The programmer's complete, but rarely touched, library

Credit: flickr/scottjacksonx

So says programming blogger Bill the Lizard, who starts his post with 10 books about programming most programmers have read and use on a regular basis. The list of 10 books covers C and C++ and Java, along with general programming reference books. His second list is "Books Programmers Claim to Have Read," a list of college textbooks and reference works.

Yes, the list is subjective, and yes, programmers have been discussing these books for years. One important plea from Bill the Lizard is that programmers should stop recommending books they haven't read personally. Such a rule will certainly cut down the list of "classics" that look good on the shelf, but rarely get opened.

I agree

I totally agree about Design Patterns. That is perhaps the driest (I mistyped that as "direst"; Freudian slip?) technical book (or any book for that matter) I have ever tried (and failed) to read.

cletus on

The Art of Computer Programming's not really a book you'd read straight through.. It's more of an encyclopedia.

lally on

Reading is not enough. I've met many mediocre programmers who read through many books and don't get much better at their craft. You have to practice, at least the easy part.

alecco on

I loved that book

I disagree with a few points. First, TC++PL is a great book to read cover-to-cover if you're a hobby programmer who is just getting into serious programming.

Senor Anonymo on

I read Code Complete while in college and thought it really helped my programming.

matwood on

The C++ Programming Language - is *superb. I had the 2nd edition, gave it away and bought the third. * - where superb only applies to people who are serious about grokking the language.

Anonymous on

Here's a thought

I usually recommend Head First Java to anyone who has never programmed before.

Bill the Lizard on

There's a certain mystique about books and their possession since the earliest days of books. In days far gone by, books indicated wealth, they were rare and hard to reproduce.

SuperGrade on

Let's be brutally honest: if you haven't already absorbed the principles in "Code Complete" by osmosis, you've been a professional programmer for less than 4 years.

[deleted] on

Every discipline includes must-reads. Every discipline also includes those who haven't read the must-reads, and don't want to admit that fact.

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