…there’s probably only a slim chance you don’t know about Jeff Atwood’s Coding Horror: programming and human factors, continuously published since 2004.
Steve McConnell’s Code Complete 2 is the Joy of Cooking for software developers. Reading it means that you enjoy your work, you’re serious about what you do, and you want to keep improving. In Code Complete, Steve notes that the average programmer reads less than one technical book per year. The very act of reading this book already sets you apart from probably ninety percent of your fellow developers. In a good way.
I like this book so much that the title of this website is derived from it– the examples of what not to do are tagged with the “coding horror” icon. And there’s nothing funnier than a coding horror– until you have to deal with one yourself. Then it’s suddenly not so funny any more. Do yourself a favor. Make this the first book you read, and the first book you recommend to your fellow developers.
Note that a second McConnell title published by Microsoft Press appears in Jeff’s list: Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Development Schedules. I don’t see Steve’s Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art, but perhaps Jeff felt that would just be unfair. (Just kidding, Jeff.)
Coding Horror is an amazing resource for developers. Of course coding is the focus, but here’s a great and representative non-coding-related post about keyboards: Have Keyboard, Will Program.
Hmm, maybe I can track down who created the Coding Horror icon in the first place (for the first edition of Code Complete). Also, I had lunch with Steve recently about early ideas for a new book. Nothing in the works yet, but it was great to talk shop. He also showed me that Microsoft Press’s new home blocks his office view of Mt. Rainier, which used to look something like this (but add six more cranes because it’s Bellevue):
Instead he has a view of me and my compatriots making books. He could do worse!