If there’s one thing you need to survive in the tech industry, it’s to stay up-to-date and informed. It also helps to have special knowledge in specific fields. But how’s a busy professional to keep up and stay on top of their game in such a fast-paced industry? For us, the answer is obvious: reading.

To keep you current, today we’re sharing with you this list of books every developer should read. The books below may not be fancy or fashionable but they are classics. If you’re wondering what to read next, I recommend taking a look at our list. But first, here’s why we read, and why we think it’s an important part of every developer’s career development.

Books can enrich your mind

Books are a great source of knowledge, and whether you are a developer, designer, or a self-taught person or even just a tech fan, you need to read. Tech reading is about enriching your mind so that you have the right tools for developing new ways of thinking. It’s also a great way to absorb best practices for use throughout your career.

To prepare this list, I have been doing some field research and asking our developers here at the Making Sense offices the following question: ‘Which book should I read to become a better professional?’

Here is our list of the most influential professional books a software developer can read:

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

This book is about a controlled technique for improving the design of an existing code base. It is the process of making small transformations and changes in such a way that it doesn’t affect the external behavior of the code but improves its internal structure.

The author reveals a few refactoring techniques and shows how they are part of the fundamental use of programming languages and explains a number of different types of refactoring with explicit instructions on how to apply them. This book should be on every software engineer’s shelf.

2. Design Patterns by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John Vlissides

This is not a beginner’s kind of book. It is recommended that the reader has some experience as a developer. This book goes into detail about the many different design patterns that describe simple and elegant solutions to specific problems the industry faces.

The book will help you to create your own designs in a more flexible, modular, reusable, and understandable way. It explains how to determine requirements, create solutions, and translate designs into code, showing developers how to make practical use of the most significant recent developments.

3. Clean Code by Robert C. Martin

It is common that in a development environment, code is passed from developer to developer, each of whom may use a different coding style. That is why Clean Code tries to provide simple and effective ways to approach development.

This book goes into detail about good ways to structure code in order to make it maintainable. It goes through levels of abstractions, code structure, naming conventions, etc, to give you a complete and very well-rounded body of knowledge of good development practices.

4. Rework by Jason Fried

With this book, you’ll learn how to be more productive. Each chapter reveals powerful lessons that can seriously enhance the way any business is run. It is an easy read, written in straightforward language and full of pragmatic ideas. We also recommend it for entrepreneurs, product managers, or anyone else interested in innovation since it provides a clear and very different perspective on how businesses can be managed.

5. The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt and Dave Thomas

This is also a popular book among the development community. If you haven’t got the time to read this one, you’re in luck because one of our devs has written a review. In his review, he shares the highlights of the book as well as what he learned from reading this classic.
Don’t miss his article!

I hope you enjoy reading these essential software development books. I thoroughly enjoyed putting it together and I know our devs always love talking about their profession and what makes them tick. Until next time!