10 Best Books Every Programmer Must Read

Books are essential no matter what your field of study is. Books are the epitome of knowledge. We know practical applications are more vital while coding, but one can be good with coding without explicit theoretical knowledge. Before trying to code and find a solution to any problem, reading and understanding the problem is essential, which is also a good coder or problem solver trait.

Thus, if you aspire to be a pro coder, you should read a good programming book in any language you find. Be it C, C++, Python, or Java, the basic coding principles and problem understanding skills are the same. Thus, in this article, we bring you the top 10 books that every programmer should read. These books provide a clear understanding of basic coding principles like syntax, indentation, semantics, and more.

Clean Code: By Robert C. Martin

Clean code by Robert Martin is one of the best coding books, which will help you with all the programming basics. Both beginners and intermediate coders can utilize this book to the fullest. The books aim to teach you all the tricks and patterns you need to write a clean code. Writing clean code is very much preferred in the industry as it means your code is more efficient in terms of time and space complexity and condition checking.

The book contains proper variable naming, the optimal method for writing code, code structuring, code smell, the best approach for selective problems, and much more. A clean code also has plenty of commenting to ensure that it is easily understood, reused, and debugged. Also, professional programmers can learn this book to revise all the fundamental theories, tricks, and tactics of coding.

Effective Java: By Joshua Bloch

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  • Bloch, Joshua (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Effective Java is probably one of the best books that every Java developer should read at least once. This book provides a clear understanding of JavaAPI to programmers. But other than Java developers, it is also suitable for C++, Python, and Ruby programmers as you can learn a lot about design patterns, API design, Clean coding, and robust code from the book. It contains topics like functional interfaces, lambda expressions, method references, streams, typing inference, new library features, default and static methods in Interfaces, and much more. It is the go-to book for Java programmers.

The Mythical Man-month: By Frederick Brooks

This book is one of the most popular books among software developers. This book will guide you to learn the proper concepts and practices of software development, debugging in software development, and project management.

The book goes around “Brook’s Law,” i.e., “adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.” There are various ideas that Brooks incorporated in the book. A few of those are the mythical person-month: measuring useful work in person-months is a myth, accidents in software programming and its essence, keeping in mind not to over-engineer a system while working on a second system, tricks to fixing error without leading it to more new error and more.

The book has an entirely different approach to software engineering and a unique approach to problem-solving. It is a book that every programmer must read at least once.

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software: By Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides

The book focuses on the designing of Object-oriented software. The authors have described what actual patterns are and how they can help you design object-oriented software. These authors have introduced 23 patterns to help you learn. After completing the book, you will be proficient enough to solve any problem in a more elegant way by using object-oriented design principles and patterns. This way, you will be able to write better and cleaner code. It describes each pattern very minutely and states all the circumstances in which each of them is optimal. It also includes demonstrations of how every pattern is implemented in object-oriented programming languages like C++ or Smalltalk.

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science (3rd Edition): By John M. Zelle

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science is an excellent book if you want to learn basic coding logic in python!. The book theory reflects knowledge on new technologies but still maintains a practical approach to the computer science industry. The book contains basic computer science concepts so that even students with zero knowledge of coding can also start learning from it. The book’s content includes logic, reasoning, designing, problem-solving, and programming. The 3rd edition includes graphic examples from chapter 4 to chapter 12. Overall, Python Programming is an excellent book to learn the basics of programming.

Code Complete: By Steve McConnell

Code Complete is yet another essential book for all the programmers out there. The book guides its readers through a practical programming assessment course and has remained one of the most popular books for over a decade.

The topics covered in the book include software craftsmanship (i.e., style, layout, themes, character, and self-documentation), clean coding, debugging, testing and integration for developers, documentation and requirements for software development, and tricks and techniques for creating top-notch code, coding improvements, and system considerations.

With these quality concepts and proper descriptions, you will be easily able to understand and learn the art of software engineering. Considering all the knowledge this book provides, it can be a good choice to get some god-level knowledge in programming.

Programming Pearls: By Jon Bently

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  • Bentley, Jon (Author)

Programming Pearls is quite a bit different from the other recommended books. This book helps to craft the reader’s mind into the mind of a programmer. It is a perfect book for beginners. It explains every concept thoroughly, followed by a set of practical problems with efficient solutions, making it a great practical book for programming. It is pretty good if you want to get first-hand experience in coding.

The book is filled with problems with solutions if you’re going to test yourself. It also helps you to understand core computer science concepts like memory, CPU, pipelining, algorithms. It challenges your understanding of every concept, incrementing the difficulty of the problem rather than giving you the straight answers, and helps you become a great problem solver. It is a perfect book for Data Structure and Algorithms, and it thoroughly covers all the basic concepts starting from arrays to trees.  

Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software: By Eric Evans

The book Domain-Driven Design teaches us a unique way to develop software. The book focuses on the tricks and tactics on reducing complexity or how to deal with it more efficiently. An intermediate and experienced developer will under the importance of domain knowledge. The book combines domain knowledge and programming skills and thus encourages its readers to be better programmers.

The book is not about any specific technology. It is simply theoretical as it aims to help programmers have a mindset where they have a domain-driven design mindset while coding. The book caters to object-oriented developers, system analysts, and designers. 

Introduction to Algorithms: By Thomas H. Cormen, Charles E. Leiserson, Ronald L. Rivest, and Clifford Stein

Introduction to Algorithms is probably the most famous book for Design and Analysis of Algorithms. Almost every professor recommends it to their students. The book has over 10,000 citations documented on CiteSeerX. You can also use it as a source reference for algorithms published in papers. This book is also the most popular textbook for software engineering students and has been the bestseller during its first 20 years of release. It is truly a gem for algorithm understanding. Every topic in data structure and algorithms is minutely covered in the book with various examples. Furthermore, the book follows pseudo-codes instead of a programming language in its examples; as a result, programmers using different languages can easily convert the book’s pseudo code into their code. 

Python Programming for the Absolute: Michael Dawson

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This book is highly recommended if you are new in the field of programming. The book is on python language, but it teaches you the basic logic and rules of programming. The book will give you a clear idea of all programming basics like algorithms, data structures, designing of algorithms, and more so that you can stack up against your knowledge and utilize your skills. It also contains practice problems with coding solutions. If you follow the book correctly, you will be able to get first-hand experience at coding too. There are also chapter summaries and exercises included in the book. The book may be based on python but can prove to be beneficial to other language coders too. 


The books suggested in this article above do not cater to any particular language or subject matter. These are books on Computer science and may specialize in OOPs, designing, algorithms, Python, C, or any other language. Overall, the books suggested have been a popular choice and expertise in their fields. These are essentials that every all-rounded programmer must read. We hope that the books will be of utility to the programmers out there.

Last update on 2022-01-20 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Gaurav Tiwari

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