re: 29 Must Read Books For Programmers VIEW POST


I've enjoyed looking at this list... but I've noticed you're leaving out some books that many others would put in - say XP Explained and Test Driven Development by Kent Beck. Or Clean Code by Robert Martin.

I'm interested in whether you've left them out because of an oversight, or because you don't practice test driven development?

That said, it's great that a good proportion of these books are ones I've never heard of. Which is the one book in your list that you think that never gets read but that everyone should read?


Good questions.

Clean code is on the list.

I've read and did consider adding test driven development but I decided against it. I was trying to keep the list appilable to a wide audience and based on what I see here on, many people aren't even unit testing so I thought I would emphasize that with some beginner-intermediate material.

I haven't read XP Explained so I can't comment on its content.

The list was never meant to be comprehensive. There are no architecture, requirements, lifecycle management, security, or manual testing books on the list either.

The most under appreciated book on the list is Rapid Development. It's 22 years old and I read it for the first time this year. It holds up. I've been programming and reading widely for almost 20 years and that book had me underlining stuff left and right. The worst thing about that book is its misleading title (which is what kept me from reading it for so long). It's actually the other half of Code Complete and covers everything it didn't. If new developers could only read two programming books in their whole career, I'd choose those two.


Clean code is on the list.

That'll teach me... must've gone snow blind for a second!

I haven't read XP Explained so I can't comment on its content.

Well, I'll recommend it! It's short, and brevity is a quality all of its own!

Fair point about TDD - I was just interested to see unit testing talked about outside of TDD.

The most under appreciated book on the list is Rapid Development

It's now on the Christmas list - hopefully I've been nice not naughty...

Ah, yes, I remember XP Explained now. I saw Kent Beck talk about how he completely rewrote the second edition instead of the update he had planned to do. I've added it to my reading list.


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