Questions on books related to programming, software development, computer science, etc. Do not ask for book recommendations; review the existing questions, as many popular books already have questions about them.

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87
votes
27answers
14k views

Why do people use programming books? [closed]

I find that when someone asks what is the best way to learn how to program, people usually provide them with references to a bunch texts written by various authors. However I don't believe many ...
56
votes
34answers
6k views

What non-programming books should a programmer read to help develop programming/thinking skills? [closed]

There are a lot of questions about what programming books should be on the programmer's bookshelf. How about non-programming related books that can help you become a better programmer or developer? It ...
51
votes
9answers
11k views

I'm a CS student, and honestly, I don't understand Knuth's books [on hold]

I stumbled upon this quote from Bill Gates: "You should definitely send me a resume if you can read the whole thing." He was talking about The Art of Programming books. So I was pretty curious and ...
49
votes
28answers
12k views

How do people read big technical books? [closed]

I see that most of the good programmers have the habit of reading big books for learning about technology. What does it really take to read technical books, apart from the real interest on the ...
48
votes
12answers
9k views

Is there a canonical book on mathematics for programmers? [closed]

I'm a self-taught programmer. I am honestly not good in math. What advice you can give to improve my Mathematical skills so that I will not be so insecure around my fellow programmers? What are the ...
46
votes
18answers
4k views

Is there an expiration date for well regarded, but old books on programming?

After reading a question about books every programmer should read, I wonder if the following should be considered obsolete: Code complete: 1st edition in 1993; 2nd edition in May, 2004 Introduction ...
44
votes
9answers
2k views

Could spending time on Programmers.SE or Stack Overflow be substitute of good programming books for a non-beginner? [closed]

Could spending time (and actively participating) on Programmers.SE and Stack Overflow help me improve my programming skills any close to what spending time on reading a book like Code Complete 2 ...
37
votes
15answers
9k views

The Art of Computer Programming - To read or not to read? [closed]

There are lots of books about programming out there, and it seems Code Complete is pretty much at the top of most people's list of "must-read programming books", but what about The Art of Computer ...
37
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the key points of Code Complete?

I have heard a lot of people mention Code Complete as a book worthwhile reading. Unfortunately, I am so busy that I don't have time to read it, so can anyone tell me what the key points of the book ...
33
votes
15answers
3k views

What does Clean Code mean to you? [closed]

A group of developers and I recently started a book club, and our first book of choice is Clean Code by Robert C. Martin. It is a great book on software craftsmanship and I would highly recommend it. ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

What are the key points of Working Effectively with Legacy Code?

I've seen the book Working Effectively with Legacy Code recommended a few times. What are the key points of this book? Is there much more to dealing with legacy code than adding unit/integration ...
28
votes
6answers
902 views

Is it worthwhile to author programming books?

I have the opportunity to get involved in authoring a programming book on a relatively new and interesting technology. For those who don't know authoring a programming book is really an investment ...
26
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you maximise the knowledge that you gain from a programming book?

Not because I care how long it takes someone to read a book, but more because I'm interested in how people get the knowledge from a book (or I guess other sources) into their brains in the best, most ...
25
votes
5answers
6k views

Where are all the functional programming design patterns?

OO programming literature is full of design patterns. Most books on object oriented programming dedicate a chapter or two to design patterns like factories and decorators. So what are the equivalent ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the most relevant books on software project estimation? [closed]

Is there a book out there that's the de-facto standard for describing best practices and other helpful information about software project estimation? What about that book makes it special?
23
votes
6answers
6k views

Is there a canonical book for learning Java as an experienced developer? [closed]

I have been a .NET developer now for about the past 5/6 years give or take. I have never done any professional Java development and the last time I really touched it was probably back in college. I ...
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Should I buy Clean Code after reading The Clean Coder? [closed]

I"m currently reading The Clean Coder by Robert C. Martin. It's a great book and I'm learning a lot from it. My objective is to become a "professional" programmer so I'm trying to learn the most I ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How to learn Agile as a Solo Developer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What good book shoud I buy to learn Agile from scratch? It seem that Agile for the solo developer is a good idea. But how to learn it? Is there any good book, web ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a canonical book on F#? [closed]

I'm planning to learn F#. I'm not a very beginner since I know Standard ML, C# and Erlang. Is there a book out there that's the de-facto standard for describing best practices, design methodologies, ...
19
votes
11answers
2k views

I've learned so much about OO programming I have no idea how to write procedural code. What's a good way to learn?

When I learned to program, I learned Object Oriented Programming very early on. For a while, I blundered around with my beautiful hammer, trying to use it for everything, partially because I had no ...
19
votes
6answers
800 views

Books and stories on programming culture, specifically in the 80's / early 90's

I've enjoyed a number of (fiction/non-fiction books) about hacker culture and running a software business in the 80's, 90's. For some reason things seemed so much more exciting back then. Examples ...
19
votes
4answers
4k views

How can a self-taught programmer learn more about Computer Science? [closed]

I'm a self taught iOS (iPhone/iPad) programmer but didn't study CS in school. Are there any books or site I can study that will teach more about CS, in general. For example some common practices and ...
19
votes
1answer
962 views

Are there any A.I. resources that explain the concepts and present source code?

Are there any A.I. resources that explain the concepts and present source code, similarly to AI Horizon? I've read books and research papers but they generally present a conceptual approach, without ...
18
votes
11answers
7k views

Is there a canonical book on design patterns? [closed]

I am interested in learning design patterns and would like to know what are considered top tier books in learning this subject. Is there a book out there that's the de-facto standard for describing ...
18
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I read “Head First Design Patterns” as my first design pattern book? [closed]

I'm planning to read a book to gain some good knowledge of design patterns, why we use them, how to apply them and how to choose the best design for my software. So I have two books on my desk right ...
17
votes
8answers
3k views

“Gödel, Escher, Bach” still valid today? [closed]

I have just completed a course on computability and logic which was an interesting course. The lecturer recommend a few books on his slides, which include "Gödel, Escher, Bach". I can see the book is ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a canonical source for learning C# and .NET internals?

I have been a C++ programmer for last several years with a bit of C# here and there. In my latest job, I work heavily on C#. I picked most of my C# by following the code-base or random google searches ...
17
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a canonical tutorial or book on functional programming concepts?

Coming from a procedural/OO programming background, I tend to write Scheme programs in a procedural fashion. I would be intersted in learning Scheme or Lisp in a functional way from the ground up, to ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

What modern alternatives to Numerical Recipes exist?

In the past, the Numerical Recipes book was considered the gold standard reference for numerical algorithms. The earliest Fortran Edition was followed by editions in C and C++ and others, bringing it ...
16
votes
11answers
2k views

Why do programming books have such wacky cover art? [closed]

All the O'reilly titles, and numerous other programming books usually have a typified icon for their covert art. Sometimes it's minstrels, or medieval figures, and sometimes its camels and strange ...
16
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the correct order to read these books? [closed]

I'm a junior C# developer, I learned at home and now I got my first job :) I want to buy these books. But what is the correct order to read these books? Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Accessible book on functional programming [closed]

I'm looking for a book that explains functional programming in an accessible manner. Also I would prefer one that isn't too dull, and doesn't use an esoteric language. Ideally it will use examples ...
16
votes
4answers
15k views

Which operating system book do you recommend? [closed]

I want to read a good book about operating systems. More specifically, I want to read about how common problems - such as managing virtual memory, handling traps, doing context switches, managing ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the difference in content between Chris Okasaki's 1996 thesis and 1999 book, Purely Functional Data Structures?

I want to read Purely Functional Data Structures. I've easily found the thesis (which is freely available as a PDF), but see that there's a book available also. So I'd like to know what the ...
15
votes
11answers
908 views

Software development books are useful, but when to find the time to read them? [closed]

I have 5 books in my "read-wish-list". When do I read them? I mean I could force myself to use 1 hour during working hours, but this will last for 2 days then someone will ask me to do more "high ...
14
votes
8answers
2k views

Is the GoF book still the one to read? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a canonical book on design patterns? I'd like to read a design patterns book. GoF for sure is the one to read. But after 15 years is it still valid, I mean ...
13
votes
11answers
5k views

How are head first books? [closed]

I have never read any of them but I find their style interesting and unique. I am not sure if they are worth giving money/time?
13
votes
5answers
892 views

Javascript - is this a grey area for anyone else?

I have a firm understanding of HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL (and to some extent apache/linux) and find that one of the things missing from my 'web development knowledge base' is javascript - creating richer ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Is there a canonical book on x86 assembly? [closed]

There are lots of books on assembly. However, they usually deal with ISAs about which I don't care, such as MIPS or ARM. I don't deal with these architectures; there's no reason for me to try to learn ...
13
votes
4answers
9k views

Prerequisite math skill for Introduction to Algorithms (CLRS) book

I already have knowledge about basic algorithms. Now I plan to study more advance algorithms and I decide to go with Introduction to Algorithms. I'm not sure, do I need to refresh my math's skill ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Learning Asynchronous programming

Asynchronous non-blocking event driven programming seems to be all the rage. I have a basic conceptual understanding of what this all means. However what I'm not sure is when and where my code can ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Mathematics for Computer Science [closed]

I am going into university next year. I think maths would be one of the more important aspects of computer science. I recently saw the MIT Introduction to Algorithms video on YouTube and the maths ...
13
votes
2answers
945 views

Is “Analysis Patterns: Reusable Object Models” Still A Good Book To Use For Its Subject Matter Today?

Is "Analysis Patterns: Reusable Object Models" by Martin Fowler (published 1996) still a good book to use for the content it covers? Are there other good books that cover the same content? Are there ...
12
votes
14answers
948 views

Do you do the exercises when reading a book? [closed]

How many of you actually work out the exercises when learning from a book (any programming related book), I'm currently working my way through a C++ book and find that some of the exercises I feel I ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there a canonical book on Scala?

I'm interested in learning Scala, but due to is relative newness, I can't seem to find a whole lot of books about it. Is there a book out there that's the de-facto standard for describing best ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Approaching Java/JVM internals

I've programmed in Java for about 8 years and I know the language quite well as a developer, but my goal is to deepen my knowledge of the internals. I've taken undergraduate courses in PL design, but ...
12
votes
3answers
9k views

Is Safari Books Online still the best game in town? [closed]

I'm a Safari Books subscriber and have been for years. I like having all the books available immediately. I was wondering if there was a better competing service. Does anyone know if there's ...
12
votes
4answers
671 views

What's the best way to run a technical book club?

At work, we've been doing lunchtime book clubs for a while. So far we've done: Clean Code Working Effectively with Legacy Code The Pragmatic Programmer We read a chapter per week, and one person ...
12
votes
2answers
332 views

Are there any books that teach techniques for effective pair programming? [closed]

I’ve just read the pair programming chapter of ‘Making Software’ by Andy Oram, and I’d like to try it when I next get an opportunity. The chapter mentions that in one of the studies, the subjects ...
11
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it beneficial to read old Java programming books? [closed]

Many of my Java books are 5 - 10 years old. Does it still help to read them, or should I use something within 2 years.