The most recommended software books

Who picked these books? Meet our 28 experts.

28 authors created a book list connected to software, and here are their favorite software books.
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Book cover of The Art of Agile Development

Markus Gärtner Author Of ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development

From my list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester.

Why am I passionate about this?

Markus Gärtner works as Organizational Design Consultant, Certified Scrum Trainer, and Agile Coach for it-agile GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. Markus, author of ATDD by Example - A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development, a student of the work of Jerry Weinberg, received the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person Award in 2013 and contributes to the Softwerkskammer, the German Software Craft movement. Markus regularly presents at Agile and testing conferences all over the globe, as well as dedicating himself to writing about agile software development, software craft, and software testing, foremost in an Agile context.

Markus' book list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester

Markus Gärtner Why did Markus love this book?

“Good agile testing is good context-driven testing applied in an agile context.”

I recall reading through the authors’ lessons on software testing at about the same time I dived into more agile topics. Lessons Learned in Software Testing helped me keep the connection towards more traditional contexts – more so since I was still working in a more traditional context.

With their more than 100 lessons some of them applied to me, others did not. I am sure, other readers will find the same in their context.

By James Shore, Shane Warden, Diana Larsen , Gitte Klitgaard

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Most companies developing software employ something they call "Agile." But there's widespread misunderstanding of what Agile is and how to use it. If you want to improve your software development team's agility, this comprehensive guidebook's clear, concrete, and detailed guidance explains what to do and why, and when to make trade-offs.

In this thorough update of the classic Agile how-to guide, James Shore provides no-nonsense advice on Agile adoption, planning, development, delivery, and management taken from over two decades of Agile experience. He brings the latest ideas from Extreme Programming, Scrum, Lean, DevOps, and more into a cohesive whole. Learn…


Book cover of Test Driven Development: By Example

Jan Van Ryswyck Author Of Writing Maintainable Unit Tests: Mastering the Art of Loosely Coupled Unit Tests

From my list on starting your software developer journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professional software developer for more than 22 years now. I’ve used many programming languages, platforms, frameworks, etc. throughout my career. However, the only constant for me personally was the practice of Test-Driven Development. I’ve never stopped learning about the principles and practices behind it, and it paid huge dividends throughout my career. I’m very humbled and grateful to be able to learn from all those amazing people over the years, that I decided to write a book on the topic. Giving back some of the knowledge that I gathered about TDD throughout 18+ years. 

Jan's book list on starting your software developer journey

Jan Van Ryswyck Why did Jan love this book?

During the early years of my career as a software developer, I regularly developed very small programs that would exercise parts of the system that I was working on back then. I realized very quickly that those small programs would save me a lot of time figuring out whether the changes that I made would actually work or not. Until at some point a colleague mentioned the concept of Test-Driven Development. I first did some experimentation, dipping a toe into the water to feel the temperature. It wasn’t until the first time I picked up this book that I jumped right in. From then moment on, it all made sense. Although this book was published back in 2002, for me it still is the book when it comes to the subject of Test-Driven Development.      

By Kent Beck,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Quite simply, test-driven development is meant to eliminate fear in application development. While some fear is healthy (often viewed as a conscience that tells programmers to "be careful!"), the author believes that byproducts of fear include tentative, grumpy, and uncommunicative programmers who are unable to absorb constructive criticism. When programming teams buy into TDD, they immediately see positive results. They eliminate the fear involved in their jobs, and are better equipped to tackle the difficult challenges that face them. TDD eliminates tentative traits, it teaches programmers to communicate, and it encourages team members to seek out criticism However, even the…


Book cover of Lessons Learned in Software Testing: A Context-Driven Approach

Markus Gärtner Author Of ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development

From my list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester.

Why am I passionate about this?

Markus Gärtner works as Organizational Design Consultant, Certified Scrum Trainer, and Agile Coach for it-agile GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. Markus, author of ATDD by Example - A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development, a student of the work of Jerry Weinberg, received the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person Award in 2013 and contributes to the Softwerkskammer, the German Software Craft movement. Markus regularly presents at Agile and testing conferences all over the globe, as well as dedicating himself to writing about agile software development, software craft, and software testing, foremost in an Agile context.

Markus' book list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester

Markus Gärtner Why did Markus love this book?

“Good agile testing is good context-driven testing applied in an agile context.”

The authors of this book summarize their decades of experience in software testing in over 100 lessons they learned. Follow them along different aspects of the tester’s job, as they re-tell various stories collected over the years with some clear guidance to surviving and testing project.

These software testing industry leaders have some timely contextual advice in here – whether you work as a tester on an agile team or in a more traditional fashion.

By Cem Kaner, James Bach, Bret Pettichord

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lessons Learned in Software Testing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Decades of software testing experience condensed into the most important lessons learned.

The world's leading software testing experts lend you their wisdom and years of experience to help you avoid the most common mistakes in testing software. Each lesson is an assertion related to software testing, followed by an explanation or example that shows you the how, when, and why of the testing lesson. More than just tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid, Lessons Learned in Software Testing speeds you through the critical testing phase of the software development project without the extensive trial and error it normally takes to…


Book cover of Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications

Mark S. Nixon Author Of Feature Extraction and Image Processing for Computer Vision

From my list on computer vision from a veteran professor.

Why am I passionate about this?

It’s been fantastic to work in computer vision, especially when it is used to build biometric systems. I and my 80 odd PhD students have pioneered systems that recognise people by the way they walk, by their ears, and many other new things too. To build the systems, we needed computer vision techniques and architectures, both of which work with complex real-world imagery. That’s what computer vision gives you: a capability to ‘see’ using a computer. I think we can still go a lot further: to give blind people sight, to enable better invasive surgery, to autonomise more of our industrial society, and to give us capabilities we never knew we’d have.

Mark's book list on computer vision from a veteran professor

Mark S. Nixon Why did Mark love this book?

Richard’s authoritative leading textbook excellently describes the whole field of computer vision. It starts with the sensor, moves to image formation followed by feature extraction and grouping, and then by vision analysis. It’s pragmatic too, with excellent descriptions of applications. And there is a ton of support material. This is a mega textbook describing the whole field of computer vision.

By Richard Szeliski,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Computer Vision: Algorithms and Applications explores the variety of techniques commonly used to analyze and interpret images. It also describes challenging real-world applications where vision is being successfully used, both for specialized applications such as medical imaging, and for fun, consumer-level tasks such as image editing and stitching, which students can apply to their own personal photos and videos.

More than just a source of "recipes," this exceptionally authoritative and comprehensive textbook/reference also takes a scientific approach to basic vision problems, formulating physical models of the imaging process before inverting them to produce descriptions of a scene. These problems are…


Book cover of Erlang Programming: A Concurrent Approach to Software Development

Philipp Fehre Author Of JavaScript Domain-Driven Design

From my list on learning from programming classics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Computers have fascinated me since my childhood, having fond memories of my dad's ZX81, but even so I played around I was never truly captured by the programming until I recognized it as a way of writing rather than raw engineering. Through my studies of media sciences I found my fascination with how language can shape perception, and through my work in developer advocacy, I found how communities are shaped as well. Now I am fascinated with how different programming languages can shape thinking, having had the opportunity to solve problems at large companies in nonmainstream languages.

Philipp's book list on learning from programming classics

Philipp Fehre Why did Philipp love this book?

Distributed systems are everywhere now, but long before there were telephony switches, and Erlang was built to make those work.

Reading this book gave me not only an understanding about Erlang, but the language and understanding to talk and think about systems which are distributed from the beginning, not as an afterthought. For me personally Erlang/OTP is the DSL for dystributed system and the patterns implemented have applications every time I think about distributed systems now.

By Francesco Cesarini, Simon Thompson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Concurrent Approach to Software Development


Book cover of User Story Mapping

Gojko Adzic Author Of Impact Mapping: Making a Big Impact with Software Products and Projects

From my list on for new software product managers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a software developer turned independent software vendor, learning about product management as a way to launch more successful products. I’m a co-founder of MindMup, a popular collaboration tool used by millions of students and schoolchildren worldwide, and Narakeet, an innovative video maker for people who are not video professionals. The books from this list helped me create successful products that users love, and successfully compete with companies that have several orders of magnitude more staff and resources. 

Gojko's book list on for new software product managers

Gojko Adzic Why did Gojko love this book?

Patton’s book is an amazing introduction to modern product management techniques, both from a practical and theoretical view. It introduces story mapping as a practical technique that you’ll be able to use immediately to start making sense of large plans and visualizing product ideas. More importantly, Patton uses this technique as an excuse to introduce readers to principles such as focusing on outcomes over outputs, working closely with users and iterative delivery, and experimentation. 

The book is a gateway drug for new product managers. It is an easy read and will get you hooked on modern ways to ensure that both users and stakeholders get value from your products. It helps people get started easily in a new role and provides a great foundation for going deeper into this field.

By Jeff Patton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

User story mapping is a valuable tool for software development, once you understand why and how to use it. This insightful book examines how this often misunderstood technique can help your team stay focused on users and their needs without getting lost in the enthusiasm for individual product features. Author Jeff Patton shows you how changeable story maps enable your team to hold better conversations about the project throughout the development process. Your team will learn to come away with a shared understanding of what you're attempting to build and why. Get a high-level view of story mapping, with an…


Book cover of Computers Ltd.: What They Really Can't Do

Martin Erwig Author Of Once Upon an Algorithm: How Stories Explain Computing

From my list on computer science without coding.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of computer science at Oregon State University. My research focus is on programming languages, but I also work on computer science education and outreach. I grew up in Germany and moved to the United States in 2000. Since computer science is a fairly new and not widely understood discipline, I am interested in explaining its core ideas to the general public. I believe that in order to attract a more diverse set of people to the field we should emphasize that coding is only a small part of computer science.

Martin's book list on computer science without coding

Martin Erwig Why did Martin love this book?

This book provides a brief introduction to the concept of algorithms before discussing the limitations of computation. Specifically, Harel explains undecidable problems (that is, problems for which no algorithm exists) and infeasible problems (that is, problems for which only algorithms are known that have an exponential runtime). I like this book (and its splendid title) because of its focus on the limitations of computation. Harel does a marvelous job in explaining two difficult topics about computation. The understanding of any scientific discipline requires the understanding of its limits, and the limits of computation are as significant as they are surprising.

By David Harel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Computers are incredible. They are one of the most important inventions of the 20th century, dramatically and irrevocably changing the way we live. That is the good news. The bad news is that there are still major limitations to computers, serious problems that not even the most powerful computers can solve. The consequences of such limitations can be serious. Too often these limits get overlooked, in the quest for bigger, better, and more powerful computers. In Computers Ltd., David Harel, best-selling author of Algorithmics, explains and illustrates one of the most fundamental, yet under-exposed facets of computers - their inherent…


Book cover of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

Markus Gärtner Author Of ATDD by Example: A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development

From my list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester.

Why am I passionate about this?

Markus Gärtner works as Organizational Design Consultant, Certified Scrum Trainer, and Agile Coach for it-agile GmbH, Hamburg, Germany. Markus, author of ATDD by Example - A Practical Guide to Acceptance Test-Driven Development, a student of the work of Jerry Weinberg, received the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person Award in 2013 and contributes to the Softwerkskammer, the German Software Craft movement. Markus regularly presents at Agile and testing conferences all over the globe, as well as dedicating himself to writing about agile software development, software craft, and software testing, foremost in an Agile context.

Markus' book list on surviving the Agile world as a software tester

Markus Gärtner Why did Markus love this book?

While this book was still in the writing, Crispin and Gregory published draft chapters on the internet.

At the time, I read them, and managed to introduce many of the great insights into my own work. Even though I was working in a more traditional environment, the ideas from the two ladies inspired me on my journey to the agile methodologies.

I even managed to contribute some of my own real-world examples from my own experiences to their writings – and they decided to include some of them.

By Lisa Crispin, Janet Gregory,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Te>Two of the industry's most experienced agile testing practitioners and consultants, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, have teamed up to bring you the definitive answers to these questions and many others. In Agile Testing, Crispin and Gregory define agile testing and illustrate the tester's role with examples from real agile teams. They teach you how to use the agile testing quadrants to identify what testing is needed, who should do it, and what tools might help. The book chronicles an agile software development iteration from the viewpoint of a tester and explains the seven key success factors
of agile testing.…


Book cover of Computer Security: Art and Science

Nancy R. Mead Author Of Cyber Security Engineering: A Practical Approach for Systems and Software Assurance

From my list on software security engineering.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I used to do all the math problems in my textbooks just for fun, even if they weren’t part of a homework assignment. My grandchildren cringe when I tell them this. I am a researcher and educator in secure software engineering and have enjoyed a productive career in software development and management, software engineering and software security research, and software and secure software engineering education.  

Nancy's book list on software security engineering

Nancy R. Mead Why did Nancy love this book?

Although strictly speaking, this book is not on software security, it is so well-known in the field as a general reference that it deserves to be on this list. It discusses the important issues of computer security and can be used as either a textbook or a reference. No doubt that many, if not most, students of computer security are familiar with this book.

By Matt Bishop,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Today, everyone recognizes the importance of safeguarding computer systems and networks from vulnerability, attack, and compromise. But computer security is neither an easy art nor a simple science: its methodologies and technologies require rigorous study, and a deep grounding in principles that can be applied even as technologies change. Moreover, practitioners must understand how to align concepts with real policies, and then actually implement those policies -- managing inevitable tradeoffs such as "How secure do our devices really need to be, and how much inconvenience can we accept?"



In his extensively updated Computer Security: Art and Science, 2nd Edition, University…


Book cover of The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers

Jesse Liberty Author Of Git for Programmers: Master Git for effective implementation of version control for your programming projects

From my list on for creating great software.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been coding for over 30 years. I’ve seen some miserable interfaces, and some large programs that collapse under their own weight. Software was, at one point, notorious for being late, over budget, and unreliable. These books have helped turn the corner on these failings, and I have found each of them very valuable in my day-to-day programming. While you can learn technique and even languages online, the kind of insight found in these books is rare and worth spending time and money on.

Jesse's book list on for creating great software

Jesse Liberty Why did Jesse love this book?

Robert (Uncle Bob) Martin is the recognized go-to person for books on creating quality code. This is the first in a series of books that include The Clean Coder, Clean Architecture, and a number more. His advice and guidance in Clean Code have made a significant difference in my personal coding habits and best practices. This is an indispensable book for all programmers, no matter what they are coding or how much experience they have

By Robert C. Martin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Programmers who endure and succeed amidst swirling uncertainty and nonstop pressure share a common attribute: They care deeply about the practice of creating software. They treat it as a craft. They are professionals.



In The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers, legendary software expert Robert C. Martin introduces the disciplines, techniques, tools, and practices of true software craftsmanship. This book is packed with practical advice-about everything from estimating and coding to refactoring and testing. It covers much more than technique: It is about attitude. Martin shows how to approach software development with honor, self-respect, and pride; work…