Bradley Braithwaite
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2 Learning,
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Books for Software Developers

An updated list of my recommended books for software developers.

on books

I read a lot of books but the following tend to stick around in my ‘recently read’ list more than others:

Code Complete 2nd Edition

code complete

I’ve had this book for years and still reference it regularly when I’m reviewing/refactoring code. Even with the emergence of functional style programming (looking at you, JavaScript) it’s still useful.

Don’t just take my word for it. At the time of writing Code Complete was top of the list in this StackOverflow answer to the question “What is the single most influential book every programmer should read?”.

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code


Does as the title suggests. If you are overseeing code created by other developers or have to improve a legacy system then this is the book for you. It begins with a simple example of a code base that has code smells and then looks to refactor away these issues. It continues to list some best practices and methodologies to refactoring and is a great asset for a developer’s toolbox.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning

If you are a habitual learner I strongly recommend you take a few steps away from the grind stone of learning and read this book.

The key themes of this book are “learning about learning”, helping you to keep your attention focused on the right things and making use of both sides of your brain to solve difficult problems. I’ve implemented many aspects of this book during my day job and when learning new subjects, some of which have made a tremendous impact.

JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts

This book covers the bad parts as well as the good parts of JavaScript. Douglas Crockford is THE expert when it comes to JavaScript. This book works both as a reference but is also readable in the sense that you can read it like a novel and not have to be in front of a computer screen working through the subject matter.

With the unstoppable rise of JavaScript this book is essential reading if you code for the web. If you hear other developers ranting about JavaScript and are not quite sure what the basis of their objections are, then this book will help you.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

This book does at the title suggests and details habits that we can adopt to become more effective. I re-read it every couple of years (usually when I’m on holiday during those first few days of withdrawal symptoms from working).

The concept of “4th Generation Time Management” and “The Four Quadrants” from this book are often referenced in presentations, books and blog posts on the subject of productivity so it may be that you’ve already been impacted by this book.

Next Book?

Think I’m missing out on a great book? Leave a note in the comments and I will add it to my reading list.

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Bradley Braithwaite Software Blog Bradley Braithwaite is a software engineer who works for the search engine He is a published author at He writes about software development practices, JavaScript, AngularJS and Node.js via his website . Find out more about Brad. Find him via:
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