5 must-read books for developers

Being a successful programmer is not set in stone. In order to master your skills, you should regularly broaden your knowledge. The best way to learn is obviously reading. Below you will find the list of top five books every programmer should read. The list includes books that cover the code principles and tips, as well as some soft skills and best practices software developers should follow to work as efficiently as possible.

Robert C. Martin ‘Clean Code’

Probably the best classic book for software newbies. If you want to learn how to write good and clean code, ‘Clean code’ will introduce you to all the tricks and patterns. You will learn how to properly name a variable, how to write a better method, how to structure your code better, and much more. The book also explains basic approaches to coding. A great plus for readability. 

Andrew Hunt and David Thomas ‘The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery’

This complex book will show you how to make use of different methods and present you with development methodologies. ‘The Pragmatic Programmer’ covers two areas – programming and software engineering. It is kind of a collection of tips on how to improve your code and development process. If you are looking for best practices – it has got you covered. If you need hundreds of pages of theory – you won’t find it in this book.


Fred Brooks ‘The Mythical Man-month: Essays on Software Engineering’

For many programmers and software developers, this book is the Bible. Although it was written and published in the 1970s, it’s a must-read if you want to master your programming skills. It is also useful for engineers and project managers. It’s a combination of real-life examples and rules that you should apply in the software development process. 

Jon Bentley ‘Programming Pearls’

Not a very classic and usual book when compared to other programming books. However, ‘Programming Pearls’ is considered to be one of the most influential books to help a person think like a programmer or software developer. In the book, you will find many programming concepts explained, as well as practical problems with the most reasonable solutions. While talking about ‘Programming Pearls’, the writing style is something that has to be mentioned. The book is just awesome to read!

Michal Kurzeja ‘Docker Deep Dive’

Absolute mus-read for developers using Docker on a daily basis. For some devs, docker can be salvation, for others it can be a real hell. How come opinions on the very same tool are so different? Actually, difference doesn’t lay in Docker itself, but on how it is used by programmers. Docker Deep Dive is a practical guide on how to use Docker correctly so that it will boost the development. Docker optimisation book with techniques that will take your Docker containers to the next level.

Martin Fowler, Kent Beck ‘Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code’

A perfect book for those who want to learn everything about refactoring. It takes the reader through a tour of how to make the improvements happen. The book covers all the principles of refactoring – when and why to refactor the code, how to approach the process etc.

 these are just small corrections that will make other people’s lives easier. This may be renaming a variable to a more meaningful name or breaking up a long function. The main idea behind the boy scout rule is a project where the code got better over time. It’s continuous improvement, it is not enough to write the code well. The code should be kept clean over time. The examples of boy scout rule are deprecations, unused code, naming (names of variables, classes, methods etc. – they all should have a name), code formatting, and code duplication.


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