Canonical Hacker's Library

A Listmania! list by Michael Nichols "Software Engineer, Jazz Trumpeter" (California)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "First, to clear up any confusion with the title, I mean hacker in the sense of a very skilled programmer, someone very inquisitive who knows the ins and outs of computers and who believes there is a right way to write software. I do _not_ mean someone who breaks into a stranger's computer for sinister purposes. I mean "White Hat" hackers, the good guys; that's who this list is for.

In the middle of my third year of college, I switched my major to Computer Science when I discovered programming. I found I had to catch up to the other third years, so I began a quest to find how other great programmers/hackers/software engineers learned the craft. This list is the result of several years of knowledge gathered, from word-of-mouth suggestions from students and professors, and searching online through many different blogs and articles and Amazon recommendations.

As a final note, I have actually read at least parts of all the books on this list, so I am giving a personal recommendation and not just going with what people have said. I honestly believe that every book on this list will help you immensely. Because of this, I may not have included some very important books simply because I have not read them myself. If you feel anything important is missing, or just have a good recommendation for me, send me a message and I'll check it out."
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition
1.  Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition by Steve McConnell
The list author says:
  "The cornerstone of any working programmer's library. If you only have enough money/time/patience for one book, this is the one to get. It will change how you code for the better. As I was reading it during school, I would apply what I'd read that day _immediately_ to a project I was working on that evening. Go read some of the reviews if you're not convinced."
$33.34   Used & New from: $24.24
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews) | 8 customer discussions

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
2.  The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master by Andrew Hunt
The list author says:
  "Written by one of my favorite group of publishers, the pragmatic programmers, this book sets out all the things a good hacker should know. This book goes beyond writing code and talks about subjects such as why you should use version control and the attitude you should approach solving problems with. This book is a quick read, if you want something shorter or if you already own Code Complete."
Used & New from: $21.08
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

See buying options
The Linux Programmer's Toolbox
3.  The Linux Programmer's Toolbox by John Fusco
The list author says:
  "Linux/Unix is the preferred operating system for most hackers, so you should learn how to use it even if you use Windows/Mac at school/work. Learning how to use the command line and a text editor such as vim or emacs will change your perspective about how to interact with computers. As the title (and awesome cover!) suggest, this book focuses on the powerful tools that make your life easier."
$33.37   Used & New from: $11.81
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

The C Programming Language
4.  The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan
The list author says:
  "No matter what language you program in, you need to know C. It will make you a better programmer for the rest of your life. C has been a profound influence on languages today, especially on those that choose to deviate from it. There's 2 kinds of books about programming languages. The one you usually read first is the one that describes the syntax and semantics. This is that kind of book for C."
$52.89   Used & New from: $19.62
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (496 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets
5.  Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets by Peter van der Linden
The list author says:
  "This is the second kind of programming language book out there, the kind of book that tells you not what but _how_ to write in a language. This book also as a bonus gives you a great history of computers and programming and why C became so popular. The real reason to read this book is that it's really funny. Don't believe me? Read the book (after the previous one) and find out for yourself."
$34.73   Used & New from: $22.31
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)

Debug It!: Find, Repair, and Prevent Bugs in Your Code (Pragmatic Programmers)
6.  Debug It!: Find, Repair, and Prevent Bugs in Your Code (Pragmatic Programmers) by Paul Butcher
The list author says:
  "Once you start writing larger programs and have to start working with an existing codebase, debugging can take up a significant part of your time. This book puts all the best ideas and practices into one concise volume."
$25.89   Used & New from: $14.92
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
7.  Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code by Kent Beck
The list author says:
  "Even those of us with good intentions have deadlines and sometimes, we write sloppy code. This book explains how over time, code grows a layer of cruft that must be periodically cleaned up, or else will devour an entire project. The worst part is, most industry programmers can't even see there's a problem, much less begin to fix it. This book will give you a huge edge over your competition."
$46.68   Used & New from: $23.76
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Mastering Regular Expressions
8.  Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey E. F. Friedl
The list author says:
  "How often do you rename variables or change a method name? If the answer is not never, you need this book. With regular expressions, you can replace all "foo"s with "bar"s instantly, instead of having to edit each one by hand. This is just one minor example of the power of regular expressions. If you're still skeptical, I would suggest reading the first 3 chapters at your local bookstore."
$34.56   Used & New from: $18.54
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

More Actions

Discover more about this author
 See all of their Listmania! lists
Make your own list
 Create a Listmania! list
View your page on Amazon.com
 Go to Your Profile page

Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Is this book code specific? 1 Dec 7, 2014
Kindle Price 0 Mar 20, 2014
What's up with the high price? 1 Apr 13, 2013
Where's the Kindle edition? 1 Oct 19, 2012
Ritchie passed away today 0 Oct 13, 2011
A book to rapidly help your career as a Software Developer 0 Jul 29, 2010
Kindle edition eventually? n/t 1 Jun 15, 2010
What's so great about this book? 5 Feb 24, 2010
Good for beginners? 1 Jun 10, 2009
How do you use this book? 0 Jun 3, 2009
A Focus? 1 Nov 5, 2007
Welcome to the The C Programming Language forum 2 Jan 17, 2006
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

Michael Nichols "Software Engineer, Jazz Trumpeter" (California)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Professional Software Engineer
Last updated: 8/9/11
Report abuse
    

More Listmania!

 

Read and Reccomended Read and Reccomended

Read and Reccomended: A list of 6 items by Amazon Customer

Essential Programming Books Essential Programming Books

Essential Programming Books: A list of 5 items by R. Orr

Catto Code Book List Catto Code Book List

Catto Code Book List: A list of 16 items by Catto "Catto"

AmazonFresh Logistics Reading Suggestions AmazonFresh Logistics Reading Suggestions

AmazonFresh Logistics Reading Suggestions: A list of 15 items by S. Dwarakanath

Software Software

Software: A list of 40 items by Mc

   

More So You'd Like to...

 

Setup a workspace for Software development Setup a workspace for Software development

Setup a workspace for Software development: A guide of 7 items by W. B. Abbott

Start a Silicon Valley Dot-Com Start a Silicon Valley Dot-Com

Start a Silicon Valley Dot-Com: A guide of 49 items by Meng Wong