Most programmers I know started programming out of sheer curiosity and joy. Joy is what keeps one motivated to keep up with the changing landscape of technology. It’s what keeps one happy. That is why I am recommending these 10 best books for programmers, books I really enjoyed reading. These are the books that I keep picking up and coming back to or have fond memories of. These are also the books that I hardly see recommended elsewhere, except for a few classics that are certainly worth repeating. And now I would like to share these books with you.
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The Pragmatic Programmer
Your Journey to Mastery, 20th Anniversary Edition
I would recommend any programmer to read this book. It contains a lot of wisdom, tips, and advice. Most of it is pretty basic but therein lies the beauty. The first edition released in 1999 and was getting pretty dated. Despite it being old it was still highly recommended. To my surprise they released a new edition 20 years later, all up-to-date! Now you’ve got no excuses left to not read this book. A wonderful book that you surely will be referring back to over and over again, I know I do.
The Coding Career Handbook
Guides, Principles, Strategies, and Tactics – from Code Newbie to Senior Dev
Similar to the The Pragmatic Programmer, I consider this book a must-read. It focuses on the bigger picture and your career, not just about writing code. This book is the reason I started this blog in the first place! A great book for any ambitious programmer and want to take your career to the next level.
Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman
If you’re new to programming, making the same mistakes as the programmers that have gone before you can be costly and detrimental for your career. Let this book guide you on avoiding these same mistakes. This book is similar to the ones mentioned above and makes for a nice addition. It’s split up into smaller sections that can be read in any order you’d like, this makes it a fun and easy read.
Beginning C++ Through Game Programming
This is the book that taught me how code and was the first book I read on the subject of programming. It made learning new programming languages that much easier. Ever since I read this book it seems I’ve always been one step ahead of the herd. This book is about learning the fundamentals of programming and C++ and less about games. It merely uses games as an example to reinforce programming concepts. This book was a lot of fun to read and because it uses games as a theme it keeps one motivated.
Programming Game AI by Example
To be honest I have not read this book in it’s entirety yet as I currently lack the time to do so. But I am really excited about this one and can’t wait to read it in combination with learning a new programming language: Rust. This book makes use of C++ but I’d figure these languages are similar enough as to implement the same ideas in Rust. I’ve put this book on this list because of the pure excitement it makes me feel. I would recommend to at least peruse this book to see if it resonates with you.
The Phoenix Project
A Novel about IT, Devops, and Helping Your Business Win
This is a book I got recommended, I read it, I loved it. I recommended it to a friend, and he loved it. And now I recommend it to you! It’s a really fun read and I could hardly put it down. This book really is written like a novel and packed with great lessons. Go read it! There is also a part two of sorts: The Unicorn Project. I hear it contains much of the same lessons, only told with a different story. I have yet to read it but will certainly do so in the near future.
Designing Data-Intensive Applications
The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
So you’ve learned how to code and now can write decent software. It’s time to focus on the bigger picture and learn about systems architecture and scaling, where do you start? This book is the answer. It will teach you all about designing data-intensive applications and serves as a great resource to prep for your systems design interviews.
Game Programming Patterns
I adore this book. It’s a book I keep coming back to over and over. It’s about programming patterns with a game theme once again. Note that the patterns here are not only for games! Some of them are game specific but most of them aren’t. It’s a fun read with beautiful hand drawn diagrams. Bob Nystrom clearly has put a lot of love in his book. You can read the web version for free here!
The Web Application Hacker’s Handbook
Finding and Exploiting Security Flaws
You’re a back-end developer and are responsible for fending of hackers? This is the book for you. It will arm you with the knowledge of how hackers actually hack your web applications and what you can do about it! And if you ever want to make a career switch to become a Bug Bounty Hunter, this is the #1 book recommendation within that field.
Cracking the Coding Interview
189 Programming Questions and Solutions
A classic for coding interview prep. I’ve read this book after seeing it recommended everywhere and I must say I’m glad I did. It teaches you all about data-structures and has a ton of example coding interview questions and their answers. This is a must-read for any programmer.
Thanks for mentioning the coding career handbook! 🙂