Best “Improve Your Dev Skills” books…

I've been looking through a few of my "Improve your Dev Skills" books:

What are your favorite books in this genre? Why?

Comments (23)

  1. Code Complete…obvious but still excellent.

  2. Mark Ohde says:

    Writing Secure Code … again, obvious

  3. Darrell says:

    There are many, but for improvements to your code no matter what you are doing… Design Patterns.

  4. Nick Parker says:

    I have a copy of "The Pragmatic Programmer" and I agree it’s a great book, however I would tend to this that "Design Patterns" would be on the list as well.

  5. Bryan Starbuck says:

    Applied Cryptography is a classic. Every experienced dev needs to grock that book.

  6. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Ron Jeffries _Extreme Programming Adventures in C#_. A nice read, good includes his mistakes, had a big impact on my ideas about simplicity & delivering customer value.

    David West _Object Thinking_. Too verbose, but includes some really important ideas.

    Next on my list is _Domain Driven Design_, for which I have high hopes.

    While I believe strongly in the value of doing TDD, I don’t love Jim Newkirk’s TDD book. I like Jim & the work that he does, just not his book.

  7. Greg says:

    I liked, "The Career Programmer: Guerrilla Tactics for an Imperfect World"

    Not a true "development" book like Code Complete, but since we don’t code in a vacume…

  8. The Mythical Man-Month is still sobering. Get the 25th anniversary edition with the extra essay "No Silver Bullet" if you haven’t read it yet.

  9. Code Complete, by far! I agree with Refactoring, I’d also add Design Patterns. I’d even consider Rapid Development which is about improving a coding team as opposed to an individual.

  10. Writing Effective Use Cases.

    Simply because if you know your use cases, you know what your expected to do. If you know what your expected to do, you generally avoid the stupid mistakes most programmers make.

    Programmers Cook Book.

    Nice list of coding examples. You get to see how the pro’s code and you understand why they did what they did. I feel I learn better from example and that book is one gigantic example.

    Coder to Developer.

    A lot of interesting tibits of information that make your whole app dev process (Req -> Maintenence) easier to manage. Recommends using different tools like CVS, BUG Report forms etc which for college people like me mean one steap closer to how the industry does things.

    C# in a Nutshell

    Nice reference for when you don’t want to use MSDN. Sorry folks, I like MSDN but once in a while, it gets real tiring to spill through pages and pages of text.

    Software Requirements

    Its not a "dev skill" but if you can understand the thinking behind some of the requirements and how they are generated, you have an added advantage.

  11. Mark says:

    Pattern Oriented Software Architecture Series.

  12. robdelacruz says:

    ‘Writing Solid Code’ by Steve Maguire and ‘Programming Pearls’ by Jon Bentley had the biggest effect on me as a programmer.

  13. Ovidiu says:

    John Robbins, "Debugging Applications for Microsoft® .NET and Microsoft Windows®",

    This precious gem is an excellent guide to debugging and to how not to end up debugging if you instrument your application properly in the first place. One of the few books that talk about instrumentation, about debugging the released code (or memory dumps and stuff like that). A must-read for anyone who ships code to customers.

  14. wpoust says:

    Object Solutions : Managing the Object-Oriented Project

    Sometimes the best development improvement comes from an awareness of the bigger picture. This is kind of in the same genre as The Pragmatic Programmer. I would recommend reading Booch’s book over The Pragmatic Programmer.

    Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture

    All those references to it in the MS Patterns and Practice documentation lead me to it. Lots of good design patterns and I liked the pattern namimg better. Plus it has Java and C# examples.

    The C++ Standard Library

    I hear you’re not doing C++ anymore. Good for you. In our development group this book is just referred to as "The Bible". Using STL is like having a chain saw instead of an ax in a forest. It’s a shame all those erroneous warnings the MS compiler used to generate when using it.

  15. Michael says:

    I think developers should read more general books. My favorites:

    Agile Software Development by Alistair Cockburn

    Peopleware : Productive Projects and Teams, 2nd Ed. by Tom Demarco, Timothy Lister

    And TDD by Kent Beck

  16. I found an interesting link about books each developer should read. Here is the link….

  17. Joe Cheng says:

    Concurrent Programming in Java, by Doug Lea. (Translates pretty closely to C#.)

    ANSI Common Lisp, by Paul Graham. Easy, breezy read, yet a real mind-opener for those of us who have only been exposed to VB, C#, C++, and the like.

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