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My Favorite Programming Books

D. Garsys
The list author says: "Learning programming is a process, and every day brings improvement and a deeper understanding. The first available tools to any person who wants to learn are already built into your computer: A basic text editor, and a programming environment built into your web browser called Javascript. From there, it's easy to step up to installing and learning php and mysql, Java, and Python. From THERE, one can learn to program for the Mac, Windows, or the iPhone using C, C++, C#, .net, and Objective-C.

I took the Basic/Pascal/C/PHP/Python/Objective-C route myself, so these recommendations are based on my experience. For Java and Android development, there are many excellent resources and tutorials available but none that I can yet look back at and say "This REALLY helped me.""
Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML
"While it's not how I learned HTML (long before this book was out) I generally cannot recommend the Head First books highly enough. HTML may not be "programming" per se, but it let's you get visible feedback fast, and teaches structured thinking. It also provides an environment to use other tools - javascript, php, sql, perl, and get visible feedback."
DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model
DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model
"While I don't have any books on Javascript to recommend, if you ever end up really USING Javascript to manipulate web pages and .css (say, for Ajax calls), this book will be an immense, immense help."
Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python (Pragmatic Programmers)
Practical Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science Using Python (Pragmatic Programmers)
"I love python. I never REALLY got my head wrapped around object oriented programming and polymorphism  until I learned it. While the indented syntax structure drives some people nuts, the clarity, simplicity, and power of the language are incredible, and the language is built into most Macs and is readily available for Windows."
Head First Design Patterns
Head First Design Patterns
"This book is oriented towards Java (and ridiculously useful for that) - but useful for other languages, because it teaches you how to efficiently and effectively use Object-oriented programming. It's coverage of good practices, of decorators, singletons, and other commonly used patterns is easily translated over to use in Python or Objective-C."
Programming in Objective-C, Third Edition (Developer's Library)
Programming in Objective-C, Third Edition (Developer's Library)
"I keep this book on my shelf as a reference. I used this in  parallel with a borrowed copy of Learn Objective-C on the Mac to teach myself the fundamentals of Objective-C programming. Either book is excellent by itself. The slightly differing perspectives they offer are useful in getting your head wrapped around common concepts."
Learn Objective-C on the Mac (Learn Series)
Learn Objective-C on the Mac (Learn Series)
"I don't own this, but it's immensely useful. I used this in  parallel with a borrowed copy of "Programming in Objective-C" to teach myself the fundamentals of Objective-C programming. Either book is excellent by itself. The slightly differing perspectives they offer are useful in getting your head wrapped around common concepts."
Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (3rd Edition)
Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X (3rd Edition)
"Here you step from simply writing programs, to interacting with a library of pre-built functions and resources and GUI's, and unfortunately, there's enough of THOSE to fill volumes. This book helps get you started, but expect to spend time in the developer docs. Also useful was to add the O'Reilley book "Learning Cocoa With Objective-C", and one I'm getting: "Cocoa Design Patterns.""
Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
Beginning iPhone 3 Development: Exploring the iPhone SDK
"Perhaps as a side-track to the Hillegass book, or in addition to, this book is clearly written, with good examples, and good explanations. For those learning Cocoa and owning an iPhone, this may be a better step to get your feet wet as the iPhone has a more limited library and a more stable environment to program into."