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50 Books Every Geek Should Read

50 Books Every Geek Should Read

Eric Dahl / InsideTech

January 12, 2010

Software Development

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“The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master,” Andrew Hunt, David Thomas
“Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction,” Steve McConnell
“Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software,” Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John M. Vlissides
These three books belong on the shelf of any programmer. “Code Complete” and “Pragmatic Programmer” are both chock full of advice that will help you clean up your software, write better code, and waste less time doing it. “Design Patterns…” digs even deeper into object-oriented design, cataloging successful approaches you can apply to your own projects.


“Dreaming in Code,” Scott Rosenberg
How many of the classic software development mistakes can one team make? I don’t know, but at times it’s looked as if the engineers behind Mitch Kapor’s “Chandler” were trying to find out. Scott Rosenberg chronicles the first 3 years of the project as they attempt to build an open-source successor to Kapor’s legendary Lotus Agenda PIM (Personal Information Manager). (Chandler finally released a 1.0 version on August 8th.)


“The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering,” Frederick P. Brooks
Everyone working on software should read this book. Brooks explains why most software projects continue to fall behind, why adding bodies to a team doesn’t always make things go faster, and how to handle specifications, documentation, and code freezes.


“Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think,” Andy Oram
The title pretty much says it all for this one: Some of today’s top developers explaining how they think about problems. If you’ve ever written code, you’re sure to find bits of yourself (and more than a little inspiration) here.

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