10 Best Programming Books to Read in 2022

10 Best Programming Books to Read in 2023

August 29, 2023 - Revolutionized Team

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The best programming books can help you teach yourself to code, expand your skills and boost your resume. Coding is an increasingly valuable and rewarding skill to have, whether it’s for web development, robotics, game design or anything in between. Books can be a helpful resource, especially for self-taught coders. 

Our team assembled this guide to the top 10 best programming books for 2023, plus a handful of honorable mentions and some online resources. 

Why You Should Learn to Code

If you’re looking for the best programming books, you might already have a specific reason why you want to learn to code. If you don’t, though, there are plenty of great reasons to pick up a programming language. 

Coding is an increasingly valuable skill for students and adults alike. In the world of Industry 4.0, it is invaluable for getting a job and futureproofing your resume. For students, coding courses are becoming standard in high schools. Programming will be a foundational skill for the next generation of the world’s workforce across virtually every industry. 

Beyond career growth, coding is simply fun! There’s a lot you can do with coding as a hobby, like creating your own video game or AI model. Reading books about programming is a great way to collect knowledge and teach yourself how to code. 

1. Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold

It might seem odd to include a book written in 2000, but there is a lot that history can teach us. In fact, The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware is so popular that an updated 2nd edition of it was published in 2022. Computing technology has changed drastically over the past fifty years. 

There are all kinds of lessons we can learn from older technologies that make it easier to understand modern programming. Petzold starts with a discussion of Morse code and Braille, later moving into how these base technologies can work with the modern internet. 

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

Even if you’re not trying to get a job as a programmer, Cracking the Coding Interview can be a valuable tool to help you practice coding and hone your programming skills. This book presents you with a series of increasingly tricky programming challenges and algorithm problems. 

Test yourself to see if you can solve them. Suppose you do find yourself seeking out a career in programming. In that case, these skills can help you test yourself against tech giants like Facebook or Google because you’ll already have an understanding of how they hire their programmers and developers. 

3. Code Complete by Steve McConnell

This book might not teach you a specific programming language, but that doesn’t make it less valuable. Code Complete provides code samples, current practices, and a variety of tools to help you hone your skills or improve your career. The entire seventh section is about software craftsmanship, teaching you how to improve your programs by focusing on character, style and layout. 

4. Deep Learning by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio and Aaron Courville

Machine learning and neural networks are getting smarter every day. Programmers hoping to get in on the ground floor can benefit from this textbook. The book breaks the topic down into three sections — background, applications, and research topics. This isn’t a book for beginners, but it should be on your list, with neural networks becoming more common and complex. 

5. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin

Your code might work, but if it’s a mess, fixing a problem could prove challenging. Clean Code is the perfect book if you’re struggling to get the job done without the finished project looking messy. Its three sections include information to help you write good code and identify bad code. 

These skills can turn your programs into something that you can be proud of. It’s full of code snippets that you’ll need to fix, though most of them are focused on Java. Regardless, the skills you’ll gain will serve you well no matter what language you’re writing.

6. Grokking Algorithms by Aditya Y. Bhargava

This book is filled with information that can help take your programming skills and apply them to problems you encounter in your everyday life. Start simple, with things like sorting or searching. Build your skills until you can tackle more complex tasks like graphs, greedy algorithms and data compression. 

Plus, it’s illustrated and has a fun take on an otherwise dull topic. It doesn’t matter if you’re building an app in your spare time or trying to build a career in coding. Everyone who writes a line or two can benefit from adding this book to their shelf. 

7. Dancing with Python: Learning to Code With Python and Quantum Computing by Robert S. Sutor

Quantum computing can potentially change the way we think of processing and data storage, and it will need a new breed of programmers to make it work. Dancing with Python is the perfect tool for an experienced programmer interested in learning about machine learning, quantum circuits and other advanced programming methods. 

It’s worth noting that this book is not intended for beginners. A background in Python will make it easier to absorb the new techniques Sutor explores here. 

8. Coding: 3 Books in One by Michael Clark and Michael Learn

You don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on some great coding books. This is a set of three books: Linux for Beginners, Python Coding and Programming, and Learn Python Programming. As a bonus, this set is available on Kindle Unlimited so that you can read it for free with a subscription. Read on your phone, tablet, or computer if you don’t want to invest in a physical copy of the books. 

9. Haskell In-Depth by Vitaly Bragilevsky

If you ask 10 programmers to list the best programming books, you’ll get 50 different answers. This is stepping outside the average programmer’s comfort zone. Haskell’s Programming language, named after mathematician Haskell Brooks Curry, uses math to create a functional programming language outside of traditional coding. 

This is more than just looking at the basic syntax and structure of the language. Haskell in Depth will turn you from a Haskell student to a developer fluent in the language. 

10. Basic Concepts in Algorithms by Shmuel Tomi Klein

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are finding more applications every year. Their programming might be complex, but the rest comes easier if you’ve got a solid foundation of algorithms. 

Basic Concepts in Algorithms is the perfect tool to help you build that foundation, giving you a basic grasp of the programming and mathematics necessary to support big data and the machine learning future that you were all looking forward to.

11. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Martin Fowler

In his book Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Martin Fowler, a renowned object tech mentor, explains that today’s applications are inefficient, hard to maintain and extend, and were developed by less-experienced programmers. 

Fowler suggests that refactoring these applications and programs could benefit software developers. However, expert programmers were typically the only professionals capable of making these changes — until now. Fowler shares master programming practices in a digestible way so all developers can benefit from them. 

12. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master (2nd Edition) by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas is a great book for aspiring programmers. The first edition of the book came out in 1999. After its release, Mike Cohn, author and certified Scrum trainer, mentioned that the book by Hunt and Thomas changed his career trajectory. 

Hunt and Thomas’ book explains what it’s like to be a modern programmer in the digital age. Topics range from how to keep code flexible and take personal responsibility to career development and architectural techniques. Consider reading this book to learn more about the best practices and pitfalls to avoid if you’re in the software development sector.

13. The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally by Cory Althoff

The author of The Self-Taught Programmer taught himself how to code. After one year of self-teaching, Althoff landed a software development job at eBay. However, he was wholly unprepared for what the job responsibilities entailed. He realized how far behind he was on his programming journey.

In his book, Althoff shares tips and tricks all aspiring programmers should know, especially as they learn how to code. 

14. Python Crash Course (3rd Edition) by Eric Matthes

Eric Matthes’s Python Crash Course is a popular source for self-taught Python developers. As the title suggests, it’s designed to be fast-paced and build skills quickly. If you’re a beginner and you want to get off the ground right away, this book is definitely worth checking out. 

As a guide, Python Crash Course is more interactive than many other programming books. It includes real exercises you can try out, like building a game with Python. The 3rd edition is updated to include recent changes to popular Python libraries and testing tools as well as guidance on new Python features. 

15. Make Your Own Neural Network by Tariq Rashid

Make Your Own Neural Network was written by Tariq Rashid, an English author who loves science, mathematics and computing. Rashid’s book provides a step-by-step outline to help readers understand the mathematical aspects of neural networks. 

Additionally, Rashid directs his book to novice programmers, claiming that readers do not need advanced math skills. He even includes an introduction to calculus to help support the other chapters in his book. Consider reading Make Your Own Neural Network if this subfield interests you.

Best Coding Websites

Books are a fantastic resource for self-taught coders, but it’s a good idea to study from a variety of sources. There are many great websites out there that offer valuable coding exercises and tutorials for free. 

These are definitely worth checking out if you want to take your coding to the next level, especially if you’re a beginner. A few of the top coding websites include: 

Improve Your Skills 

Learning to code is an extremely valuable skill today, especially as more and more employers rush to adopt AI and machine learning. It takes time to learn any programming language, but the process itself can be a fun hobby and help you meet other developers and coders. Books are a great resource for self-taught programmers including the top picks on this list. Make sure to check out coding websites, as well.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 17, 2022 and updated on August 29, 2023 to provide readers with more updated information.

Revolutionized is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn more here.


Revolutionized Team

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