Logan Romford, software developer / @LoganRomford
Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an experienced programmer looking to level up your skills, there’s no shortage of programming books out there to choose from. But which ones are worth your time? We turned to Reddit’s LearnProgramming community to find out.
TOP Programming Books recommended on Reddit:
- “Code Complete” by Steve McConnell
- “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin
- “Head First Java” by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates
- “Learn Python the Hard Way” by Zed A. Shaw
- “HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites” by Jon Duckett
- “iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” by Christian Keur and Aaron Hillegass
- “Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” by Bill Phillips and Brian Hardy
- “Game Programming Patterns” by Robert Nystrom
- “Python Machine Learning” by Sebastian Raschka.
One of the most upvoted recommendations on the thread was for the book “Code Complete” by Steve McConnell. This book offers a comprehensive guide to software construction and is widely regarded as a classic in the field. It covers everything from coding style to design principles to testing methodologies, making it a must-read for programmers of all levels.
Another popular recommendation was “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin. This book emphasizes the importance of writing code that is easy to read, maintain, and understand. It offers practical advice on topics like naming conventions, code formatting, and refactoring, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to write high-quality code.
For those just starting out, “Head First Java” by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates came highly recommended. This book takes a hands-on, interactive approach to teaching programming concepts, using visual aids and real-world examples to help readers learn. It’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to learn Java from the ground up.
Another great book for beginners is “Learn Python the Hard Way” by Zed A. Shaw. Despite its name, this book takes a gentle approach to teaching Python, breaking concepts down into small, manageable pieces. It includes plenty of exercises and examples to help readers build their skills, making it a great choice for those new to programming.
Another highly recommended book for web development is “HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites” by Jon Duckett. This book covers the basics of HTML and CSS and goes on to explore more advanced topics like responsive design and web typography. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to build modern, visually appealing websites.
For those looking to specialize in mobile development, “iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” by Christian Keur and Aaron Hillegass came highly recommended. This book offers a comprehensive guide to developing iOS applications, covering everything from UI design to data persistence. It’s an excellent resource for anyone looking to build apps for the iPhone or iPad.
Another highly recommended book for mobile development is “Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide” by Bill Phillips and Brian Hardy. This book offers a similar comprehensive guide to developing Android applications, covering topics like user interface design, database management, and networking. It’s an excellent choice for anyone looking to build apps for the Android platform.
For those interested in game development, “Game Programming Patterns” by Robert Nystrom was a popular recommendation. This book offers a practical guide to writing game code that is efficient, maintainable, and easy to understand. It covers topics like game loops, entity systems, and AI algorithms, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to build their own games.
As well as recommending specific programming books, many commenters on the LearnProgramming thread shared their personal experiences of using books to learn programming. One user noted the importance of finding a book that suited their learning style, saying, “I found that I learned best when I had a physical book in front of me that I could take notes in and highlight important points. Digital books just didn’t work for me in the same way.” Another user echoed this sentiment, saying, “I like to read books cover to cover and work through the exercises, but I know some people prefer to skip around and focus on the parts they find most interesting. It’s important to find what works for you.”
Several commenters also noted the importance of supplementing book learning with practical experience. One user shared their experience of using books to learn the basics of programming before moving on to building their own projects, saying, “Books are great for giving you a solid foundation, but you really start to learn when you start building things on your own. I found that I was able to apply what I learned from books more effectively when I was actually building something.” Another user suggested using books as a reference rather than relying on them exclusively, saying, “I find that I rarely read programming books cover to cover. Instead, I use them as a reference when I encounter a problem I don’t know how to solve.”
Finally, some commenters noted the importance of keeping up with new developments in the field. One user suggested regularly revisiting programming books to stay up to date, saying, “Programming is a constantly evolving field, and it’s important to keep learning and adapting. I like to go back and reread books I’ve already read to see if there are any new insights I can gain.” Another user suggested supplementing book learning with online resources, saying, “Books are great, but there are so many free online resources available now that can help you learn new skills and stay up to date with new developments.”
In conclusion, while programming books can be an excellent resource for learning new skills and building a solid foundation in programming, it’s important to find what works best for your learning style and supplement book learning with practical experience and staying up-to-date with new developments in the field. As one commenter put it, “There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to learning programming. It’s all about finding what works best for you and sticking with it.”