100 books like Software Engineering at Google

By Titus Winters, Tom Manshreck, Hyrum Wright

Here are 100 books that Software Engineering at Google fans have personally recommended if you like Software Engineering at Google. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Soul of a New Machine

Alex Tapscott Author Of Web3: Charting the Internet's Next Economic and Cultural Frontier

From my list on technological innovation and what drives it.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was while on the job as an investment banker that I first heard about this new thing called Bitcoin, before the word "web3" entered the vernacular. Initially I was skeptical but curious. But I became convinced the underlying technology of blockchains was ushering in nothing short of a new internet. My father Don Tapscott and I agreed to collaborate on a major research initiative that became the international best-seller, Blockchain Revolution. Since then, I have traveled to 40 countries and seen first-hand how blockchain and now Web3 is changing the world, setting the stage for a new digital age. My new book charts a course for this coming transformation.

Alex's book list on technological innovation and what drives it

Alex Tapscott Why did Alex love this book?

Kidder’s book follows the lives of a group of brilliant, funny, and maniacally driven entrepreneurs as they race to get their new minicomputer, the “Data General Eclipse MV/8000,” to market.

The technology is totally obsolete – who under the age of 40 has heard of a minicomputer? – but the story is somehow timeless. The book won the Pulitzer and is still a fun and riveting tale of what it takes to get a product to market on an ever-changing technological frontier.

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Soul of a New Machine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Tracy Kidder's "riveting" story of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and has become essential reading for understanding the history of the American tech industry.

Computers have changed since 1981 when The Soul of a New Machine first examined the culture of the computer revolution. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations.

The Soul…


Book cover of The Pragmatic Programmer: Your Journey to Mastery

Chris Zimmerman Author Of The Rules of Programming: How to Write Better Code

From my list on programming for people who want to be good at it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my life writing code—and too much of that life teaching new programmers how to write code like a professional. If it’s true that you only truly understand something after teaching it to someone else, then at this point I must really understand programming! Unfortunately, that understanding has not led to an endless stream of bug-free code, but it has led to some informed opinions on programming and books about programming.

Chris' book list on programming for people who want to be good at it

Chris Zimmerman Why did Chris love this book?

This book’s title is absolutely perfect! There’s no agenda here other than identifying things that will make you a more effective and productive programmer.

That leads to a book packed with solid advice, whether it’s about how to write code or how to think about your career. The authors are consultants, so there are plenty of clear and interesting examples drawn from many different problem domains. That’s super fun for someone like me who’s hyper-focused on a single kind of programming.

By David Thomas, Andrew Hunt,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Pragmatic Programmer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"One of the most significant books in my life." -Obie Fernandez, Author, The Rails Way

"Twenty years ago, the first edition of The Pragmatic Programmer completely changed the trajectory of my career. This new edition could do the same for yours." -Mike Cohn, Author of Succeeding with Agile , Agile Estimating and Planning , and User Stories Applied

". . . filled with practical advice, both technical and professional, that will serve you and your projects well for years to come." -Andrea Goulet, CEO, Corgibytes, Founder, LegacyCode.Rocks

". . . lightning does strike twice, and this book is proof." -VM…


Book cover of 201 Principles of Software Development

Karl Wiegers Author Of Software Development Pearls: Lessons from Fifty Years of Software Experience

From my list on lessons about software development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first learned to program in college in 1970. Since then I’ve spent much time as a software developer, manager, tester, process improvement leader, consultant, trainer, author, and, of course, a user. I quickly learned that I didn’t have time to make all the mistakes that every software developer before me had already made. My training and writing career has involved sharing what I and others have learned with audiences to help them quickly become more effective software development team members, regardless of their project role. This book distills insights and observations both from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from thousands of students and consulting clients.

Karl's book list on lessons about software development

Karl Wiegers Why did Karl love this book?

Many of the most significant principles of effective software development are timeless. They’re independent of the development life cycle or model, programming language, application type, and so forth. Although this book is quite a few years old now, nearly all of its contents are still valid. The 201 principles cover the full spectrum of software engineering: general principles, requirements engineering, design, coding, testing, management, product assurance, and evolution. The descriptions of each principle are concise, whereas my 60 lessons in Software Development Pearls go into a great deal more detail and offer many practical techniques.

There’s an unfortunate tendency among young software people to disregard knowledge from the past as irrelevant to them. That’s not correct. This book can help close significant gaps in any practicing software developer’s knowledge.

By Alan M. Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 201 Principles of Software Development as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This text defines governing principles for software development, assumptions that work regardless of tools used, to keep software projects from costing too much, taking too long and disappointing users.


Book cover of Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering

Karl Wiegers Author Of Software Development Pearls: Lessons from Fifty Years of Software Experience

From my list on lessons about software development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first learned to program in college in 1970. Since then I’ve spent much time as a software developer, manager, tester, process improvement leader, consultant, trainer, author, and, of course, a user. I quickly learned that I didn’t have time to make all the mistakes that every software developer before me had already made. My training and writing career has involved sharing what I and others have learned with audiences to help them quickly become more effective software development team members, regardless of their project role. This book distills insights and observations both from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from thousands of students and consulting clients.

Karl's book list on lessons about software development

Karl Wiegers Why did Karl love this book?

Robert Glass is one of the foundational leaders of the discipline of software engineering. He’s done it all and seen it all. This book includes 55 facts and 10 fallacies about many aspects of software engineering, grouped into the major categories of management, the life cycle, and quality. Based on my own experience, I can vouch for the validity of all the points Glass makes.

These timeless truths can help you avoid going down an ineffective path, wasting time only to rediscover the same facts on your own. There’s no need to retrace the missteps from the past. Books like this can keep your energies focused where they will provide the most value to your customers.

By Robert L. Glass,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Facts and Fallacies of Software Engineering as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The practice of building software is a "new kid on the block" technology. Though it may not seem this way for those who have been in the field for most of their careers, in the overall scheme of professions, software builders are relative "newbies."


In the short history of the software field, a lot of facts have been identified, and a lot of fallacies promulgated. Those facts and fallacies are what this book is about.

There's a problem with those facts-and, as you might imagine, those fallacies. Many of these fundamentally important facts are learned by a software engineer, but…


Book cover of AntiPatterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis

Karl Wiegers Author Of Software Development Pearls: Lessons from Fifty Years of Software Experience

From my list on lessons about software development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first learned to program in college in 1970. Since then I’ve spent much time as a software developer, manager, tester, process improvement leader, consultant, trainer, author, and, of course, a user. I quickly learned that I didn’t have time to make all the mistakes that every software developer before me had already made. My training and writing career has involved sharing what I and others have learned with audiences to help them quickly become more effective software development team members, regardless of their project role. This book distills insights and observations both from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from thousands of students and consulting clients.

Karl's book list on lessons about software development

Karl Wiegers Why did Karl love this book?

Most books about lessons learned and good practices tell you what you ought to be doing. AntiPatterns warns you about things you should not be doing. It points out a wide range of software project approaches that the authors believe are not advisable. The antipatterns have whimsical titles such as Poltergeists, Golden Hammer, Spaghetti Code, Stovepipe System, and Design by Committee. Each pattern describes the symptoms, causes, and consequences of that particular behavior, as well as offering a restructured approach that’s likely to yield better results. As with other lessons-learned books, this book lets you learn from the pain suffered by others to avoid stepping into the same traps on your own projects.

By William J. Brown, Raphael C. Malveau, Hays W. "Skip" McCormick III , Thomas J. Mowbray

Why should I read it?

1 author picked AntiPatterns as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The AntiPatterns authors have clearly been there and done that when it comes to managing software development efforts. I resonated with one insight after another, having witnessed too many wayward projects myself. The experience in this book is palpable." -John Vlissides, IBM Research "This book allows managers, architects, and developers to learn from the painful mistakes of others. The high-level AntiPatterns on software architecture are a particularly valuable contribution to software engineering. Highly recommended!" -Kyle Brown Author of The Design Patterns Smalltalk Companion "AntiPatterns continues the trend started in Design Patterns. The authors have discovered and named common problem situations…


Book cover of Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules

Karl Wiegers Author Of Software Development Pearls: Lessons from Fifty Years of Software Experience

From my list on lessons about software development.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first learned to program in college in 1970. Since then I’ve spent much time as a software developer, manager, tester, process improvement leader, consultant, trainer, author, and, of course, a user. I quickly learned that I didn’t have time to make all the mistakes that every software developer before me had already made. My training and writing career has involved sharing what I and others have learned with audiences to help them quickly become more effective software development team members, regardless of their project role. This book distills insights and observations both from my own experience and from what I’ve heard from thousands of students and consulting clients.

Karl's book list on lessons about software development

Karl Wiegers Why did Karl love this book?

One way to craft lessons learned is in the form of recommended best practices (or, as I prefer, “good practices”). Best practices represent collected and distilled wisdom from many observers, many projects, and many years of experience. Rapid Development includes 27 best practices for software development, with one chapter devoted to each. Although the book was published more than 25 years ago, most of these are still relevant. Indeed, several of them have been incorporated into routine contemporary practices: evolutionary delivery, designing for change, timebox development, and requirements scrubbing. Techniques such as inspections, miniature milestones, principled negotiation, and reuse are perennially pertinent.

By Steve McConnell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rapid Development as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Corporate and commercial software-development teams all want solutions for one important problem-how to get their high-pressure development schedules under control. In RAPID DEVELOPMENT, author Steve McConnell addresses that concern head-on with overall strategies, specific best practices, and valuable tips that help shrink and control development schedules and keep projects moving. Inside, you'll find:





A rapid-development strategy that can be applied to any project and the best practices to make that strategy work
Candid discussions of great and not-so-great rapid-development practices-estimation, prototyping, forced overtime, motivation, teamwork, rapid-development languages, risk management, and many others
A list of classic mistakes to avoid for…


Book cover of Introduction to Algorithms

Chris Zimmerman Author Of The Rules of Programming: How to Write Better Code

From my list on programming for people who want to be good at it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my life writing code—and too much of that life teaching new programmers how to write code like a professional. If it’s true that you only truly understand something after teaching it to someone else, then at this point I must really understand programming! Unfortunately, that understanding has not led to an endless stream of bug-free code, but it has led to some informed opinions on programming and books about programming.

Chris' book list on programming for people who want to be good at it

Chris Zimmerman Why did Chris love this book?

Yes, it’s a textbook, albeit a particularly well-written one. You may already have it on your shelf, if you’ve taken a programming class or two.

I’m way too old to have used CLRS as a textbook, though! For me, it’s an effectively bottomless collection of neat little ideas—an easy-to-describe problem, then a series of increasingly clever ways to solve that problem. How often do I end up using one of those algorithms? Not very often! But every time I read the description of an algorithm, I get a nugget of pure joy from the “aha” moment when I first understand how it works.

Book cover of Becoming a Better Programmer: A Handbook for People Who Care About Code

Chris Zimmerman Author Of The Rules of Programming: How to Write Better Code

From my list on programming for people who want to be good at it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent most of my life writing code—and too much of that life teaching new programmers how to write code like a professional. If it’s true that you only truly understand something after teaching it to someone else, then at this point I must really understand programming! Unfortunately, that understanding has not led to an endless stream of bug-free code, but it has led to some informed opinions on programming and books about programming.

Chris' book list on programming for people who want to be good at it

Chris Zimmerman Why did Chris love this book?

I’ve read a lot of books about programming; very few of them have made me laugh. None made me laugh as much as this book.

There’s one chapter where… nah, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Plus it has cartoons! Obviously, none of that would matter unless it also had interesting things to say about the practice of programming, but it’s packed full of interesting perspectives on all sorts of issues, from team dynamics to thinking about your career to an explicit consideration of the ethics of programming.

When we make games at Sucker Punch, we aim to “surprise and delight” the player—and that’s exactly what this book did for me.

By Pete Goodliffe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Becoming a Better Programmer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you're passionate about programming and want to get better at it, you've come to the right source. Code Craft author Pete Goodliffe presents a collection of useful techniques and approaches to the art and craft of programming that will help boost your career and your well-being. Goodliffe presents sound advice that he's learned in 15 years of professional programming. The book's standalone chapters span the range of a software developer's life - dealing with code, learning the trade, and improving performance - with no language or industry bias. Whether you're a seasoned developer, a neophyte professional, or a hobbyist,…


Book cover of Team Topologies: Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow

João Rosa Author Of Software Architecture Metrics: Case Studies to Improve the Quality of Your Architecture

From my list on a people first approach to technology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m puzzled by how people and technology evolve—as humankind we created all of these wonders to make our life easier. At the same time, I feel that we are more focus on the technology and processes, rather than people. It drew me to the topic of sociotechnical systems, which fascinates me. I’ve formal education in IT, and everything is binary; however, during my career I was drawn to the intersection of technology and people. My mission in life is to support a new generation of leaders that want to create an organisational environment that puts people in the center! 

João's book list on a people first approach to technology

João Rosa Why did João love this book?

I love pattern languages. And Team Topologies brings patterns for team types and their interactions. Most importantly, they address fundamental problems of the software industry: how teams organise for fast flow, and how teams cope with cognitive load. The book steams from the author's experience in the DevOps community, and it is widely used across the world. Last but not least, Team Topologies give us a language that support organisation evolution.

By Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Team Topologies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Companion book Remote Team Interactions Workbook now available!


Effective software teams are essential for any organization to deliver value continuously and sustainably. But how do you build the best team organization for your specific goals, culture, and needs?


Team Topologies is a practical, step-by-step, adaptive model for organizational design and team interaction based on four fundamental team types and three team interaction patterns. It is a model that treats teams as the fundamental means of delivery, where team structures and communication pathways are able to evolve with technological and organizational maturity.


In Team Topologies, IT consultants Matthew Skelton and Manuel…


Book cover of Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams

Mike McQuaid Author Of Git in Practice

From my list on becoming a great open source software engineer.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a professional software engineer and maintaining open-source software for 16 years. My work on open source has been heavily informed by industry best practises and my work on proprietary software has been heavily informed by open source best practises. Without these books, I’d be a worse engineer on many dimensions. Some of them may feel antiquated but all are still full of relevant wisdom for every open-source (and proprietary) software engineer today.

Mike's book list on becoming a great open source software engineer

Mike McQuaid Why did Mike love this book?

This is the oldest book on my list and is the most underrated. It describes, with serious rigour and detail, how to run more effective software projects and teams.

Most of this advice has been ignored by most of the industry for most of the time but it’s a big part of the reason I’ve worked from home for 14 years and am as productive as I am today.

By Tom DeMarco, Timothy Lister,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Peopleware as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Demarco and Lister demonstrate that the major issues of software development are human, not technical. Their answers aren't easy--just incredibly successful. New second edition features eight all-new chapters. Softcover. Previous edition: c1987. DLC: Management.


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