10 Best Programming and Coding Books for Beginners and Experienced Software Developers
My favorite programming, software development, and coding book every beginner and experienced Software developer should read
Hello guys, if you are a professional programmer of just started with software development and want to improve your coding and programming skills and looking for the best books then you have come to the right place.
Earlier, I have shared the best programming and coding courses and In this article, I am going to share books that I believe every beginner, intermediate, and experienced programmer should read to develop their coding, design, and programming skill.
As an experienced software developer, you should be a good coder, good at understanding requirements, designing the system, communicating with peers and stakeholders, ensuring that your project has good test coverage, following good coding best practices, and writing maintainable code.
Those skills are quite valuable and they don’t just come when your experience increases, you need to work hard to acquire them. I know many programmers who have been programming for 7 or 8 years, but they still don’t poses these skills.
Some of them never bother to try, and some of them just don’t know how to develop those skills. It’s where these books come into the picture.
In programming, particularly in the software development field, there is no better way to learn and increase your experience than reading books and joining courses.
If you are fortunate, then you will get a peer or leader who is not just a good programmer but also willing to teach and correct your mistake.
In most cases, you learn the skill as mentioned earlier hard way by following people who do it right and then trying to decipher what they are doing.
As a programmer, we are lucky to have all these books which are written by great programmers and developers. We should be thankful to them for sharing their knowledge in the best possible manner to make the programming world better.
I have been doing programming and Software Development for more than 15 years, but still, I feel I could have done better with structuring and coding a complex feature that I just implemented.
It takes continuous effort and a lot of discipline to become a better developer. Nevertheless, these books help you in every possible manner. Even if you manage to get 10% of these books, you will be a much better programmer and Software developer.
10 Must-Read Books for Programmers and Software Engineers
These are some of the best books for experienced programmers and software engineers. You can read these books to fill the gaps in your understanding of the useful skills and can also pick a few essential skills to grow in your career.
1. Zero Bugs and Program Faster
No matter how experienced you are, if you are a programmer, then your coding skill is your introduction. A guy good at coding is a precious asset as I found they quickly whip up some SQL to reconcile things, write some scripts to automate stuff, and understand the complex problem in a quick time.
This is the reason I ask every programmer to focus on coding extensively in the first few years of their career. That’s where the base is built, but it’s a long journey, and you need to keep on working.
I like the book, which teaches about coding strategies, and author Kate Thompson has done a great job in explaining how to avoid mistakes in programming.
The author has done some serious research on the bug avoidance technique, and that reflects in this book. So if you want to code better with fewer books, this is a great book to start with.
If you need a course to go along with this book, the Clean Code with Java: Learn Simple Design, Refactoring & TDD course on Udemy is a good companion.
2. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (2nd Edition)
This is another excellent book for both beginners and experienced programmers by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. The pragmatic programmer helps you to build highly maintainable code with best practices.
It covers the topics from requirement analysis, architecture, and explains who to write better code, all the skills needed by an experienced programmer.
This is also one of the most recommend programming books. It was recommended to me by my seniors, the first edition and now I am recommending the second edition to my juniors and students.
3. Clean Code By Uncle Bob
If a programmer with 1 year of experience asks me to recommend 10 books to learn useful programming techniques, I’ll recommend the Clean code book10 times to him, Yes, it is that good. I wish I had discovered this book when I had started my career.
Though you can read this book at any phase of your job and it will benefit you, it will make a huge impact when you learn it when you starting with professional programming.
Reading this book is the first right step in becoming a good coder in any programming language. Still, it's even more useful for Java programmers, given all examples are written in Java.
Btw knowledge of SOLID principles is crucial for writing clean code and this book teaches you but if you need more practice you can also join the SOLID Principles: Introducing Software Architecture and Design course on Udemy. It nicely complements this book.
4. Head First Design Pattern
This is one of the best headfirst books I have read ever. It’s best for programmers having 2 to 3 years of experience because it teaches you about patterns, how to apply those patter to write better code and in a fun way.
A must-read for junior programmers to transition into experienced developers.
Btw, if you are serious about design patterns then you can also combine this book with the Design Pattern in Java course by Dmitri Nestruk on Udemy. It’s an excellent course to learn the modern implementation of classic design patterns in Java and it effectively complements this book
5. The Clean Coder
I have seen guys who are excellent coders but haven’t be recognized or promoted with a guy who is an average coder but an excellent communicator. Some people are good at coding but often doesn’t able to articulate what they are doing.
Hence, they either were silent and spoke less when it matters, like on meetings, conference calls, or during production troubleshooting unless they are asked. This book aims to bridge that gap by teaching you the essential soft skills for programmers.
I tell all my friends and readers to put as much effort into soft skills as they do in coding or learning new technology. Remember, technology gets old in a couple of the year, but soft skills will help you throughout your career.
6. Working Effectively with Legacy Code
This is a truly great book by Michael C. Feathers and another must-read for experienced programmers. One of the challenges many programmers face is maintaining the legacy code, the code which is life in production, and nobody knows how it works.
The last programmer who was part of the original development team has left the organization even before you join, and now you have to maintain future enhancements and releases.
This is actually the bread and butter for many experienced programmers, but only if you know how to deal with legacy code, which can break with a smaller enhancement.
This book teaches you everything you should know about dealing with legacy code irrespective of any programming language, like C++ or Java.
7. Agile Software Development By Robert C. Martin
The great Robert C. Martin is also known as Uncle Bob, has written many good books in programming and software development, and this is another gem of it.
You need to be agile if you want to survive in today’s software development industry, and this book teaches you the fundamentals of agile software development. It’s a great book to improve your programming skills as an application programmer as well.
You can also combine this book with the Agile Crash Course: Agile Project Management; Agile Delivery online course from Udemy to learn Agile from both Software development and project management perspective.
8. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
This is another technical book related to coding, which I highly recommend to 3 to 4 years experienced programmers.
There is no better way to improve the code quality than TDD and refactoring, and this book is the bible of refactoring.
This book explains both terminology and techniques of refactoring, like extract class, extract method, etc. Examples are given in Java, but that doesn’t mean it’s only for Java programmers; you can get most of it if you are programming in C++ or Python.
For better and quicker learning, you can also combine this book with the Refactoring Pyramid explained in simple steps (Java) course by Woldek Karkowoski on Udemy.
Refactoring Pyramid explained in simple steps (Java)
My name is Włodek Krakowski. I am an independent technical trainer, Team Teader and also a developer - to sharpen my…
It’s a great online course with live examples to refactor code to make it better. There is no better way to learn than watching someone who takes a working legacy code and makes it better.
9. Object-oriented analysis and design by Grady Booch
One more thing an experienced programmer should be good at is object-oriented analysis and design. A good plan is essential for robust and maintainable software.
If you are not good at finding your class and object and the relationship between them, you will introduce unnecessary dependency and make the software complex.
There is a reason why experienced programmers and architects are involved in the design process. If you need some practice to learn how to apply object-oriented design techniques in real-world scenarios then I highly recommend you to join the Grokking the Object-Oriented Design Interview course on Educative.
This is a text-based interactive course that allows you to practice coding right from your browser. This course will teach you how to design popular websites and how to design classic design problems like Parking Lot, designing Chess games, etc.
You can either join this course individually or you can take an Educative subscription for $14.9 per month to get access to their 250+ text-based, interactive courses.
10. The Effective Engineer
I have always said that an experienced programmer should pose all-rounder skills. He needs to be good not just at coding but also at gathering requirements, communicating with peers and stakeholders, creating and following the process, and doing all non-technical things which matter. This is why I am suggesting you read this book.
This is an experienced, driven book, where the author explains that why working 70 to 80 hours a week doesn’t make sense and how you can achieve the same impact on how he develops the mindset to become more productive and taking control of your career.
Btw, if you aim to become a solution architect then I also suggest you go through this awesome course — How to become an Outstanding Solution Architect on Udemy. It’s a great course to learn all the hard and soft skills you need to take your software architecture skills to the next level.
That’s all about some must-read books for experienced programmers. As I said, these books are for programmers and software developers and applicable to all programmers programming in Java, C++, Python, Ruby, or any other language.
They are not language-specific but contains all-time classic knowledge about coding, programming, how to structure code, how to design software, how to test, how to gather requirement and all-important skills related to software development an experienced programmer should know.
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Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like these advanced Programming and Software books and courses then please share them with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback then please drop a note.
P. S. — If you are new to the Programming world then I suggest you start your journey with Python, one of the most popular languages of the programming world. If you need recommendations I highly recommend The Complete Python 3 Bootcamp course by Jose Portilla on Udemy.