Books Recommendations for Programming Excellence

Yesterday I asked people on twitter for recommendations for things to read to improve as a programmer. I’m looking mainly for things on the philosophy side of software engineering. I do realize that practice is the most important thing, but sometimes you run into a design question and it’s always helpful to realize that very smart people have, indeed, thought about these things before.

I assembled the book recommendations into a bitly bundle. I’ve only read a few of these (generally the older books) and so I can’t recommend specifics, but if you’d care to take a look here they are!

If you see something that you think should be included, please do let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.

16 Comments on “Books Recommendations for Programming Excellence”

  1. John Cook says:

    On the philosophical side, I’d recommend “Coders at Work” by Peter Seibel. It’s a collection of 15 interviews with famous programmers.

  2. I recommend “Pragmatic Programmer”, “Passionate Programmer”, and “Productive Programmer” to my interns and they love it. Recently, one of my interns loved “Functional Programming for the Object-Oriented Programmer”

  3. stansbuj says:

    Elements of Computing Systems by Nisan and Schocken. I’ve used it two semesters now at our magnet high school, and the kids love building everything from logic gates to an operating system.

    • Hilary Mason says:

      I actually just got a copy of this, and I’m excited to read through it. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Guest says:

      Great Hillary! Let me know what you think of it. Two of my kids are now on project 10 out of 12 projects. I’m hoping they get to do Project 12, Operating Systems, before the end of the semester.

  4. Al says:

    DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith and Programming Collective Intelligence by Toby Segaran. Good Javascript form and beautiful Python code for machine learning :)

  5. faif says:

    There’s no way to programming excellence without studying The Art Of Computer Programming.

    • Zulu5 says:

      Μωρή γαμιόλα, σαπιοκοιλία κωλόβλαχε, μάθε πρώτα ελληνικά και μετά σχολίασε στα αγγλικά. ΞΕΚΩΛΙΑΡΑ

  6. Kabamaru Igano says:

    Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives . It’s about the mechanics of social networking, but if you read it, you will want to start messing with data analysis, graphs, SNA.

  7. Marcus says:


  8. jimmybrion says:

    Check “Philosophy and Engineering: An Emerging Agenda” By Ibo van de Poel & David E. Goldberg. It’s available in Amazon

  9. karatedog says:

    I need a head replacement before I delve into Haskell (☉_☉)