Technology books that marked software developers

Technology books can have a great effect on our software development professions. Although there are numerous books written, there are just a couple that literally marked us. An excellent book doesn’t just help us solve difficult issues, but it can change how we relate to them.

As tales shaped our youth, great tech books shape not just our careers but sometimes, our view of the world.

From evergreens to books that develop subjects for a particular technology used in creating life sciences software or enterprise solutions, we asked some programmers in Europe to inform us about the tech books that impressed them.

  1. Vaughn Vernon – Reactive Messaging Patterns with the Actor Model: Applications and Integration in Scala and Akka

There are a lot of tech books about different parts of this profession, data structures, and algorithms, code, principles, patterns, databases, architectures, cloud, good practices, etc. The list is long and potent. However, the one book that could give answers where others failed, was the one that explained how to switch the way we think and code.

Moving into responsive microservices and reactive systems was a long and hard road and it took 4 years to make it through. “Reactive Messaging Patterns using the Actor Model: Applications and Integration in Scala and Akka” — by Vaughn Vernon — was the book that enlightened software development and is undoubtedly not the only recommended book from Vaughn Vernon.

In 2015, the topic was rather new, so the mindset of the developers was not really prepared for this change in the evolution paradigm. The book provides explanations and practical examples about what is responsive, the way to integrate this in code, and how to acquire massive benefits in performance by doing this.

Additionally, explanations about AKKA helped developers provide a very strong and cost-effective system that’s equipped to process billions of database rows daily.

  1. Allen Holub – Enough Rope to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Rules for C and C++ Programming

About twenty years ago, Eastern Europe was the place where many software programmers were searching for opportunities to grow in a brand new and restless sector called IT.

A recent software developer graduate, involved in some tiny private projects, and with 1 year of work experience in Java and Visual Basic, decided to change his job for a business that used C and C++ for developing and growing their products.

He was always attracted to the speed and power of this C/C++ but never had the opportunity before to feel the flexibility, the energy and, the elegance of the language.

In the first days in the newly founded company, my boss at the time came to my desk and put a book on my desk: Enough Rope to Shoot Yourself in the Foot: Rules for C and C++ Programming by Allen Holub.

The title and the humorous drawing on the book cover are amusing, but as you read the book you begin to understand the significance of it, given that C/C++, being such a powerful tool, can make you misunderstand the basic strategies and techniques to handle it and can backfire anytime because of this.

However, this is one of the most fascinating technology books that still can help you fix bugs and provide suggestions to new developers.

  1. Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie – The C Programming Language

First developed between 1972-1973, the C language was hailed because of its simplicity (the syntax is relatively easy) and efficacy (maps nicely to assembly language constructs). Also, the C programming language is seen to be the language that likely contributed the most to the growth of technology.

Therefore, developers can now create robust programs with a good lower-level controller and effective execution. C language got quickly standardized and it created an ecosystem of compilators by numerous providers, adding support for the majority of microprocessors and microcontrollers.

The experts in C language, Dennis Ritchie and Brian Kernighan wrote an iconic book. The didactic material is helpful and easily comprehensible for students who are interested in programming.

This book is essential for everyone who wants to get into the intricacies of their embedded systems programming.

  1. Paul Scherz and Simon Monk – Practical Electronics for Inventors

The book represents an all-in-one solution for electronics. It is truly tough to read from beginning to end, however, if you are passionate, you will always keep this book close to you and look again for information throughout your tinkering.

  1. Martin Robert C. – Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

It is amazing how many “levels” you can enhance that can maintain your code “clean”.  The book progressively builds up the covered scope. The book begins with how to properly name variables, methods, how to break methods with confusing and long method names into smaller ones, each with a limited obligation.

Then the book explains how to write clean courses, and this is only the start. This book will teach you that code aesthetics is essential to any software system. The fact that the code works is insufficient proof of its quality.

The book covers some concepts: clarity, the code must have a clean structure, encapsulation, and even more, ways to simplify the present and the future work so that other software developers will find their way around this code easier, they will implement new features in a simpler way and, also maintenance and evaluations will be simpler.

The examples in this book are based on Java but the principles are universal, making them applicable to any object-oriented language.  Anyone reading this book will give himself /herself and other programmers working on his code, a favor.

This was our list of some of the tech books that marked us in our IT outsourcing journey. We hope that you will find them as interesting as we found them and that they will help with anything you need!

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