The Best Books for Current and Future Software Developers

There are many factors that go into making a good software developer—youSoftware Developer - Best Books need to be a coding expert, be able to work well in a team, communicate with stakeholders and maintain/scale the product when necessary.

To make the start of your journey simple, we asked our instructors and alumni community for book recommendations that could help someone looking to start a career as a software developer. This list of books was the first group of suggestions and can help with conceptualizing coding, working on soft skills and help you look ahead as you develop into a more-senior and experienced developer.

If at the end of this post you want to learn more, or you have any other books that you found to be helpful at the start of your software development career, then please reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you and learn more.

7 Suggested Books Future Software Developers Should Read: 

1. The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery by David Thomas and Andrew HuntSoftware developer - The Pragmatic Programmer

“The Pragmatic Programmer” is a book filled with insights for people new to the field and those with more experience. The original version of this book was published over 20 years ago and was meant to help people create better software and rediscover a joy for coding. The latest version of this book is more focused on keeping code flexible, easy to adapt and also reuse. It is consistently recommended by new and experienced developers alike. Our alumni and Instructors can’t stop talking about this one, so give it a read if you get the chance and let us know what you think.

2. Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions by Gayle Laakmann McDowell

Software Developer - Cracking the Coding Interview

Being a great software developer is only part of your journey into tech. To get the job of your dreams, you will likely need to go through an interview process and this book is here to help. “Cracking the Coding Interview” dives into over 150 programming interview questions and several strategies to help software developers prepare for their interviews both behavioral and technical. This is a great book for people new to tech and experienced developers who need some more interview practice.

3. System Design Interview by Alex Xu

Software Developer - System Design Interview

The opening 20 pages of “System Design Interview” are some of the best I’ve ever read in any technical book. This book systematically walks through the process of scaling applications up to serve a greater number of users and working through the various bottlenecks that can occur. While other books teach you how to program or use specific technologies, “System Design Interview” instead teaches you to think about the larger system as a group of different components and how those components can work together to serve a large number of users in an efficient and reliable way.

4. The Principles of Object-Oriented JavaScript by Nicholas C. ZakasSoftware Developer - The Principles of Object-Orientated JavaScript

This book was suggested by a few alumni who used it to better understand JavaScript, which to some doesn’t seem object-orientated at all.  It explains JavaScript’s unique implementation of inheritance along with its other key characteristics. If you’re looking into JavaScript and would like to have a deeper understanding of the language, then give this book a read.

5. Righting Software by Juval Lowy

Software Developer - Righting Software

“Righting Software” utilizes methods and principles applicable to projects regardless of company size, technology, platform, and industry. It addresses the challenges of software developers today and how to break things into smaller blocks to build upon as well as how to create an effective project design. This book can be a great tool for more experienced developers, but could also be beneficial for beginners looking to get a larger view of projects and their processes.

6. Living By the Code by Enrique López Mañas Software Developer - Living By The Code

“Living by the Code” is a book full of insights from developers, innovators and leaders who all share advice they wish they had known when they started their careers in tech. This book will help you guide your career whether you’re in a large corporation or just starting out as an entrepreneur.


7. Code Complete, 2nd Edition by Steve McConnell Software Developer - Code Complete

While “Code Complete” hasn’t been updated since 2004, this particular book is the book that “flipped the switch” for me as a developer and helped me see that working code isn’t the ultimate goal. Our goal as developers is maintainable code that can adapt over time. This book was ahead of its time and is still relevant today for developers trying to think about their code in a bigger picture.

Are you Ready to Start Your Career-Changing Journey? 

If you have read or plan on reading one of the books that we suggested, then feel free to reach out to us to let us know your thoughts at Tech Elevator. We are hoping to release more helpful resources for software developers of all experiences in the future so keep an eye out for more.

Are you interested in starting your journey as a software developer? Take our free, 15-minute Aptitude Test to get started.

Software Developer Instructor - Matt Eland

Written by Matt Eland, Former Instructor at Tech Elevator’s Columbus Campus