Books for programmers

These are all books that I have learned much from reading, and that I recommend you to read if you are a programmer. (If you’ve seen this list before, I’m making Tesugen a “pure” blog. This was an individual page before, but now I’ve removed it. Hence this post.)

  • Refactoring by Martin Fowler. This book teaches good design via the notion of “code smells”, which alone makes the book worth its price. Most important, however, it convinces you that code is possible to change to an extent that you often don’t dare to. The way to do this is by learning all the various refactorings, over which the larger part of the book is a catalog.
  • Applying UML and Patterns by Craig Larman. This book defines a set of patterns called GRASP, for General Responsibility Assignment Software Patterns, and for me, they are the reason to buy this book. I have found that they help me a lot when thinking over my options when doing design. The rest of the book is an example of how to use the Unified Process and these patterns to design a point of sale terminal.
  • Design Patterns by Erich Gamma, et al. This book defines “design patterns” and consists of a catalog of them. Although probably not the easiest intro to patterns, this is the authoritative work. Patterns are a way to learn good design by example.
  • Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck. Be courageous! Cooperate! Communicate! Deal with today’s problems today instead of tomorrow’s! Fight complexity! Think less, do more! And above all, have fun! Even if you aren’t planning to practice XP, this book will challenge your views on programming.
  • The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks. Written 25 years ago by a man who managed large development teams at IBM. Surprisingly (or not), it is still very valid today, ranging from architecture to process, besides being interesting for historical reasons.

The above was posted to my personal weblog on July 6, 2002. My name is Peter Lindberg and I am a thirtysomething software developer and dad living in Stockholm, Sweden. Here, you’ll find posts in English and Swedish about whatever happens to interest me for the moment.


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