The Best 10 Basic Books for Coders
The books in this first section are highly regarded as some of the books you need to read if you truly want to master your craft as a programmers. As you’ll see they go well beyond the code you write.
1. The Art of Computer Programming by Donald E Knuth
The Art of Computer Programming is a foundational four-book series that will help you become an incredible programmer. Knuth’s work has been praised by scientists and programmers alike, including Bill Gates.
The four book series is extremely difficult to get through but will help you view programming in a new light while improving your skills at the same time. You’ll find plenty of in-depth analysis, as well as plenty of problems to solve.
2. Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks
This book was written not the premise that even though computers and technology changes, people don’t. This book is a true classic that breaks down the human elements of software engineering. This classic book was first published in 1975 and has managed to stand the test of time. It’s been over 30 years since it’s original publication, which is living proof that the basic tenet the book was founded upon was correct.
Mythical Man Month is a great book if you’re a programmer or want to become a project manager. It will help you better understand what can go wrong in software development, and offers practical approaches to team management.
3. Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell
Code Complete is the go-to encyclopedia for practical coding knowledge. Plus, as a massive 900-page book, it’s easy to understand and read through. The core focus of this book is to improve your everyday programming knowledge and help you construct code that’s readable, clean, and easy to manage.
No matter your current level of programming knowledge, this book will help you. Even if you don’t read the book straight through there are at least a few sections that will help you grow your knowledge.
4. Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming by Peter Seibel
Coders at Work is a book that goes beyond the tangible skills of programming and instead dives into the lives of famous programmers. This book is packed with interviews from 15 different accomplished programmers, the projects they worked on, and the stories behind those famous projects. If you’re looking for inspiration and a behind-the-scenes look at how different programmers think and work, then this is a book worth picking up.
5. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Hunt and Thomas
This is another classic book that stands the test of time. If you’re looking for a book that’ll help you make the transition from a programmer to something much more, then you should read this book.
This book offers a collection of 70 different programming tips, lessons, and recommendations for software developers, that are spiced up with engaging analogies to truly help the concepts sink in. Think of this as an incredible reference guide to further your programming career.
6. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C Martin
Sure, even bad code can function. But, poorly written code can bring the project to its knees. This is why having clean code is the utmost importance. In Clean Code, Robert Martin has teamed up with his colleagues from Object Mentor to share the best tips and examples to help you become a better programmer.
This book covers the principles and best practices surrounding clean code, along with plenty of case studies and examples so you can determine what’s right and wrong about the code. Although most examples are given in Java, the lessons are applicable to every programming language.
7. Programming Pearls by Jon Bently
Programming Pearls is another classic programming book that will help you understand the basics of problem-solving. This book focuses on problems that irritate most programmers and offers helpful ways to work through them.
If you’re looking to grow your understanding of algorithms, algorithm design, and prep your mind with innovative approaches to common problems, then this is a must read.
8. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold
Code isn’t explicitly a programming book, but it’s all about how computers work on the lowest level. Remember, it’s important to build an overarching perspective surrounding the work you’re doing.
This book will help you understand the tangible effects of the code you’re writing on the actual CPU. It’s a fascinating read in its entirety.
9. Working Effectively with Legacy Code by Michael Feathers
Unless you’re only working on development projects that start at ground zero, you’ll probably run into lots of legacy code throughout your career. If you’re working with existing code that’s over 5 years old, then you’ll find value in this book.
This book will help you better understand your legacy code and how to get the most from it, so it’s not a drain on money and time.
10. The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers by Robert C Martin
This book written by legendary software expert Robert C Martin will help to guide you through your career as a professional developer. It introduces techniques, tools, disciplines, and practices to become a true software craftsman.
It illuminates much more than technique and goes into approaching software development with honor, self-respect, and pride. If you’re looking for a guidebook to help you throughout your programming career, then this is worth a read.