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Author Topic: Best programming books ?  (Read 4578 times)

kartal

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Best programming books ?
« on: April 24, 2009, 12:44:37 AM »
Hey Guys-Gals-Furries

I am trying to compile a list of good programming books(that I can also check out from local library :) I am looking for not too advanced stuff somewhere between beginner-intermediate level. I saw some forum entries but not very spesific to snappy programming books. Bear in mind though I am not a programmer, just a hobbiest, but I have done some programming when I was very young like around 14 with Turbo Pascal (on 8086-80286), but that was a long time ago. Anyways I am trying to get back to programming. I am kind of sick of hacking stuff :) 

Here are couple I am enjoying at the moment 

-"Core Python Programming" by Wesley J. Chun. I love the way he writes and explains. He goes high and low without loosing any rythm.
-"Algorithms" by Teach Yourself. It is a nice and cute book. It explains various algorithms with pseudo codes. I kind of like it.


 

bgd77

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2009, 01:15:14 AM »
At the beginning I recommend this one: C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie
http://www.amazon.co...p/product/0131103628

And then, for C++, see this topic (the books recommended by mouser):
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=3269.0

Jibz

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2009, 01:39:37 AM »
Programming Pearls by Bentley is worth a read :).

mnemonic

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2009, 02:38:56 AM »
From an analysis point-of-view:

Applying UML and Patterns - Larman

Writing effective use-cases - Cockburn

And a disucssion of programming books wouldn't be (code) complete without mention of:

Code complete - McConnell

This is an interesting introduction to how computers work:

Code - Petzold

I'm with you too - took up development in Python years after leaving school, where I learnt in Turbo Pascal  :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2009, 07:48:38 AM »
+1 with you on Wesley Chun. Great author and a great book! :Thmbsup:

---

I was always happy with the O'Reilly Learning (fill in the blank) books.  :-* As far as I'm concerned O'Reilly does it better than anyone. I have a ton of their stuff on various topics. (IMHO, their book Active Directory provides the only decent coverage of the topic. Better even than Microsoft.)

Many professional coders got their start with an O'Reilly book. These are professional tools. Look at the reference shelf in almost any coder's workspace and you'll likely see a few well-used O'Reilly books sitting there.

The material is paced nicely - neither too fast nor too slow. I also like their style. They speak to you as though you're an adult with a brain in your head who actually intends to learn something. They don't coddle you. But they also don't lull you with four slow chapters and then take off and leave you in the dust after that.

If you methodically work your way through an O'Reilly title, you will always come away with a good understanding of the topic. I taught myself Python with Learning Python and a few other titles in their Python series. And I use what I've learned in the book Python for Unix and Linux System Administration nearly every day.

---

I also highly recommend Frederick Brooks classic The Mythical Man Month. This is THE book on software project management by the man who was central to the development of IBM's (at the time) radical System-360 operating system. It's at least 20 years old by now, but still incredibly relevant. I understand an Anniversary Edition is now out with a new Preface by Brooks himself.

This is one of the best computing books I ever read. 8)





« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 08:04:51 AM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2009, 11:55:56 AM »
I maintain that the hardest part for a new programmer is staying motivated.  So when people ask me the best book to get I usually say go to a bookstore, spend some time looking at books, and find the book that really seems to speak to you and inspire you and make you want to code, and go with that one.

This is an especially good technique if you are interested in programming but don't know yet what language you want to learn.

kartal

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2009, 12:18:32 PM »
Hey thanks for the list, some of them are already in my local library, lucky me :)

mouser, I am going for python  for now mainly because of the interactive shell and and fun syntax. But  eventually I will move to C. I have used c like script language for my daily work in the past so I am little c aware but I can not write an application with it at this point :)


xtabber

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2009, 02:44:07 PM »
Although the syntax looks similar because most derive in some way from C, C is conceptually very different from object-oriented languages like Python. The critical essence of C lies in the programmer's control over memory management and data structures, both of which are handled for you in most "modern" languages.

While Kernighan & Ritchie, "The C Programming Language" laid the foundation and is a remarkable book, I really would not consider it the best way to learn C. Probably the best introduction to C, if you have some programming experience, is Kenneth Reek, "Pointers on C" which does a superb job of explaining how C works. A good and thorough tutorial approach is Stephen Prata, "C Primer Plus"  5th edition. If you get serious about programming in C, you will want to get Harbison & Steele "C: A Reference Manual" which is exactly what its name indicates.

My choice for "best" book on programming, as opposed to using a specific language to program, would probably be Kerngihan & Pike, "The Practice of Programming" which is somewhat C-oriented, but very general in application and unsurpassed, IMHO, at elucidating the fundamentals of good programming practice.


kartal

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Re: Best programming books ?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2009, 02:50:53 PM »
xtabber, thank you for the suggestions, it all sounds great. When I get to that point I will use this list.

I never thought Python as a jumping point and I know they are radically different.  The reason I choose python is that I do not want to struggle with certain things in the beginning so for example it feels like in Python I can study algorithms and try to come up with quick mockups if you will.Generally it is a smooth experience.

The reason I want to learn C later is that most of the applications I use daily(like 3d applications)  have plugin architectures based on C or written in C. So I am hoping that having a grasp of C will help my professional developement. I doubt I will ever be a full featured developer but being able to develop tiny tools to make things easier for myself or others is a good thing in the long run.