Best Programming Books You Must Read in 2021 (Top 12 Books Included)

With the rise of the digital age, programming has become an indispensable part of our lives. Every organization requires a number of people who know at least one or more programming languages. Although community forums like StackOverflow or even “googling stuff” have made life for programmers easier, there is no doubt that books offer a more in-depth learning approach to learning programming languages. The best programming books in the world offer you the advantage of leveraging decades worth of experience in a single book.

While learning how to code, you should not only focus on the syntax of the programming language but also learn how to write good code and solve errors, which is one of the fundamental lessons for programmers. Here is a list of some of the best programming books that you must read in 2021. 

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Top Best Books to Learn Python

To begin with the list of the best programming books, let us look at the best books to learn Python -

1. Python Crash Course: A Hands-On, Project-Based Introduction to Programming

Author: Eric Matthes

Python Crash Course is one of the best Python books in the world. This book will help you learn Python programming quickly by teaching you the basics first before introducing the real projects. It also contains the most updated version of the latest Python code and practices. You will learn how to build charts, graphs, web applications and even simple video games by going through this book.

2. Head First Python: A Brain-Friendly Guide 

Author: Paul Barry 

If you are a visual learner and hate text-heavy books, this visually rich Python book is the perfect fit for you. It is based on the latest research in cognitive science and learning theory to help you quickly grasp Python's basic fundamentals and learn to build your web apps in no time. 

3. Learn Python 3 the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code

Author: Zed A. Shaw

This book has a total of 52 exercises to help you learn Python through a step-by-step process. It also comes with 5+ hours of video where the author goes through the process of breaking, fixing and debugging code. You will learn how to read, write, think and breathe Python, and also understand what right code should look like.

Let us explore the best programming books by looking into the ones to learn Java.

Top Best Books to Learn Java

1. Effective Java

Author: Joshua Bloch

This is the best Java book of all time and also nicknamed by readers as “The Bible of Java programming”. Each chapter consists of a short, standalone essay that provides specific advice to the reader on Java platform subtleties and updated code examples. There is also a whole chapter dedicated to lambdas and streams.

2. Head First Java

Author: Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates

If you’re fond of games, this book combines puzzles, mysteries and illustrations of famous Java objects to keep you engaged. It is a super fun book and provides a very effective way of learning for visual learners. Although it comes with a lot of games, it does get the serious stuff about Java through to the readers. You will learn everything about Java from the fundamentals to the more advanced topics such as network sockets and distributed programming with RMI.

3. Java Concurrency in Practice

Author: Brian Goetz

One of the most important things that every Java programmer should know is concurrency - the ability to run several tasks at the same time. This book provides a deep insight into concurrency techniques and patterns to help you build better programs. You will learn about the basic concepts of concurrency as well as more advanced topics such as the Java memory code, nonblocking algorithms and atomic variables.

Next, let's look into the best programming books to learn C.

Top Best Books to Learn C

1. C Programming Language

Author: Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie

This book was written by the developers of C themselves and is easily the best C programming book out there. It includes a comprehensive guide to the C programming language, ANSI changes, scope rules and everything else related to C. This book also comes with the official C language reference manual that you can quickly use as a guide for whenever you need help coding with C. 

2. Practical C Programming: Why Does 2+2 = 5986?

Author: Steve Oualline

This book teaches you not just the fundamentals of C, but also to create programs that are easy to read, debug and update. It stresses on the importance of how the coding style can play a significant role in creating programs that are easy to run and maintain. Since programmers spend most of their time modifying code which are not entirely their own, this book will also help you learn electronic archaeology or the art of going through someone else’s code.

We will now explore some of the best programming books to learn Javascript.

Top Best Books to Learn Javascript

1. Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

Author: Marijn Haverbeke

This is the best selling book on Javascript that provides a deep dive into the Javascript language. Every chapter has a number of projects to give you a hands-on experience of writing real-world applications. You will also learn how to script browsers, use the DOM effectively, harness Node.js to build servers and make artificial life simulations.

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2. You Don't Know JS Yet: Get Started 

Author: Kyle Simpson

This book provides all the Javascript basics including the building blocks and more niche things that you can do with Javascript. Even if you are a more experienced Javascript programmer, this book can help you learn the more complex and trickier parts of the language.

Let's now explore the best programming books to learn Ruby.

Top Best Books to Learn Ruby

1. Eloquent Ruby 

Author: Russ Olsen

This book starts with answering a number of simple tactical questions on Ruby and goes on to address bigger questions related to building methods and classes. There are several Ruby tips and tricks given in the book, such as when to use tiny methods and operator overloading and when you should avoid using them. It also stresses on the “Ruby way” of thinking and problem solving to write “eloquent” and beautiful Ruby code.

2. The Well-Grounded Rubyist 

Author: David A. Black

This book is divided into three major parts - Ruby foundations, Built-in Classes and Modules, and Ruby Dynamics. It begins with how to write your first Ruby program and goes on to address more advanced topics like threading, reflection, and callable objects. It also covers all the new Ruby features such as lazy enumerators, keyword arguments and Module#prepend.

Innovative ways to code and groom your coding skills from beginner and professional level.Let's dive deep into this ‘The Best Books for Coding’ tutorial.

Automating the Boring Stuff With Python

Automate_the_Boring_Stuff_With_Python

Author: AI Sweigart

Published: 14, April 2015

Current Edition: 2nd Edition

This book is purely for beginner-level coders. The author makes it clear that he is comfortable developing Python programs. So, he uses python programming language in this book. The author of this book mentions a step-by-step explanation for every program that makes the learning curve linear, and you can get started with your coding like icing on the cake. This highly recommended book helps you with a set of interesting practice programs to make sure you become proficient enough to get started with your coding effortlessly. This book covers the following concepts:

  • Split, merge, and encryption pdfs
  • Sending emails and notifications
  • Create, update, and rename files
  • Searching in a file

You can get the pdf of this book for free through this.

So, this was a detailed briefing about “Automating the Boring Stuff with Python''. Now you will understand about other books for coding.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software and Craftsmanship

HandBook_Of_Agile_Software_Craftsmanship.

Author: Robert C Martin

Published: 1, August 2008

Current Edition: 1st Edition

Clean Code is a fantastic book that emphasizes writing clean code. This book states, "even a bad code can function better". It is fully loaded with OOPs concepts which divide the book into three main parts. The first part describes the principles, patterns, and writing clean code. The second part describes several case studies with exercises. The third part will walk you through a single chapter containing a list of heuristics. This book gives an idea for coders to know all the minute and delicate differences between good and bad code. It also helps improve the state of craftsmanship, fixes the bugs in the code, and gives you a strong foundation on Java and various techniques. You can get the pdf of this book for free through this. 

This was all about the “Clean Code”. Now, you will walk through understanding more about “Programming Pearls”.

Programming Pearls

Best_Books_For_Coding_Programming_Pearls

Author: Joe Bentley

Published: 1986

Current Edition: 2nd Edition

Programming Pearls is one of the most recommended books that cover a wide range of solid engineering techniques and solutions to computer programs. This book mainly focuses on three essays, they are:

  1. Testing, bugging, and timing
  2. Set representation
  3. String Problems

This book is covered with practical problems and effective solutions. The main highlight is its delightful reading experience and the writing style, which is simply outstanding. This book mainly covers hard-core coding problems to deliver workable solutions for coders and programmers. It challenges the outstanding concepts of CPU, Memory, and Algorithms. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this.

So, this was all about “Programming Pearls”. Now you will know more about “The Clean Coder”.

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers 1st Edition

The_Clean_Coder_A_Code_Of_Conduct_For_Professional_Programmers

Author: Robert C Martin

Published: 4, May 2011

Current Edition: 1st Edition

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers is much more than rules and guidelines. This book is full of tools and techniques of true software craftsmanship. The key factor of this book is practical advice on refactoring and testing. Martin focuses on showing how to approach software development with honor, self-respect, and pride. And it also shows this by avoiding common pitfalls in software development. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this.

The above information of the best books for coding tutorial helped you get an idea on "The Clean Coder". Now, you will understand "Code Complete".

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction

Best_Books_For_Coding_Code_Complete_A_Practical_Handbook_of_Software_Construction.

Author: Steve McConnell

Published: 1993

Current Edition: 2nd Edition

This book is all about software development and provides the most useful practical guidelines of programming and a massive piece of literature packed with techniques and suggestions to improve everyday programming. This helps you construct better and challenging codes. Steve covered this book with extensive projects to make it easy for everyone to enhance coding skills. It is fully loaded with integration, architecture, testing, and leading-edge coding concepts of software development. Overall, this book will help you understand the art and science of software construction. You can get the pdf of this book for free through this.

If you are interested in learning flawless software development techniques and improving the practical guidelines of day-to-day coding where you wish to avoid the most frequently faced bugs “Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction” is the best choice.

Now you have an idea on “Code Complete”, you will walk through the next book featured in this tutorial.

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The Art of Computer Programming

The_Art_of_Computer_Programming

Author: Donald E. Knuth

Published: 1968

Current Edition: 3rd Edition

The Art of Computer Programming is a Computer Monograph that covers many programming algorithms and their analysis. It also represents the inside concepts of the computer, programming algorithms, fundamental algorithms, storing, and searching. The major advantage is the chief technical aspects of the algorithms and their analysis, and it is an excellent read for those looking to improve their coding skills. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this.

Now you have an idea about "The Art of Computer Programming", you will look into more such interesting reads.

Zero Bugs and Program Faster

Best_Books_For_Coding_Zero_Bugs_and_Program_Faster

Author: Kate Thompson

Published: 27, August 2015 

Current Edition: 1st Edition

Zero Bugs and Program Faster book is fully loaded with bug avoidance techniques. This gives you an idea of improving your skills and avoiding mistakes in coding. In this book, Kate mainly focuses on bug avoidance techniques, implementing secure code, improving skills and principles to prevent bugs. She went on research for over two years to provide excellence in enhancing bug avoidance techniques. This book helps you write codes securely that improve the code's security and helps improve the coding time by reducing the effort with fewer bugs. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this.

Most of the readers and professionals and in some rare scenarios end up with mind-boggling bugs. If you are one of those and desperately looking to avoid all those bottle-necks, then Zero-Bugs comes to the rescue. This book has all the tips and tricks under its sleeve and always backs you up with the perfect approach you would ever get.

So this was a detailed briefing about "Zero Bugs and Program Faster". Now, you will understand the next book of this section.

Introduction to Algorithms: CLRS

Introduction_to_Algorithms_CLRS

Author: Thomson H.Cormen

Published: 1989

Current Edition: 3rd Edition

Introduction to Algorithms provides a comprehensive introduction to the modern study of computer algorithms. The author fully loads this book with algorithms, covers a considerable depth, and makes design and analysis accessible to all readers. Some key features of this book are pseudocode, arithmetic algorithms, and arithmetic circuits. Each chapter of this book presents an algorithm, a design technique, an application area, or a related topic. It describes the algorithms in this book in English and Pseudocode, designed to be readable by anyone who has done a little programming. This book also covers the depth of greedy algorithms and mathematical rigor. You can get the pdf of this book for free through this.

Now you have an idea on “Introduction to Algorithms”, understand another exciting book of this section which deals with “Rapid Development”.

Rapid Development

Best_Books_For_Coding_Rapid_Development

Author: Steve McConnell

Published: 1996

Current Edition: 1st Edition

Rapid Development helps to improve the development speed, risk management, and prototyping. This book is thoroughly designed with an overview of the projects and their directions. This book is helpful to avoid and decrease the mistakes for rapid development, including creeping requirements, shortchanged quality, and silver-bullet syndrome. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this.

And the final book of this “best books for coding” tutorial is “Hacking the Art of Exploitation”, which deals with hacking techniques.

Hacking the Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition

Hacking_the_Art_of_Exploitation.

Author: Jhon Erickson

Published: February 2008

Current Edition: 2nd Edition

Hacking the Art of Exploitation is loaded with actual code and hacking techniques. It provides the art of creative and problem-solving strategies on hacking and shell scripts. This is also helpful for readers who are interested in understanding exploits and the development of exploits. This book is much more needed for the reader who is finding a solution for complex problems. You can get the PDF of this book for free through this. 

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Conclusion

Every single organization in the world runs on software. As such, the demand for programmers will also remain high. If you want to advance in your career or even start afresh as a programmer, learning how to code will take you a long way. Simplilearn provides training and certification courses on various programming languages - Python, Java, C, Javascript, Swift, C#, Ruby and lots more. All of these courses are developed by industry leaders with an emphasis on hands-on training with real world applications. You can start with one of these courses today to land on a high-paying programmer job tomorrow!

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