Books that Every Programmer MUST Read
Although we can find almost all the information we need about programming on the internet, there are nuggets of wisdom hidden in books which haven’t been converted to pdfs. It is however worrying to note that more than 90% of all the programmers and developers, rely mostly on Google and other search engines to get information about web development. I am not saying that the search results are not accurate, I am trying to point out that there is a gold mine of information lying in the libraries that you need to utilize today. Here is a selection of some of the books that every developer should read;
1. Pragmatic programmer
This book by the famed Authors David Thomas and Drew Hunt is an absolute gem. Unlike the other books that will be filled with thousands of lines of code, this is a book full of insights that will help you get a better grip of programming. It is not about a specific language and encompasses programming as a whole.
2. The Mythical man-month
This classic by Brooks JR, is considered the encyclopaedia of programming. Encyclopaedia I feel is even an understatement. When you finish reading this book, you will realize that it is more like a coding Bible. It will teach you to be patient and approach programming problems with caution.
3. Clean Code
This classic considered to harbour the secrets of agile software craftsmanship, was published by Robert C. Martin in a bid to improve the quality of code written. This is a book aimed at helping programmers write clean codes by outlining some of the principles and practices that will help you get rid of the redundant code.
4. The Cleaner Coder
This is like a continuation of the first book by Robert C martin which is highlighted above. In this sequel, Martin is still encouraging us the coders to be more professional in our work. While the first edition was focussed on the code, this is more on the people behind the code. He is looking more towards the way we conduct ourselves as coders and our professional lives. If you are looking to take up programming as a profession, I really would encourage you to read this book. It will help you a lot.
This is one of the first few books that I have read more than twice in my life. The reasons why I chose to read this book more than once, are very simple; it will help you understand refactoring like never before. We all know how important adjustments and improvements are to any line of code, don’t we? Well, this is the perfect book to help you understand when your code needs an adjustment. This is the book to help you sense when there is a flaw in your coding. Although it is pretty old, the book still applies to this modern world.
6. Working effectively with legacy code
How does it feel when you are asked to work with a code that is almost archaic? How does it feel when the code you are required to work with is no longer supported by most of the operating systems available? Well, this is the best book to help you manage your tempers and understand Legacy Code.
7. Head First Design Patterns
Sometimes when authors edit and publish books, I think they focus more on the information and forget about the channel of delivering the information. Books filled with small awkward fonts might be rich in information but they are not particularly the best to work with. However much you try, you cannot read such books for long before looking away. Head First Design Patterns is the exact opposite of the above mentioned books. Each page here is filled with illustrative doodles and eye catching stuff to help drive the point home. The number of patterns covered in this edition might not be as many, but the book explains the few that it highlights in detail.
If you are enthusiastic about programming, I am sure that you have come across materials published by Tom Demarco and Timothy Lister. They have helped very many software developers through numerous editions of their books. This particular book by the famed duo is not about programming per se! This is a book to help motivate programmer and help them work in teams more easily. If you are planning to own a company or a firm that deals with programming, you need to grab a copy of this book and read it.
9. Soft Skills
I earlier on in the month wrote a piece on the importance of soft skills in this high tech world and you can read about it on our blog. This is just the perfect book to help you understand more about soft skills as a software developer. It focusses on the other aspects of developers’ lives and how to relate with peers in this programming sphere. From managing finances, keeping yourself fit to marketing yourself, this book will help you further your career.
10. Code Complete
Steve McConnell really went all out in this book. This is a mammoth of a book filled with equally humongous amounts of information on programming. Whatever aspect of software development that you might think about, is well and truly explained in this book. This is a book for every programmer- whether you are a newbie or a guru in programming, I can assure you that there are tid bits and nuggets of wisdom that you can get from this book. Grab a copy today and wear your reading glasses.