This is an email from Editors choice, a newsletter by Zero Equals False.

Programming Books You Wish You Read Earlier

Marty Jacobs
Jul 7 · 3 min read

There are so many programming books out there, sometimes it’s hard to know what books are best. Programming itself is so broad and there are so many concepts to learn. This book list is a curation of the most valuable books for each major Software category.

These programming books are beneficial for your programming career, from beginner to expert. These books will help you day-to-day with your general programming knowledge.

Besides from helping with actual coding, they also are useful sources of information for conversations, meetings, interviews, code reviews and designing programming solutions. It is certainly a good feeling when you can refer to something you have read and provide a solid answer.

Introduction to Algorithms (The MIT Press)

Introduction to Algorithms is not just an “Introduction”. This book covers the common Algorithm and Data structures used today, providing implementations and Q/A’s. Definitely a comprehensive book, and can be used as a reference manual when you are programming. Many top companies look for Algorithm and Data structure skills today, which makes this book even more valuable.

Operating System Concepts

Operating Systems Concepts covers the nuts & bolts of the OS, such as context-switching, paging, and thrashing. It’s a big book, but covers lots of ground in the underlying concepts that make up an Operating System. Reading this book you will learn about the kernel, userland and programming in the lower-levels of Computer systems. It’s not a chore to read this book.

Designing Distributed Systems: Patterns and Paradigms for Scalable, Reliable Services

Designing Distributed Systems is a book to learn architecture and patterns for designing distributed systems. This book will help you on the Software design side, providing insights on how to structure your project better to have less problems down the track.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach

The most in-demand field at the moment is Artificial Intelligence. This book provides AI algorithms and techniques in detail, covering pathfinding and building AI Agents. If you are looking for one of the best books on ai, then this is surely a top pick. There is detailed information on building Agents, graph algorithms incl. A* Search, and how to navigate in areas of uncertainty. Great book with lots of content and examples.

Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (6th Edition)

Designing the User Interface is an essential to Dev’s building on the front end. It’s jam packed with information on how to apply Human Computer Interaction concepts to modern applications. There is also placed emphasis on designing interfaces for newer aged devices.

Principles of Information Security

This is the book for Information Security at the moment. The field of security changes fast. If a new field hits mainstream, then so does the security vulnerabilities. This book shows examples of securing latest Software concepts ie. Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, and DevOps.

Artificial Intelligence for Games

AI for Games is another good book for learning AI, and bonus if you like games. It shows how to create great AI algorithms in video games, making it “just hard enough” for players to still have a fighting chance. It includes examples, tutorials and sample code to get your hands dirty.

Database System Concepts

Database System Concepts is a well-known book on learning how to wrangle Databases. It might be labelled as a ‘first year’ graduate level book, but don’t let that stop you, it provides detailed information for both commercial and experimental databases. It is a one-size-fits-all book for Databases in general.

Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools

Not just a cool book cover — this is a well-known book for designing and developing compilers. There are lots of interesting topics that aren’t really spoken about in modern-day computing conversations. This is worth picking up if you’re looking to dive a little deeper and learn compilers.

Real-Time Rendering

Real-Time Rendering is a book on Computer Graphics. Heavy on the maths, but it is a down-to-earth take on developing graphics for games, movies, and other graphic intensive applications. It provides detailed frameworks to use to help you get up and running quickly.

The Essence of Software Engineering

A book to fill in the missing knowledge-gaps of Software Engineering. It also demonstrates applications in an industrial setting. It’s more of a general Software book — good to have. Note: It’s currently free on the Kindle store (link above).

Thanks for reading!

Hungry for more books? Here are some awesome programming books.

Zero Equals False

Zero Equals False delivers quality content to the Software community.

Sign up for Editors choice

By Zero Equals False

Zero Equals False - delivering quality content to the Software community. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Marty Jacobs

Written by

Full-stack Software Developer, Writer, Builder 🔨

Zero Equals False

Zero Equals False delivers quality content to the Software community. For more quality content, head over to

Marty Jacobs

Written by

Full-stack Software Developer, Writer, Builder 🔨

Zero Equals False

Zero Equals False delivers quality content to the Software community. For more quality content, head over to

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store