Best Coding Books to Read: Tutorial for Beginners

Reading is a fundamental skill to function in modern society. Opening a book every day is like going to the gym to train your brain. Training your mind is important to be able to learn new skills and languages. The same goes for learning how to code.

The world of programming is in constant growth and could be considered a fast-paced competitive market. New programs, coding languages, frameworks, and tools are created almost every day and it is quite easy to get lost in the sea of new information while trying to get into the computer software industry.

Because of the fast-paced society, everybody kind of forgets the old learning methods and relies more on online tutorials and guides on how to quickly learn coding languages.

This can be a rough mistake since quick tutorials can lead to misinformation or lack of information. It leads from point A to point B without figuring out the way yourself. This is why it is essential to read the coding books that explain every single detail along the way of learning computer coding for beginners. Additionally, in order to become truly proficient, you should also look up an online course concerning the topic, too!

Best Books to Learn Coding

As you begin your path on becoming a coding specialist it is always pleasant to find good sources of information. Many computer languages might be tricky to learn at the beginning so you need reliable references to double-check your mistakes and learn how to not make them again.

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In computer software, coding languages are used to create software in a very wide variety of application domains. Therefore, there are more than a few languages to learn. The recommended books on these languages are:

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

books near coding laptopThe authors Andrew Hunt and David Thomas laid down their thoughts on the paper about the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development.

They examed the core process of how to write maintainable codes that will leave the users delighted. Simply put, the information in the book allows you to program in a way you can understand.

While many coding books can help you how to learn to talk in a certain programming language - it is the only thing that a programmer does. It is quite a deeper issue.

Programmers are craftspeople who are taught to use certain tools to generate certain codes that will appear in a program. In the Pragmatic programmer, the authors tell the story of many truths that they discovered during their respective careers.

The book covers topics like an approach to software design and construction that allows profitable, efficient development of high-quality products.

The approach in the books is divided into groups of specification development, customer relations, team management, design practices, development tools, and testing procedures. In the book, you might also find the related jokes and technical problems that will help to understand the information even better.

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition

This is one of those coding books that is considered to be one of the best practical guides to programming. The author Steve McConnell is recognized as one of those premier writers that made a huge impact on the development community.

In the book Code Complete, you will find many codes examples that have been updated and revised that will illustrate the art and science behind every construction.

Best coding books: typing code.

The author collected the must-know techniques and principles into clear guidance. Strategies like how to design for minimum complexity and maximum creativity, defensive programming techniques that can reduce flush out errors, and many more.

The book’s scope is the construction of software that primarily includes detailed design, coding, debugging, and various testings. The main takeaway from this read should be how to manage complexity in developing. In the long run, it will save you a lot of time if you can make complex things simple and easy to understand.

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Following our list of coding books, it is crucial to mention Steve Krug's publish of 2000. The book came out almost 20 years ago and is still relevant to these days. Many developers say that it will stay relevant for the years to come.

The book Don’t Make Me Think is an inspiration for many web designers and developers around the world.

In this book, you can find Steve Krug’s guide on understanding how intuitive navigation and information design works. You will also find helpful information on launching a new website, on the redesign of the website, and correcting it.

Many consider this book as a manual that doesn’t read like a textbook. The book is highly valuable to individuals who need guidance and to various sizes of business organizations.

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C

hand full of booksThe book is exactly what the title says about it - an ultimate beginner guide to understanding C coding language. Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C is a bestseller by Greg Perry.

In this book of computer coding for beginners, you can find an excellent introduction to the C programming language.

By reading this book you will cover all the aspects of the language, C notation, and basic C syntax. The book gives a very good basic understanding so you could have a much more comprehensive understanding of how to get things done in C.

For beginners, this is one of those coding books that probably answers all the questions along the way. You will learn how to write programs successfully on your own and the guidance of the authors of this book will give you good explanations and examples to help along the way.

Although by reading this book you will not become a programmer instantly, it will introduce you to how things are structured and will prepare you for more advanced material.

Java: A Beginner's Guide, Sixth Edition

This book is a perfect way to start programming in Java. The author of this bestselling book, Herb Schildt is the world’s leading programming author and a huge authority on Java, C#, and C++.

In the Sixth Edition of beginners' guide on Java Herb Schildt begins by explaining the basics. You will find out how to create, compile, and run a Java program. The following information is based on keywords, syntax, and constructs that form the core of the Java language.

best coding books: programmer

You will also find out about the more advanced features that you may find in other coding books, including multithreaded programming, generics, and Swing. For easier learning, there are chapters like these that will help you along the way: key skills & concepts, questions and answers, hands-on exercises, and self-tests.

The guide contains much information that is extremely valuable to those who are interested in programming in Java. If reading a book on Java just isn't for you, check out this Java course by Udacity

Developing Large Web Applications: Producing Code That Can Grow and Thrive

If your goal is to create a successful website that provides exceptional performance at any given time of the day, then definitely go for Kyle Loudon’s book on web design. The author is a software engineer at Yahoo! where he leads a team that is responsible for the interface development.

Developing Large Web Applications is one of those coding books that offers practical steps for building applications that can be filled with functions, users, and features.

Following the pages of this book, you will learn how to develop web applications with precision, avoid common coding and maintenance mistakes, get solutions for refining HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and other languages for large web applications.

Kyle Loudon has laid down some very good information for keen upcoming web developers about embracing the virtues of modularity, encapsulation, abstraction, and loosely coupled components.

Also, you might find helpful material on how to learn often-overlooked practices in code management and software engineering and how to use tried-and-true techniques for managing data exchange.

The book will give great value to its’ owner since it shows the way how to achieve higher performance in designing and building web applications.

Ruby Programming Master’s Handbook: A True Beginner’s Guide

books piled on laptopThe book was written by Code Well Academy and gives a pretty good overview of Ruby programming language to beginners. Ranked of one of the top five coding books on Ruby, Master’s Handbook is a great way to get on track and start learning.

In the book itself, you will find much information that will help to understand many important keynotes of the language, and by the end of every chapter, there will be a comprehensive overview that will help memorize the important stuff even more.

The detailed manner of the book is perfect to be ready to code the next greatest web application.

Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science

Although the name of the book says Python Programming, it is a very good book on understanding how the art of programming works in general. The author of the book, John Zelle, compiled the necessary information for beginners to understand what computer science is while keeping it in the context of programming.

In the book, you will find information on how codes work without reading too much theory. The writer took good care that the reader would understanding Python through the practical side.

After every chapter, some tests will make you think and revise the material that you read before so you could memorize and understand the process even more.

Unlike other coding books, An Introduction to Computer Science does not assume you understand some of the things about Python. It explains every single step along the way so the reader would not help lost.

However, if this book didn't capture your attention or you simply are looking for a more practical approach to learning, we'd like to also recommend edX's Introduction to Python Programming course. 

The Joy of PHP: A Beginner's Guide to Programming Interactive Web Applications with PHP and MySQL

If you are looking for some serious information sources on how to create your website or create browser applications you might found what you were looking for. The Joy of PHP is a book written by Alan Forbes for people who want to learn PHP and MySQL and have fun while doing it.

The book begins by explaining basic HTML stuff that any kind of beginner could catch up. As you progress reading the book, step by step you will understand how PHP works.

Best coding books: HTML code

In the beginning, the book explains how to run simple PHP scripts that modify web pages. From lesson to lesson you will be given exercises that will increase in difficulty and learning level but that is all part of the process.

Although this might be one of the controversial coding books, the information about PHP to beginners is still relevantly useful, so before making a purchase take a look at the reviews to be sure if you’ll be satisfied with the book

Alongside the book, you should also take this PHP course by Coursera. 

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A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript. The New Tech-Assisted Approach that Requires Half the Effort

Along his path on learning Javascript, Mark Myers, the author of this book, found many troubles that made him think that he was a bad learner. After some time he realized that it was not all his fault, it was the fact that information was given in such a manner that it was hard to memorize it all.

A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript is a book that is ⅔ practice and ⅓ reading. To retain information better, the author invites his readers to his website to do exercises. He believes, that practice is the key to success and there are no bad learners, just bad coding books and educators, that lack teaching talents.

The book and exercises are made especially for beginners. Since everyone has a different pace of learning, the book guides the reader as slow as he needs to and explains everything in simple English language without hard or complicated words.

While this book is great simply for the fact that it offers practice, personally, I prefer checking out more resources while learning a programming language. One that I find particularly beneficial is edX's Introduction to JavaScript course


Of course, the list of the best coding books could go on and on. There are a lot of great books out there and with a little research, you can find them in no-time.

As it was already mentioned in the beginning, books are a very good source of information and are a lot more trustworthy than quick tutorials and guides.

The main reason for that is that books usually go through separate layers of double-checking the information so there is less chance that you will be mistaken along the learning process. If you are not really into books you can check out programming courses at Udemy and edX.

However, in this fast-paced changing modern world it is important to not only know the basics but also to know the new processes so always keep an eye and be updated with the necessary knowledge!

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Recent User Reviews


would be the best if people stopped arguing what's better books or online lectures and just tried to do and mix both... may do wonders!


not gonna lie, I prefer online courses or face-to-face learning. just can't focus when reading a book...

I mean

Who needs books when there are way more interactive ways to learn coding? Like watching youtube videos, or even taking online courses.

did read

I did read the pragmatic programmer and it didn't dissapoint! I highly reccomend every aspiring programmer reads it!


Books are such an old-fashioned way to study - bring me my laptop!


Surely I'll add some to my reading list.


Some nice options over there. Really appreciate the list, not often you gonna find something similar online.


Is choosing one of the best coding books the only way to learn?

There are many ways to learn coding. Of course, there are books that can help you with the theoretical side of the learning process. However, some people may prefer online video courses. This way of learning is more interactive and engaging - you can see how others work and learn from their experiences.

Is coding hard to learn?

A short answer would be NO, coding isn't hard to master. If you have the right material to learn from and you're willing to dedicate time to learn, you can easily learn to code. It requires passion and effort, but in the end, your hard work will pay off.

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