Our editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, TechRepublic may earn a commission.

Developers: 8 books you should read to improve your career

These popular programming books provide developers with tips on writing code, refactoring, engineering, preparing for jobs in the field, and more.

This selection of highly rated titles offers advice from best-selling authors and experienced software engineers. These books can help developers gain additional insight into how to improve and thrive in their careers. Read on to get tips on coding and programming, effectively implementing DevOps, preparing for job interviews, and much more.

The Pragmatic Programmer

the-pragmatic-programmer.jpg
The Pragmatic Programmer
Image: Amazon

This book by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas tends to end up on just about every list of books for developers, and with good reason. With instructions on everything from how to fight software rot and avoid duplicating knowledge to solving underlying problems of concurrent code and guarding against security vulnerabilities, The Pragmatic Programmer is a good book for any developer to have on the bookshelf.

$45 at Amazon

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

clean-code.jpg
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship
Image: Amazon

In Clean Code, best-selling author Robert C. Martin (aka "Uncle Bob") explains several concepts that may be helpful to developers. These include: How to tell the difference between good and bad code, how to write good code and how to transform bad code into good code, how to format code for maximum readability, how to unit test and practice test-driven development, and more.

$42 at Amazon

The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers

the-clean-coder.jpg
The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers
Image: Amazon

Another title from Robert C. Martin, The Clean Coder has suggestions about how to deal with conflict, tight schedules, and unreasonable managers; how to get into the flow of coding; ways to handle unrelenting pressure and avoid burnout; foster environments in which programmers and teams can thrive; and time management. 

$23 at Amazon

Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design

clean-architecture.jpg
Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design
Image: Amazon

This book works in tandem with author Robert C. Martin's other titles. In Clean Architecture, Martin explains principles like what software architects need to achieve (and practices for achieving it) as well as how to master essential software design principles for addressing function, component separation, and data management; how to implement optimal, high-level structures for web, database, thick-client, console, and embedded applications; defining appropriate boundaries and layers; and understanding why designs and architectures go wrong, including how to prevent (or fix) these failures. 

$34 at Amazon

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

refactoring.jpg
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
Image: Amazon

Martin Fowler's book on refactoring explains what refactoring is, why you should refactor, and how to recognize code that needs refactoring (including how to do it successfully), no matter which language you use. Refactoring also helps readers understand ways to quickly apply useful refactorings to make a program easier to comprehend and change, build solid tests for refactorings, reorganize tradeoffs and obstacles to refactoring, and more.

$45 at Amazon

Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions and Solutions

cracking-the-coding-interview.jpg
Cracking the Coding Interview: 189 Programming Questions & Solutions

Cracking the Coding Interview helps prepare developers for getting jobs in the field. With tips about what to expect during the interview process, what to do before the interview, what interviewers are looking for, how to prepare for behavioral and technical questions, and much more. Topics like big O time, data structures, core algorithms, etc., are also discussed so readers will be well-versed in these essential areas during the job interview. 

$36 at Barnes & Noble

Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale

effective-devops.jpg
Effective DevOps: Building a Culture of Collaboration, Affinity, and Tooling at Scale
Image: Amazon

If you're looking for a helpful book about DevOps, Effective Devops might be a good fit. This book explores the foundations of DevOps, offers tips on collaboration and teamwork, troubleshooting, and more. Effective Devops also includes case studies to illustrate real-life examples of how DevOps works.

$33 at Amazon

The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact

the-effective-engineer.jpg
The Effective Engineer: How to Leverage Your Efforts In Software Engineering to Make a Disproportionate and Meaningful Impact 
Image: Amazon

The Effective Engineer was designed for modern software engineers and includes in-depth interviews with leaders at top tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Dropbox, Square, Reddit, Instagram, and many others. The book offers valuable insights about topics like how to prioritize the right projects and tasks, produce more accurate software estimates, shorten debugging workflow and increase iteration speed, spend less time maintaining and fixing software and more time building and shipping new features, just to name a few. 

$39 at Amazon