11 Best Books Software Developers Need to Have on their Shelves

Today with this article, I will be talking about some of the most remarkable examples of books for software developers or anybody interested in mastering the subject and art of software.

I hope you’ll find them useful. 

Let’s go. 🤩

3 Best Books for Stepping Up Your Coding Game

1- Clean Code 

Quick info 

This brilliant software development book was written by Robert C. Martin in 2002 and has been one of the best examples of the genre ever since. It became so wildly popular that Martin came up with a whole series right afterward.

This book, however, mainly focuses on how to write code in an easy and sustainable way – not solely for the purpose of creating an application, but also for other software engineers and developers who are thinking about working on coding in the future.  

About the author 

Robert C. Martin is the author of Clean Code and other Clean Coder books, he’s also one of the creators of the Agile manifesto. Usually called Uncle Bob, Robert C. Martin is an American born in 1952. He works as a software engineer, a lecturer, and has become a best-time seller thanks to his amazing books.

Why should you have it?

This book will help you understand the difference between good and bad coding, how to write good code and how to change a bad code – transforming it into a good one. You will also get to learn how to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classes. You’ll have an idea about how to format code for maximum readability and how to create test-driven development!

Reviews

Link 

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

2- Working Effectively with Legacy Code

Quick info

Working Effectively with Legacy Code is a book that helps readers learn how to use extensive testing to examine and stabilize the stressing and confusing legacy code. From the very beginning, it’s a book that talks about the process of taming legacy code and how you can turn it into a much easier -and cheaper- experience for yourself. Since rewriting all the existing code can turn out to be very pricy and time-consuming, this book is here to teach you how to cost effectively handle the basic legacy code problems that everybody’s facing. 

About the author

Michael Feathers is the Chief Architect at Globant, a director, and the author of Working Effectively with Legacy Code. He’s considered a great mentor, trainer, and a keynote speaker. He graduated from Florida International University and worked the first 7 years from his 20 years of experiences as a developer, designer and a software engineer. 

Why should you have it?

This book will enable you to understand the basic mechanics of software and its changes: adding features, getting rid of bugs or fractions, enhancing design, and improving the overall performance. You will also get to learn how to get legacy code into a test harness, and understand the exact location where the bad code is and where the changes must be made.  

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

3- Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction 

Quick info

This must-read book by Steve McConnell has managed to become one of the most efficient software engineering books that centers around programming given the fact that it has been helping new developers and experienced programmers worldwide for more than a decade. Having been fully updated and revised, this classic book has numerous leading-edge practices in addition to hundreds of new code samples. 

About the author

Steve McConnell is best known as the author of multiple software development books. His book Code Complete is referred to as the ‘‘Coding Bible.’‘ His most recent book is More Effective Agile: A Roadmap for Software Leaders.  

Why should you have it?

Regardless of your experience level, project size, or development atmosphere, this programming book will inform and motivate you to think, plan, and build the highest quality code. You’ll also be exposed to practical advice considering how to debug problems instantly and efficiently, and apply effective techniques to eliminate possible errors. 

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

Best 3 Books for Mastering Design Patterns 

4- Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

Quick info

Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software was published back in 1994, a considerably long time ago, given the fact that the world of software engineering is a constantly evolving and rapidly changing environment. However, almost 30 years later, this book still manages to keep its relevancy and usefulness for programmers, software teams and developers that are interested in mastering the subject. 

The four writers of this book – Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides – are globally accepted and known in the world of developing software, and they’re usually known for their nickname: the Gang of Four. 

About the author

Dr. Erich Gamma is a technical director at the Software Technology Center of Object Technology Internation set in Zurich, Switzerland.

Dr. Richard Helm is also a current member of the Object Technology Practice Group in the IBM Consulting Group set in Sydney, Australia. 

Dr. Ralph Johnson is currently a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Computer Science Department.

John Vlissides is a member of the research staff at the IBM T.J Watson Research Center in Hawthorne, NY.

Why should you have it?

If you’re interested in improving how you organize your coding skills and shape your software-related solutions into recognizable forms that can be sustained, this is the book you’re looking for. It will simply teach you how to master the art of software engineering and will provide you a handful of examples to offer a better understanding. 

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

5- Head First Design Patterns 

Quick info

There’s a common misbelief that software development books cannot be that fun 🤫 to read. And they’re usually quite complicated to understand. This book is here to prove them all wrong. The writers go through 13 basic design patterns within the book and provide numerous examples with illustrations to offer a better understanding. The overall format also resembles a PowerPoint presentation that’s neatly designed and created – making the whole reading process engaging and seamless. 

About the author

Eric Freeman was previously the CTO Of Disney Online & Disney.com at The Walt Disney Company. He is now working on WickedlySmart.com and enjoys his life with his wife and daughter in Texas. 

Elisabeth Robson is the co-founder of Wickedly Smart, and she’s also the co-author of four best-sellers, including Head First Design Patterns. 

Bert Bates is a software developer, a Java instructor, and a co-developer of the upcoming EJB exam, with  20 years of experience.

Kathy Sierra was previously a game developer and has been interested in learning theory since those days. She has recently become a master trainer for Sun Microsystems. 

Why should you have it?

Personally, I think that struggling with books and spending too much time trying to understand them is quite frustrating. This is actually makes this book special. Head First Design Patterns uses a visually engaging format primarily designed for the way people’s brains operate, avoiding a text-heavy focus that bores them to death. 

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

6- Serverless Design Patterns and Best Practices

Quick info

If you’re a professional software developer, professional programmer, architect, or just someone wishing to create serverless apps, this book is THE book for you. As a great provider of the skills and knowledge needed to develop scalable serverless applications, this book has been educating its readers and shedding light upon many common problems developers face daily while running servers and systems.

About the author 

Brian Zambrano is a software architect and engineer wth a cloud-based SaaS application design background. Since 2009, Zambrano has been working with AWS. Recently, he has become more interested in cloud architecture with AWS using serverless techniques. 

Why should you have it?

This book will assist you in your process of learning the in-depth details of widely popular software designs and how they are being applied to serverless technologies. With the help of it, you’ll be able to understand the key concepts and ingredients of serverless designs.  

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book.  

Best 2 Books for Web Development  

7- Don’t Make Me Think 

Quick info

Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, and ever since its publication, it has greatly impacted thousands of web designers and developers. The writer and his guiding attitude are proven to help readers understand the basic principles of intuition and how it affects navigation.

About the author

Steve Krug is a usability consultant with more than 30 years of experience working as a user advocate for big names such as Apple, Lexus, Netscape, and more. He has become a wildly recognized speaker on usability design, especially after the big success of his first book, Don’t Make Me Think.

Why should you have it?

This book is especially great if you’re looking for a guide that will teach you how to build functional and eye-appealing web pages that will work seamlessly, be solid, and be accessible from anywhere in the world.  

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

8- Learning Web Design

Quick info

Learning Web Design is the first step in getting the hang of making web pages from scratch. Guiding you from the very beginning, this book helps you understand how the web itself and the web pages work, then progressively move on from there. 

About the author

Jennifer Niederst Robbins is known to be one of the first designers for the Web. She has been designing since 1993 and working as the designer of O’Reilly’s Global Network Navigator.  

Why should you have it?

This book is guaranteed to inform you about how to build HTML pages with text, links, forms, tables, and images, how exactly JavaScript works, and the overall importance of language in web design processes. 

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

Best 3 Books for Computer Programming

9- Introduction to Algorithms 

Quick info

Introduction to Algorithms is a unique piece of work that creates a combination between particularity and extensiveness. It includes a wide range of algorithms, all of which can be seen and studied in-depth yet still ensure that all readers understand the whole content.

About the author

All four authors are professors – 

Thomas H. Cormen is a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

Charles E. Leiserson is also a professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.

Ronald L. Rivest is Institute Professor at MIT.

Clifford Stein is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research and Computer Science at University of Colombia.

Why should you have it?

This book will teach you all about the essentials – the writing style, how to make it clearer, more personal, and more to-the-point, reader feedback, how to improve it, visual presentations, exercises, problems, online algorithms, machine learning, and more.

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book. 

10- The Pragmatic Programmer 

Quick info

This book about computer programming and software engineering was written by the world famous Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. Published in October 1999, the book has been used as a lecture book in many university courses given the fact that it’s extremely educational and provides a great deal of information. 

About the author

Andy Hunt is a writer and a publisher. He is the name behind the best-selling classic The Pragmatic Programmer, and he’s the co-author of Pragmatic Thinking & Learning, award-winning Practices of an Agile Developer, Learn to Program with Minecraft Plugins: Create Flying Creepers and Flaming Cows in Java for kids. He’s written many articles and novels in the Conglommora series. 

Why should you have it?

If you choose to read this book, you’ll learn how to write the right code, build teams, avoid security vulnerabilities, instantly solve code-related problems, and much more!

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book.

11- Programming Pearls

Quick info

Jon Bentley’s Programming Pearls is considered among the essential books when it comes to experienced developers and their favorite things to read. The book focuses on real-life issues shared by real programmers – providing valuable insight and transparency.  

About the author

Jon Bentley is a British journalist and television presenter. He got his education at Millfield and Oriel College, Oxford. He primarily specializes in television production and journalism. 

Why should you have it?

This book is all about focusing on what matters the most. It teaches you how to run tests, how to set representations, avoid problems, and much more about programming methods and environments. 

Reviews

Link

Here’s the Amazon link to this book.


Frequently Asked Questions:


What books should software developers read?

  1. Programming Pearls by Jon Bentley
  2. The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt
  3. Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  4. Head First Design Patterns by Eric Freeman

Which subject is best for a software developer for self-development?

Learning a programming language alongside data structures and algorithms may be the most important and basic step to practicing self-development in the journey that leads to becoming a software developer. 

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Suay Çakırca

I'm one of UserGuiding’s creative content writers that work hard every day to come up with 💯 content. I usually write about UX, onboarding, and growth. If you like what you read, let’s connect on LinkedIn to talk more about it! I’ll be replying with my cat on my lap and will most probably pause a movie, but hey, I don't mind at all!