5 Programming Books You Must Read

Programming Books.jpg

5 Programming Books You Must Read

When it comes to analyzing learning formats, it's clear that the way we absorb information is shifting from the printed space to the digital space. But with that being said, let's get something straight: books are not a lost art: more than 822,480 books have been published this year! [source] When you're gearing up to learn a new skill, you want to grab on to as much educational material as possible - including blogs, social media, forums, apps, podcasts, and bootcamps (of course!)

We've created a list of some top programming books available - including up-and-comers as well as true classics.

Coding Games in Scratch

#5: Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock

Facilitating STEM education at all age groups is pivotal to the digital future, so this book gets a special mention in our list. More and more young students are learning to code with cutting-edge apps and programming, with a focus on the child-friendly language Scratch.

From the Amazon description: "Essential coding concepts are explained using eight build-along game projects that guide young coders step-by-step, using visual samples, easy-to-follow instructions, and fun pixel art. The book teaches important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas, all while creating games to play with their friends."

Code Complete 2

#4: Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell

Chock-full of information, and in use for more than a decade - If web development had a required textbook, it's this 900-page book. But it's at the top of the Amazon charts for a reason: it works.

From the Amazon description: "Capturing the body of knowledge available from research, academia, and everyday commercial practice, McConnell synthesizes the most effective techniques and must-know principles into clear, pragmatic guidance. No matter what your experience level, development environment, or project size, this book will inform and stimulate your thinking—and help you build the highest quality code."

The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide

#3: The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide by John Sonmez

There's been a recent increase in the amount of accelerated learning programs and bootcamps teaching "soft skills" in combination with regular coding curriculum - after all, some say 90% of an interview is a read on your personality, rather than your technical skills.

This book dives deep into the first years of any software developer's career, with an emphasis on soft-skills training.

From the Amazon description: "In this book you'll discover what it's like to be a professional software developer, how to go from "I know some code" to possessing the skills to work on a development team, how to speed along your learning by avoiding common beginner traps, and how to decide whether you should invest in a programming degree or "bootcamp."

Cracking the Coding Interview

#2 Cracking the Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

More bootcamps = more bootcamp graduates = more competition for your dream job. There's a ton of advice around acing an interview and creating a keyword-heavy resume, but this book dives deeper into technical coding questions.

From the Amazon description: "Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice on 189 interview questions and solutions."

Further reading: What Companies Look For in a Bootcamp Graduate


#1: Eloquent JavaScript by Marijn Haverbeke

This is a book that's completely adapted to the digital space - you can read it online for free, or order it in printed paperback. It's a popular beach read for bootcampers, believe it or not! (Just ask Fullstack Academy graduate Beth Qiang.)

From the Amazon description: "Eloquent JavaScript goes beyond the cut-and-paste scripts of the recipe books and teaches you to write code that's elegant and effective. You'll start with the basics of programming, and learn to use variables, control structures, functions, and data structures. Then you'll dive into the real JavaScript artistry: higher-order functions, closures, and object-oriented programming."

What programming books are on your bookshelf (or in your e-reader)? We want to hear! Let us know in the comments.

Originally published August 15, 2017. Updated April 24, 2019.