5 Books Every Coding Beginner Should Read
1 Nov 2017
7 minute read
At Coder Academy, we have compiled a list of books that we think will be useful for every coding beginner in their career. These books do not teach you how to code, but try to teach you the skills that you would need to succeed in the coding lifestyle. We believe that the wisdom passed down from these books will make you passionate about coding, and make your a well rounded coder. Take a look at these recommended books:
The Pragmatic Programmer- Andy Hunt, Dave Thomas
The first book in our list is also probably one of the most recommended reads for programmers around the world. ‘The Pragmatic Programmer’ is not about teaching you how to code a specific language, it is about teaching you how to approach software development. Through its anecdotal self-contained chapters, the book tries to instil in you the best practices in software development. It explores concepts such as, capturing user requirements, avoiding duplication, prototyping and so on. The book takes an abstract approach to the field of software development rather than being highly technical. While the ‘ideal’ developer they describe might not be achievable, the practices outlined in the book will surely make you a master in the field.
Masterminds of Programming- Federico Biancuzzi, Chromatic
If you want to peer into the minds of geniuses who created the most powerful programming languages, then Masterminds of Programming is an excellent book for you. The book features exclusive interviews with these masterminds to give you an insight into their motivation and thought process when they created the language. The book is straightforward where each chapter has been dedicated to a language. It has managed to successfully portray these creators as humans, who were most of the times just really obsessed with the field. We recommend you read this book as it will give you an appreciation of how much the field has developed.
The Upside of Stress- Kelly McGonigal
As a coder, you will most likely encounter stress probably more than people in other professions. The long nights spent trying to debug the thousands of lines of code would stress out anyone. However, did you know that ‘stress isn’t bad’? This is the message of the book ‘The Upside of Stress’. While this may be counterintuitive, Kelly presents a series of stories and compelling research to communicate this throughout the book. Her focus in on showing how we can use stress for our betterment, to provide us with focus, and the ability to learn. A great example of this is how professional athletes feel more stress than the beginners, but use it to enter a state of flow and heightened performance. The book is chock-full with cutting-edge research into how the human resilience can help us get better at stress. If you want to take away one lesson from this book, that would be to treat stress as ‘excitement’ and not something harmful. Even the way we perceive it can have a physiological reaction.
How to Win Friends and Influence People- Dale Carnegie
This book is one of the most successful self-help books ever sold. The reason is it so popular is because it is easy to read, and presents concepts that can be applied to any aspects of our lives. Dale shares his insights from his years of experience is salesmanship and corporate training on how to navigate relationships in a business setting. The chapters are self-explanatory, and the content is written in a way that is easy to follow. He gives some handy advice on how to be interested in people, how to manage their emotions, and how to make them adopt your way of thinking. We suggest this book because it explores some of the critical soft-skills coders will need to attain to succeed in various projects. Since, almost all of the coding projects tend to be customer oriented or just include constant communication within the team, being able to manage these relationships is essential.
Creative Confidence- David M. Kelley and Tom Kelley
The primary purpose of coding is solving problems for yourself or someone else. However, these problems are almost never straightforward and clear. Therefore, you will need to have the skills to prod out the core of these problems and come up with creative solutions. David and Tom Kelly use their expertise in design thinking and innovation to bring us ‘Creative Confidence’, a book that enables you to ‘unleash the creative energy’. David and Tom are the founders of IDEO, world's most creative design firm, and creators of Stanford Design School. The book teaches you that there are no creative types, but through a range of activities you can generate this creativity in yourself. The book highlights interviews, stories and experiences of the two brothers through their journey of having helped some of the most influential companies innovate. This book is for those coders who want to go beyond just solving problems.
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