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Software Development Books - Software Design, Engineering, Science, Craft, Career, Profession, Quality

This page is an incomplete listing of interesting and recommended software development books. These books run the gamut from coding to project management to methodologies to design. Common themes include software design, software engineering, computer science, craft, career, profession, and quality. If you want to seriously grow in your career, here's a challenge: read a book from this list once a month. Enjoy.

Book Reviews on the developer.* Web Site

Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams
Cockburn's tolerance for extensibility and flexibility offers practitioners a foot-hold for transitioning toward agile practices.
Agile Documentation: A Pattern Guide to Producing Lightweight Documents for Software Projects
Useful documentation has its place, but it should be succinct, worded simply, and presented well.
After the Gold Rush
McConnell posits Engineering as the ideal model for that professional maturation process, and he makes many solid arguments in its favor.  Most of these points are based on the central idea of reusability.  This is not just recycling the data access library you wrote for your last project...
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture
Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture does exactly what it sets out to do: provide the reader with a catalog of proven enterprise level patterns and the knowledge to use them.  Fowler describes an architectural pattern as...
Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperative
Software engineering is a term often used to encompass the entire range of software development, from creating high-level architectural designs to low-level coding. In Software Craftsmanship: The New Imperitive, Pete McBreen proposes a more strict definition...
The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering (20th Anniversary Edition)
If a book about software development has sold over 250,000 copies (almost unheard of for technical books) and after 28 years is still in print, and selling well, it's a pretty good bet that it has something significant to offer.
UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language (2nd Edition)
Just about any developer these days who works in an object oriented language would do well to have at least cursory knowledge of the seemingly ubiquitous Unified Modeling Language (UML). If this acronym is not on your resume, then that is a hole you might want to fill.
The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
Hunt and Thomas's The Pragmatic Programmer is the logical companion to another great book about software construction, Steve McConnell's Code Complete.  Indeed, these two books make great companion volumes. Were they from the same publisher, they could be sold as a set.
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction (1st Edition)
Several years ago, when I was just getting started as a software developer, I read Steve McConnell's Code Complete all the way through, cover to cover.  Then I went back and read several sections again.  There is no question in my mind that...
The Design of Everyday Things
While this is not specifically a computer-oriented book, it is nonetheless a must-read for anyone who designs and develops computer software. I have learned more about design, especially user interface design, from this book than any other book that I've read...
Understanding the Professional Programmer
This is probably my favorite book on the subject of software development.  It is definitely my favorite of Weinberg's many excellent books.  I return to this book again and again, and find something new every time.
Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code
This book is essential reading for anyone involved in the construction of software using object oriented languages. Fowler and his fellow contributors do an incredible job of simultaneously introducing and formalizing a code improvement technique called "refactoring."
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Some Recommended Books

Code Complete, by Steve McConnell
Rapid Development, by Steve McConnell
After the Gold Rush, by Steve McConnell
Exploring Requirements: Quality Before Design, by Donald Gause and Gerald Weinberg
Becoming a Technical Leader, by Gerald Weinberg
Handbook of Walkthroughs, Inspections and Technical Reviews, by Daniel Freedman and Gerald Weinberg
General Principles of Systems Design, by Gerald Weinberg & Daniela Weinberg
Death March, by Edward Yourdon
VBScript Programmer's Reference, by Daniel Read, et. al.
Writing Effective Use Cases, by Alistair Cockburn

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