Top 7 Best Programming Books Of All Time (Old School)

Hey developers! Today we are gonna look at the top 7 best programming books of all time and get them for FREE.

Some of these books you may have heard of, and some of them you may not have heard of, but most of them are classics that almost all computer science students should read at some point.

These books are books that haven’t been released recently. Some of these books are like 20 years old. But we think that’s amazing because a lot of the truths in these books still hold today.

The things that we saw 20 years ago are still happening today so that’s why these are pretty much relevant. And if you are a software developer or web developer at least take a look at some of these best programming books.

We wouldn’t say you need to read them all but at least understand what they are about and what the ideas are in them. That’s gonna help you in the long term in your career.

Also, if you disagree with any of our choices, then, We’d love to see a comment on some best programming books that you guys like and the ones that have helped you.

Here is the list of the 7 best programming books to read

  1. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
7 best programming books

It’s a wealth of experience and one of the best programming books in the design of object-oriented software. Four top-notch designers present a catalog of simple solutions to commonly occurring design problems.

The 23 patterns in this book allow designers to create more flexible, elegant, and ultimately reusable designs without having to rediscover the design solutions themselves.

The book begins by describing what patterns are, and how they can help you design object-oriented software. It then goes on to systematically name, explain, evaluate, and catalog recurring designs in object-oriented systems.

With this, you can learn how these important patterns fit into the software development process, and how you can leverage them to solve your design problems most efficiently.

Each pattern describes the circumstances in which it is applicable when it can be applied and the consequences and trade-offs of using the pattern within a larger design.

All patterns are compiled from real systems and are based on real-world examples.

2. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

Even bad code can function. But if code isn’t clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees. Every year, countless hours and significant resources are lost because of poorly written code. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Robert C. Martin presents a revolutionary paradigm with Clean Code. It’s a book that will instill within you the values of a software craftsman and make you a better programmer but only if you work at it.

What kind of work will you be doing? You’ll be reading code — lots of code. And you will be challenged to think about what’s right about that code, and what’s wrong with it.

This is among the best programming books which will help you in understanding

‣ How to tell the difference between good and bad code
‣ How to write good code and how to transform bad code into good code
‣ How to create good names, good functions, good objects, and good classes
‣ How to format code for maximum readability
‣ How to implement complete error handling without obscuring code logic
‣ How to unit test and practice test-driven development

This book is a must for any developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst with an interest in producing better code.

3. Code Complete

Widely considered one of the best programming books, Steve McConnell’s original CODE COMPLETE has been helping developers write better software for more than a decade.

Now this classic book has been fully updated and revised with leading-edge practices — and hundreds of new code samples — illustrating the art and science of software construction.

Capturing the body of knowledge available from research, academia, and everyday commercial practice, McConnell synthesizes the most effective techniques and must-know principles into clear, pragmatic guidance.

No matter what your experience level, development environment, or project size, this book will inform and stimulate your thinking — and help you build the highest quality code.

Discover the timeless techniques and strategies that help you:

  • Design for minimum complexity and maximum creativity
  • Reap the benefits of collaborative development
  • Apply defensive programming techniques to reduce and flush out errors
  • Exploit opportunities to refactor — or evolve — code, and do it safely
  • Use construction practices that are right-weight for your project
  • Debug problems quickly and effectively
  • Resolve critical construction issues early and correctly
  • Build quality into the beginning, middle, and end of your project

4. The Pragmatic Programmer: Your journey to Mastery

The Pragmatic Programmer is one of those rare best programming books that you’ll read, re-read, and read again over the years.

Whether you’re new to the field or an experienced practitioner, you’ll come away with fresh insights every time.

Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt wrote the first edition of this influential book in 1999 to help their clients create better software and rediscover the joy of coding.

These lessons have helped a generation of programmers examine the very essence of software development, independent of any particular language, framework, or methodology, and the Pragmatic philosophy has spawned hundreds of books, screencasts, and audiobooks, as well as thousands of careers and success stories.

Now, twenty years later, this new edition re-examines what it means to be a modern programmer. Topics range from personal responsibility and career development to architectural techniques for keeping your code flexible and easy to adapt and reuse. Read this book, and you’ll learn how to:

  • Fight software rot
  • Learn continuously
  • Avoid the trap of duplicating knowledge
  • Write flexible, dynamic, and adaptable code
  • Harness the power of basic tools
  • Avoid programming by coincidence
  • Learn real requirements
  • Solve the underlying problems of concurrent code
  • Guard against security vulnerabilities
  • Build teams of Pragmatic Programmers
  • Take responsibility for your work and career
  • Test ruthlessly and effectively, including property-based testing
  • Implement the Pragmatic Starter Kit
  • Delight your users

5. Cracking The Coding Interview

Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions is one of the best programming books by Gayle Laakmann McDowell about coding interviews.

It describes typical problems in computer science that are often asked during coding interviews, typically on a whiteboard during job interviews at big technology companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft,, Facebook, and Palantir Technologies.

Learn how to uncover the hints and hidden details in a question, discover how to break down a problem into manageable chunks, develop techniques to unstick yourself when stuck, learn (or re-learn) core computer science concepts, and practice 189 interview questions and solutions.

These interview questions are real; they are not pulled out of computer science textbooks. They reflect what’s truly being asked at the top companies so that you can be as prepared as possible.

This book includes:

  • 189 programming interview questions, ranging from the basics to the trickiest algorithm problems.
  • A walk-through of how to derive each solution, so that you can learn how to get there yourself.
  • Hints on how to solve each of the 189 questions, just like what you would get in a real interview.
  • Five proven strategies to tackle algorithm questions, so that you can solve questions you haven’t seen.
  • Extensive coverage of essential topics, such as big O time, data structures, and core algorithms.
  • A behind-the-scenes look at how top companies like Google and Facebook hire developers.
  • Techniques to prepare for and ace the soft side of the interview: behavioral questions.
  • For interviewers and companies: details on what makes a good interview question and hiring process.

6. The Clean Coder

In The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers, legendary software expert Robert C. Martin introduces the disciplines, techniques, tools, and practices of true software craftsmanship.

This book is packed with practical advice–about everything from estimating and coding to refactoring and testing. It covers much more than technique: It is about attitude.

Martin shows how to approach software development with honor, self-respect, and pride; work well and work clean; communicate and estimate faithfully; face difficult decisions with clarity and honesty, and understand that deep knowledge comes with a responsibility to act. This is among the best programming books every developer should read once

Readers will learn

  • What it means to behave as a true software craftsman
  • How to deal with conflict, tight schedules, and unreasonable managers
  • How to get into the flow of coding, and get past writer’s block
  • How to handle unrelenting pressure and avoid burnout
  • How to combine enduring attitudes with new development paradigms
  • How to manage your time, and avoid blind alleys, marshes, bogs, and swamps
  • How to foster environments where programmers and teams can thrive
  • When to say “No”–and how to say it
  • When to say “Yes”–and what yes really means

Great software isn’t written by machines. It is written by professionals with an unshakable commitment to craftsmanship. The Clean Coder will help you become one of them.

7. Introduction to Algorithms

Some best programming books on algorithms are rigorous but incomplete; others cover masses of material but lack rigor.

Introduction to Algorithms uniquely combines rigor and comprehensiveness. The book covers a broad range of algorithms in depth, yet makes their design and analysis accessible to all levels of readers. Each chapter is relatively self-contained and can be used as a unit of study.

The algorithms are described in English and in a pseudocode designed to be readable by anyone who has done a little programming. The explanations have been kept elementary without sacrificing depth of coverage or mathematical rigor.

The first edition became a widely used text in universities worldwide as well as the standard reference for professionals.

The second edition featured new chapters on the role of algorithms, probabilistic analysis and randomized algorithms, and linear programming.

The third edition has been revised and updated throughout. It includes two completely new chapters, on van Emde Boas trees and multithreaded algorithms, substantial additions to the chapter on recurrence (now called “Divide-and-Conquer”).

It features improved treatment of dynamic programming and greedy algorithms and a new notion of edge-based flow in the material on flow networks.

This has been one of the best programming books ever written on Algorithms.


So in this article we discussed about the top 7 best programming books every developer should read.

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