Jake Worth

Developer Reading List

September 28, 20191 min read

Getting started as a programmer, what books should one read? This is my list of the programming books that I think are essential for folks entering the field.

These books are classics. They introduced ideas and terminology that changed the discourse. I believe being aware of these seismic shifts is an important part of doing this work.

Is this list complete? No. I’m still reading, and I expect to always be doing so. I will update this list over time with new classics I discover. In that sense, the date on this post is just the moment when I first made the list. It will be updated.

Please reach out to me if you have recommended additions to this list.

My List

  • Beck, Kent and Andres, Cynthia. Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. XP informs so much of modern software development that it’s hard to grasp how revolutionary it was.
  • Hoover, Dave and Oshineye, Adewale. Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman. This book will help anyone create a strategy for their early programming career.
  • Hunt, Andrew and Thomas, David. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. A broad survey of the techniques every programmer must know.
  • Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability. A clear, concise overview of how good UI reduces the amount of arbitrary choices asked of users.
  • Metz, Sandi. Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby. Sandi is my hero! Perhaps the defining introduction to OO.
  • Weinberg, Gerald M. The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully. Not just for consultants, but anyone who would like to influence a technical organization.

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Jake Worth

I'm Jake Worth, a web developer. Home About Now Newsletter