoying the grins of the few people who recognize them. This is in a m
      • I'm a Mac user (who also runs gentoo and Win2k). I listen to hip hop and I absolutely love Patsy Cline (my dad has all her records, he dated her once and made a complete ass of himself). I also enjoy opera (prefer German to Italian, which grates a little), own every Megadeth record and have no problem switching between any of these styles of music in the context of a Party Shuffle.

        There is only one type of music I won't listen to, and that's lazy, overproduced, low concept pop. If a person doesn't care
      • by pileated (53605) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @11:18AM (#9749373)
        Right you are. It's part of the moral cowardice that grew out of the 60s, of which I was a part I might add. Better to say everything is OK than say that something is good and something bad, or you like one thing but not the other, because God forbid you might offend someone or maybe worse might be proved wrong. Instead take no stand on anything. In place of moral decision making the godawful, senile, century-old "irony" took its place, and still stays there, stinking up everything it touches.

        • Actually, it is more a knee-jerk reaction to the holy-wars which engulf any potential difference. I choose $x, and therefore anything which is not $x is eeeeviiiil.

          Exhibit A: emacs v. vi

          Exhibit B: Windows v. the world

          Etc.

          It is far easier to pass on the whole mess with the touchy-feely crap.

          • Exhibit A is bad. The emacs vs vi rivalry is hardly serious, and in the end both sides know it doesn't matter. Why? Because you can take my file I created in vi, and edit it in your emacs, and when you're done with it I can take it back and edit it some more in my Vi. The choice of text editor is truly a Personal Choice - it affects nobody but yourself. The things people usually get worked up the most over are the things where other people's choices end up affecting you whether you like it or not. The
        • You call it moral cowardice. I call it humility.

          There is absolutely nothing forbidding me from expressing likes and dislikes for specific hobbies, interests, worldviews, etc., etc. Everyone has these preferences. But when you start elevating your own predilections into some sort of fundamental moral truth, by ascribing your own preferences to "The Will of God" or "Scientific Truth" or "The Will of the People" or whatever euphemism you prefer for turning preferences into fact, then you're not showi
      • You comment on ANY type of music saying that you're not into it or don't understand it and you're labled "closed minded" and have no understanding at all on music.

        Boy, did you nail that on the head! Maybe it's just my experience, but I get this more from hip-hop fans than any other genre. Usually they accuse me of never having listened to it, and when I point out that listening is how I came to realize I don't care for it, I get accused of only sampling "mainstream" acts. Give me Steve Hackett or John W

  • What.. no Led? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by i.r.id10t (595143)
    Tend to listen to a lot of Led Zepplin myself, with plenty of the Dead, Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and others thrown into the mix.
  • hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    where's alvin and the chipmunks ?
    • Re:hmmm (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That's Microsoft security.
  • Poetic... (Score:5, Funny)

    by oneiron (716313) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:46AM (#9748080)
    Microsoft certified pros are Britney fans You can't make this stuff up.
  • by Not_Wiggins (686627) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:46AM (#9748083) Journal
    mp3 and ogg. ;)
  • Ironically, the first link at the bottom of the article is "Who conducts the crappiest polls?"... Gee, that's just what I was wondering.
  • You Forgot (Score:4, Funny)

    by swordboy (472941) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:47AM (#9748097) Journal
    Make a Little Birdhouse in Your Soul for us TMBG/Gentoo fans.
  • by auburnate (755235) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:48AM (#9748102)
    Recent IE exploits lead Microsoft developers to exclaim " Oops, I did it again ...." !!!
  • I don't really listen to much music at all, while I'm doing anything else. I can enjoy it if I'm spending all my attention on the music, but I find it annoying and distracting 90% of the time if I'm trying to do anything else. Instrumental music is easier to ignore so I can concentrate on the tasks at hand, but if I'm just trying to tune it out, then why bother?

    Plus, I have a LOT of other things to do with my time than deciding on playlists and spend cash on discs and downloads and devices.

    [barry] On

  • When I'm really late for a college project, I listen to black metal at full power. It helps you to stay concentrated.
    More seriously, all the gurus I know don't restrict themselves to one kind of music. Well, for Microsoft pros, Britney could be an explaination to all the problems...
    • Re:College homework (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jc42 (318812)
      [A]ll the gurus I know don't restrict themselves to one kind of music.

      Hmmm ... I must be some sort of guru then. ;-)

      My main reaction to this is that they completely ignored the possibility that people might have a mix of really different stuff.

      Next to my linux workstation there's a Mac PowerBook. I checked the "Recently Played" list and found:

      Grateful Dead "Playing in the Band"
      Andy Statman "Midnight Zhok"
      Ad Vielle Que Pourra "Micro-Polka", "Valse Minette"
      Vienna Teng "Green Island Serenade"
      Peter Hedlu
  • I'm an IT manager who developes, uses linux and has a head for security. I listen to pretty much everything except the Britney genre.

  • What's the point ? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mirko (198274)
    Should we try to figure out what we should do because some underused psycho chose to make a barely pertinent musical taste study ?
    I thought the music that we listen too was more related to whom we listen to music with, so if you have a manager who grew in some Bronxesque area, he'd listen to the Ramones or Public Enemy rathger than to Mozart...
  • Hmmmm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Zamis (81530)
    MCSE"'s listen to Britney spears!

    That explains a lot.
  • Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtrippNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:50AM (#9748138) Homepage
    I'm waiting for somebody to turn this into a 20 question "What IT Professional am I?" quiz and put it on http://seventeen.com/
  • Hmm.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Guess I'm supposed to be an IT director or CIO then. Better go tell my boss to promote me :)
  • by Vexler (127353) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:51AM (#9748162) Journal
    ...that the Chinese have great food, the Japanese have great swords, and the Koreans are all cross-eyed.

    I do agree that the functions of the brain that enable logical and organizational thinking somehow also enable either strong inclination for music or strong musical abilities. But to say that developers or *nix admins tend to like different kinds of music is going a bit far.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:52AM (#9748164)
    As long as it's illegal.
  • Missing... (Score:4, Funny)

    by alexatrit (689331) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:52AM (#9748167) Homepage
    What about the rhythmic aural pleasures of the admins in the surrounding cubes beating their heads against their desks? I'd think that would rank right up there.
  • I wonder... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Wattsman (75726) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:53AM (#9748175)
    Do KDE developers listen to Kompressor?
    "K.. is for Kompressor!"
  • Linux users (Score:3, Funny)

    by gspr (602968) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:53AM (#9748186)
    cat linux-2.6.7.tar > /dev/audio

    On a more serious side, I'm a Linux user who listens mostly to various types of metal (Metallica, In Flames, Opeth...)
  • Rap - cable, that is.
  • Rush, Metallica, Evanesance, Billy Joel, Avril, Dream Theater, GnR, Queen, Van Halen, Pearl Jam, STP, RATM, Creed, Spock's Beard, GodSmack, Whats that say about me...
  • by mpost4 (115369)
    I bet I do not fit into most if not any of the groups with the music I listen to, and frankly I don't care. I like Billy Joel, Elton John. But while coding the best music IMHO is They Might be Giants and Tom Petty, John Melloncamp is also good.

    What no who they are good music too.
  • This is goofy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sielwolf (246764) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:56AM (#9748240) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad they took a well-sized sample of 200 people to represent the 7 job classifications. That's almost 29 datapoints per class. It've been more interesting if they would've tried to find corollaries to see who listens to what. Hell, I'd assume there's probably an age distinction more at play into someone listening to Classical than to job type (although I think age might play into that as well. I don't know many 19 year old IT managers).

    And not to nitpick, but 'Electro' (in the article) is not short for Electronic. It is actually an identifiable style deriving from Kraftwerk (which they have on there, but the Orb and Underworld are not Electro) meshing electronics with funk (see "Planet Rock" [wikipedia.org]). It then has all of its offshoots over the years like Darkwave (which most folks just confuse with Industrial anway) and Electroclash (Adult., Dopplereffekt, Fischerspooner, Peaches).

    So what's on our lab iPod playlist?

    Twine Twine, IDM/ambient.
    Mr Vegas Pull Up, Dancehall.
    various Welcome to the D: Electro, Electro.
    various Lo Fibre Companion, grindy bass ambient from Birmingham, UK.
    • Job: Linux
      Favoured genre: Electro
      Top three bands:
      1. The Orb
      2. Underworld
      3. Kraftwerk


      And not to nitpick, but 'Electro' (in the article) is not short for Electronic.

      No, it definitely does not. And the confusion becomes greater when in fact The Orb and Underworld are electronica. I wouldn't call them "bands" either. Oh it's all so confusing! :)

      Oh... and by the way. "Little Fluffy Clouds" owns us all.

      So what's on our lab iPod playlist?

      Twine Twine, IDM/ambient.
      Mr Vegas Pull Up, Dancehall.
      var
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:56AM (#9748243)
    Linux geek, support-type engineer.

    Prog-rock/metal/blues tastes:

    Eloy, Nektar, AC/DC, Rammstein, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Thorogood.

  • The Fall (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 16K Ram Pack (690082)
    Obsure band, but a lot of programming people seem to like them.
  • Maybe turn it around... Tell your favourite artists and you get the perfect job description as a return value :-)

    For now... I have concluded that I should not be in IT LOL (btw I'm a developer)

    Was Listening to some Jamie Cullum this morning (jazzy stuff)
  • when I code... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RainbowSix (105550) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:59AM (#9748283) Homepage
    I listen to Nintendo remixes [ocremix.org]. The songs are memorable and catchy, and most of them don't have lyrics so I can concentrate on my work.
    • I have a huge collection of PSFs/SPCs and OC Remixes that I listen to while coding. It's not distracting as you say, and at times it can really give me a boost of inspiration.

      Ah hell, who am I kidding? It's just good stuff to listen to, even if you are just trolling Slashdot. =)
    • Re:when I code... (Score:2, Informative)

      by genner (694963)
      Ocremix is my current source of electronica. Why yes I do use linux. Why do you ask?
    • Re:when I code... (Score:3, Interesting)

      yeah, lately I've been getting into The Minibosses whilst coding...

      My general listening habits for simple coding include (just google for them, I don't feel like digging up/typing all the links):

      The Locust
      Aphex Twin
      Iron Maiden
      The Residents
      The Faint
      Dillinger Escape Plan
      The Haunted
      At The Gates
      Meshuggah
      In Flames
      Mr. Bungle
      Black Sabbath
      Poison The Well
      Saves The Day
      Styx
      T.a.T.y.
      Pig Destroyer
      Black Dahlia Murder

      Although when doing more mathmatical coding (like reordering matrixes because of graphic tiling, and

  • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:00AM (#9748288)
    It seems that developers are headbangers, ...against their keyboards, usually muttering things like "@#$% this compiler"....

    Microsoft certified pros are Britney fans, ...assume that whatever's popular is the bandwagon they should jump on....

    and management goes for Mozart. ...on the mistaken assumption that it will increase their IQs subliminally....

    Linux users tend toward Electronica, ...knowing full well that lyrics, like marketing, is highly overrated....

    and Security goes for The Dead. ...because typically, it is.
  • Q: Are we not men? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hal2814 (725639) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:00AM (#9748296)
    A: We are DEVO.

    I've talked with a few people in IT around here about music before (varying positions, but mostly programming) and it seems we all agree on liking the following bands:

    1. Devo
    2. Dead Milkmen (have yet to meet an IT guy who doesn't like Stuart)

    After that, there's not much agreement, but I am a bit surprised that these are the two bands we almost unanimously agreed on liking.
  • by CharAznable (702598) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:01AM (#9748311)
    It's great geek music... the sci-fi.. the long instrumental passages...

    Personally, I like King Crimson, Genesis, Gong (of Radio GNOME Invisible fame, no less!) among other stuff.
  • Well, I listen to NPR and to traditional Irish dance music. I guess that makes me a Luddite?

    Don't read too much into the MCP-Britney connection - I'm an MCSD (certified in Java too) and I think her music sucks donkey balls.
  • Bach? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Groote Ka (574299) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:02AM (#9748326)
    Peculiar that Johann Sebastian Bach does not appear anywhere. Of course considering the popular work of Douglas R. Hofstadther on Goedel, Esscher and Bach.
    But also considering the logical build-up of the music. Looking at friends and colleagues, I have a feeling that there are more Bach lovers among beta people than there are among alpha people.
  • Security? (Score:5, Funny)

    by dfn5 (524972) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:03AM (#9748329) Journal
    ... and Security goes for The Dead.

    So... security is stoned. That certainly gives me the warm and fuzzies.

    • Re:Security? (Score:2, Interesting)

      Look! There's a Little Tiny Keyhole in that port...

      For the truly heaviest, scariest interrupt-driven bit twisting crank-addled software, nothing quite beats Tangerine Dream...

  • As a sysadmin I love to listen to groove salad [somafm.com] from Soma FM [somafm.com]. It's downtempo electronica and acid jazz. As the site says A tasty plate of ambient beats and grooves. Takes the edge off work. It really helps to get rid of that nervous tick that tends to develop after working with lusers and PHB's all day =)
  • That as a DBA, I've never even heard of the three bands listed as "DBA favorite bands" (ok, so I read the article, "Oops, I did it again").

    For me, LRB, Foreigner, Kansas, and Meatloaf. Sometimes some other oddball stuff. Oh, and the musical "War of the Worlds".
  • by cephyn (461066)
    It's my concentration music of choice. Non-vocal if I have a difficult problem to solve or a marathon under the gun deadline, vocal if I'm just relaxing. Digitally Imported [www.di.fm] is the best streaming site on the net. 8)
  • by Darth_brooks (180756) <clipper377.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:11AM (#9748426) Homepage
    Out on the road today I saw a deadhead sticker on a checkpoint box,
    A little voice inside my head said don't look back you can never look back....
  • Headbangers, uh? Funny I read the blurb while Slayers' "Decade of Aggression" is screaming out of my stereo ...
  • The Dead (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bludstone (103539) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:18AM (#9748508)
    Of course, refers to The Grateful Dead.

    While often simply dismissed musically as "hippie crap" and "meaningless poetic fluff," this is not what is important here.

    What is important is that The Dead flies right in the face of the music industry.

    You see, The Dead is often considered to be the most sucessful band in history, as they have played in front of more people then any group in musical history. Not only that, but each year the group (or whats left of them) makes millions in profits from various sales.

    All the while giving away the vast majority of their music for free! [gdlive.com]

    This is my favorite example of a "happy middle ground" that can be reached between bands and listeners. Sorry RIAA, your claims are false. And The Grateful Dead proves it.
    • Re:The Dead (Score:3, Insightful)

      by h0mer (181006)
      That only works because of the style of music that they play. Each song can be quite different each time they perform it because they could jam in a plethora of ways. For the most part, any live versions are going to sound quite different than studio versions.

      Let's also not forget the heavy drug use that was rampant at Dead shows. I don't think everyone would be groovin' out to a 20-minute song if the crowd was straight-edge.

      The Grateful Dead are the exception, not the rule. I don't see many kids followin
  • Electronica (Score:3, Funny)

    by Stalin (13415) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:21AM (#9748555)
    Mod me down; I don't care.

    How long is the MTV term going to haunt us? Why is it so wrong to call music "techno" now? At least that describes the music -- music made with technology. What in the holy fuck does "electronica" mean? Please, if you know then share because I sure as hell have no idea. And don't come at me with "music made with electronic instruments". Techno is not all 808s, 303s, and Roland W-30s. No, "real" instruments are also used as there is no comparing a digital imitation to the real thing. But, they are used in conjuction with technology. So, where did this damn "electronica" word come from and why is it now, seemingly, synonimous with techno?
    • Unless you are singing without instrumental accomopaniament, or beating yourself as a drum, or whistling.

      Oh, you mean, electronic technology?

      All music, even high, classical, concert or cult music (whatever name you want to use) nowadays is made using during its conposition, performance or both electronic technology.

      I don't understand why you get so worked out about a niche genre whose most outstanding feature is the endles boring repetition of loops.
  • Age profile (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Handyman (97520) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:24AM (#9748586) Homepage Journal
    I guess the differences in Rock styles can be explained by the age profile of people going to IT courses:

    Developer profile: 25-35 years old, teenager when Iron Maiden and Megadeth were all that.

    Project manager profile: 40-50 years old, teenager when Pink Floyd was hot.

    Security profile: same age or slightly older than a project manager, given up hopes of ever becoming a project manager, not young enough to be a top-of-the-line developer anymore. Gone into security (and taking courses on that) because the "experience of old age" does give an edge in (a) making young developers listen to you when you give them security advice, and (b) not having enough dreams for the future anymore to let features go before security (no enthusiasm to cloud judgment), etcetera. Just the kind of person to have grown up in the days when Grateful Dead / The Doors / Jimi Hendrix were cool.

    Or am I way off the mark here?
    • Re:Age profile (Score:3, Insightful)

      by michael path (94586) *
      As a 24-year old Security Administrator, I love Pink Floyd, but my tastes more closely match the "Linux" profile.

      Frankly, that survey seems lame, and wildly inaccurate at best.

      I was a teenager when Green Day and the Offspring were all that. I couldn't like the Offspring any less.
  • by Petronius (515525) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:57AM (#9749065)
    Microsoft guys: wma
    Java guys: mp3
    Mainframe: shn (the only way to listen to Dead shows)
    Sysadmins: ogg
    OS X: aac
    Security guy: anything as long as it's on an encrypted partition
  • Lounge and Chillout (Score:4, Informative)

    by Qbertino (265505) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @11:24AM (#9749459)
    My current slant in taste is somewhat fitting:
    Two years ago I started listening to modern coffee house and contemporary easy listening music. I got completely hooked and spent a small fortune on various Cafe del Mar, Cafe Abstrait and Ministry of Sound Chillout compilations.
    Lounge and Chillout are extremely good for backdropping serious IT work (serious == Linux, OSS and real programming). Interesting enough to keep you going and lighten you up, but unobstrusive enough so it won't go on your nerves. I even got my friends hooked to the style. Now that I have a lounge/chillout collection of considerable size I'm about to rip them, to save a years worth of presents for all my buddies. :-)
    That style of contemporary music is my tip for anyone looking for a nice way to color up his coding sessions.

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