‘The Art of Computer Programming’ by Donald Knuth

Donald Knuth at the IBM 650 console; illustration by Siobhán K Cronin

Some books look so beautiful on the shelf. Not only for their aesthetic virtues, but for what their spines say about the owner. The four hardbound volumes of Donald Knuth’s “The Art of Computer Programming” — all snug in their dark purple case — send a clear message: Step aside, Muggles, because you’re in the presence of a Real Programmer. A Serious Practitioner of Computer Science.

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Carl Tashian

Lifelong software engineer, engineering leader, and writer based in San Francisco tashian.com