Essential books for Programmers.
Vedangi Kuralkar
June 2, 2020 3 mins

Reading the appropriate pieces of information, history, and development just another important step in acquiring skills. Programming being the essential artwork of current times, must be read and understood properly. Every book gives you an opportunity to learn new things and explore new ideas. Reading books increases your knowledge and makes you smarter. With the wide variety of reading material to read and reach, it might get overwhelming at times to find a perfect read. It could be difficult to understand what are essential books for programmers. From millions and millions of books out there, we have narrowed it down for you.

Here are some essential books for programmers to read and expand their horizons.

1. The Pragmatic Programmer

Authors Andrew Hunt and Dave Thomas give the readers a series of tips on improving their programming output. Firstly, tt moreover focuses on increasing efficiency in the code and effort as well. Secondly, these tips are mostly centered around the principle that programming is, at its core, a collaborative pursuit. If you aspire to work as a software engineer or programmer of any kind, much of the code that you will be working with will not be yours. Hunt and Thomas’s tips guide you through working in such an environment.

“Don’t be a slave to history. Don’t let existing code dictate future code. All code can be replaced if it is no longer appropriate. Even within one program, don’t let what you’ve already done constrain what you do next — be ready to refactor… This decision may impact the project schedule. The assumption is that the impact will be less than the cost of /not/ making the change.”

Andrew Hunt, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

2. The Mythical Man Month

This book is really special. The premise of this book is built on the fact that computers change, but people don’t. The Mythical Man Month is a programming classic that discusses the human elements of software engineering. Even though the book was written 30 years ago (first published in 1975) it’s stood the test of time. Why? Because building things, including software, has been as much about people as much as hit has been about materials or technology. If you’re aspiring to become a project manager, this book will help you understand things. While understanding what can go wrong in software development and will give you practical advice or working with, organizing, and managing teams.

“Systems program building is an entropy-decreasing process, hence inherently metastable. Program maintenance is an entropy-increasing process, and even its most skillful execution only delays the subsidence of the system into unfixable obsolescence.”

Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering

3. Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction.

This book is easy to gather, learn, and keep on exploring. Steve McConnell’s Code Complete is considered to be the encyclopedia of practical coding. In other words, this is a must-read for any professional programmer. And, it’s easy to understand why – it’s a classic piece of work at 900-pages. With each chapter being packed with suggestions and techniques to improve everyday programming and construct code that is readable and easier to manage. McConnell has a knack for presenting his material in a story format that makes the book easy to read and even entertaining. No matter what level you’re at, Code Compete will undoubtedly change the way you think about and write code.

4. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship.

“Clean code is not written by following a set of rules. You don’t become a software craftsman by learning a list of heuristics. Professionalism and craftsmanship come from values that drive disciplines.”

Robert C. Martin, Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Martin presents an explicit amount of effort in the book explaining how can a clean code accelerates development in terms, for organization. In addition, the book has a detailed case study section where the complexities are discussed. Each case is like a worksheet for cleaning the code. The pure wisdom embedded on every page of this book is unreal. Therefore, if you like the style of Uncle Bob, you can also take a look at Clean Coder, the second part of this book, which will help you to become a better professional programmer. Therefore Clean code us definitely an essential book for programmers.

Special mentions and essential books for Programmers.

  • Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming by Peter Seibel
  • Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
  • Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, et al
  • Cracking the Coding Interview 
  • Zero Bugs and Program Faster