The most influential programming books

Since I write code for a living, I get all interested about any topics related to coding, and today I uncovered an interesting one.  During my daily Slashdot perusal, I discovered a post over there referencing a blog post on the Internet Security blog, which in turn references what is apparently the second most popular question ever posted on StackOverflow – which was, “what is the single most influential book every programmer should read?”.

As voted for by those who participated in the StackOverflow discussion, here’s the top ten.  For ease of use, I’ve included links to the respective pages on Amazon.

  1. McConnel S. 2004, Code Complete, 2nd edn, Microsoft Press
  2. Hunt A. & Thomas D. 1999, The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master, Addison-Wesley Professional
  3. Abelson H., Sussman G.J. & Sussman J. 1996, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, 2nd edn, McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math
  4. Kernighan B.W. & Ritchie D.M. 1988, The C Programming Language, 2nd edn, Prentice Hall
  5. Cormen T.H., Leiserson C.E., Rivest R.L. & Stein C. 2009, Introduction to Algorithms, MIT Press
  6. Fowler M., Beck K., Brant J. & Opdyke W. 1999, Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code, Addison-Wesley Professional
  7. Gamma E., Helm R., Johnson R. & Vlissides J. 1994, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software, Addison-Wesley Professional
  8. Brooks F.P. 1995, The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Addison-Wesley Professional
  9. Knuth D.E. 1997, Art of Computer Programming, Volume 1: Fundamental Algorithms, 3rd edn, Addison-Wesley Professional
  10. Aho A.V., Lam M.S., Sethi R. & Ullman J.D. 2006, Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools, 2nd edn, Prentice Hall

I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I haven’t read any of the books in the list – guess I need to pay the UCT library a visit this weekend.

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