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Jeff Atwood

blogger
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Recommended Books

Jeff Atwood is an American software developer, author, blogger, and entrepreneur. He writes the computer programming blog Coding Horror
14 books on the list
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Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself
Second Edition
by J. Theophrastus Bartholomew (Feb 26, 2019)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfiction
YOUR MIND IS NOW THE ULTIMATE GAMING ENGINE.Top 10 Games You Can Play In Your Head, By Yourself, is a collection of visionary author J. Theophrastus Bartholomew's most cherished mind-games, edited and updated by filmmaker and storyteller Sam Gorski and author D.F. Lovett. No peripherals needed. No controllers. No pens. No dice or boards. Everything...
59 Seconds
Change Your Life in Under a Minute
by Richard Wiseman (Dec 27, 2010)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: nonfictionpsychologypersonal-developmentscience
A psychologist and best-selling author gives us a myth-busting response to the self-help movement, with tips and tricks to improve your life that come straight from the scientific community.Richard Wiseman has been troubled by the realization that the self-help industry often promotes exercises that destroy motivation, damage relationships, and red...
Code Complete
A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition
by Steve McConnell (Jun 18, 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingtechnologynonfiction
Widely considered one of the best practical guides to programming, Steve McConnell's original CODE COMPLETE has been helping developers write better software for more than a decade. Now this classic book has been fully updated and revised with leading-edge practices--and hundreds of new code samples--illustrating the art and science of software con...
Jeff Atwood
Jul 08, 2015
Q: Why do you recommend Code Complete so much? A: In programming, people can be very dogmatic about what they think is right. Code Complete is not preachy in that way and instead cites a lot of data.     source
Peopleware
Productive Projects and Teams (3rd Edition)
by Tom DeMarco (Jun 27, 2013)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: managementbusinessprogrammingnonfictionleadershiptechnology
Peopleware asserts that most software development projects fail because of failures within the team running them. This strikingly clear, direct book is written for software development-team leaders and managers, but it's filled with enough commonsense wisdom to appeal to anyone working in technology. Authors Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister include p...
Jeff Atwood
Oct 22, 2012
The book Peopleware was actually instrumental in our getting this understanding that 80% of anything you attack is about questions like: How do people interact with the software? How can you get them to interact in a way that makes sense? That’s what you need to worry about. A lot of the time it doesn’t matter if your code is technically correct or pretty. That’s irrelevant if no one can actually understand what the hell it does. So, let’s get to first principles, first causes. Let’s understand what’s going on here.     source
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
by Alan Cooper (Mar 04, 2004)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: designnonfictionbusinessprogrammingtechnology
Technology isn't only the way of the future, but also the way of today. With electronics, computer chips, transmitters, and so on finding their into the most common of household and office environments, most people find that they really don't know very much about the technological advances they use. They need their phones, cameras, computers, and c...
Jeff Atwood
Oct 22, 2012
Q: One of the books you mention on your blog is Alan Cooper’s The Inmates Are Running the Asylum. When I read the book, I must admit to being a little bit offended by his description of software engineers as loving complexity. A: But they totally do! The book is completely correct! That’s one of my lessons to my fellow programmers: Stop trying to be a great programmer, and focus on trying to be a great human being. How do you build things that human beings can actually use. I’m not saying you have to fall in love with your fellow human beings—they’re a lot harder to love and are a lot more erratic than you’d like. But you have to appreciate that, if you want people to use your stuff, you have to understand human factors. You have to appreciate that you need to ask: What’s the prior art on this? How are other people doing this, from a design perspective? That's absolutely critical to being a great programmer.     source
This book is also recommended by
Brian Armstrong
About Face
The Essentials of Interaction Design
by Alan Cooper (Sep 01, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: designnonfictionprogramming
The three editions of "About Face" have shaped and evolved the landscape of interaction design, bringing it from the research labs into every day lexicon and development. The fourth edition of this groundbreaking book will be no less game changing.The 4th edition of "About Face "is the most significant revision yet, with a new unique design and 4-c...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
It's a fantastically useful book; I've used whole chapters as guides for projects I worked on.     source
Don't Make Me Think, Revisited
A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
by Steve Krug (Jan 02, 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: designnonfictionbusinessprogrammingtechnology
Since Dont Make Me Think was first published in 2000, over 400,000 Web designers and developers have relied on Steve Krugs guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design.In this 3rd edition, Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Dont Make Me Think a classic-with updat...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
The single best book on usability I've ever read." "If you choose to read only one book on usability, choose this one.     source
This book is also recommended by
Brian ArmstrongNick Ganju
Prioritizing Web Usability
by Jakob Nielsen (Apr 29, 2006)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: designnonfiction
In 2000, Jakob Nielsen, the world's leading expert on Web usability, published a book that changed how people think about the Web--"Designing Web Usability" (New Riders). Many applauded. A few jeered. But everyone listened. The best-selling usability guru is back and has revisited his classic guide, joined forces with Web usability consultant Hoa L...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
Designing Web Usability is of course a full-on web usability primer, so it's a bit different than the GUI-oriented Cooper books.     source
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
by Edward R. Tufte (Dec 31, 2000)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: designnonfictionsciencebusiness
The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improvin...
This book is also recommended by
Michael Okuda
The Pragmatic Programmer
From Journeyman to Master
by Andrew Hunt (Oct 29, 1999)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingtechnologynonfiction
-- Ward Cunningham Straight from the programming trenches, The Pragmatic Programmer cuts through the increasing specialization and technicalities of modern software development to examine the core process--taking a requirement and producing working, maintainable code that delights its users. It covers topics ranging from personal responsibility and...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
Not all of these things are technically programming. For example, asking yourself "why am I doing this? Is this even worth doing at all?" isn't thinking outside the box; it's something you should incorporate into your daily routine to keep yourself – and your co-workers – sane. And that's what makes Pragmatic Programmer such a great book.     source
This book is also recommended by
Derek Sivers
Programming Pearls
by Jon Bentley (Oct 06, 1999)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingtechnologynonfiction
The first edition of Programming Pearls was one of the most influential books I read early in my career, and many of the insights I first encountered in that book stayed with me long after I read it. Jon has done a wonderful job of updating the material. I am very impressed at how fresh the new examples seem. - Steve McConnell When programmers list...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
Programming Pearls is the next best thing to working side by side with a master programmer for a year or so. It is the collective wisdom of many journeyman coders distilled into succinct, digestible columns.     source
Rapid Development
Taming Wild Software Schedules
by Steve McConnell (Jul 11, 1996)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingmanagementnonfictiontechnology
Rapid Development Project managers, technical leads, and Windows programmers throughout the industry share an important concern--how to get their development schedules under control. Rapid Development addresses that concern head-on with philosophy, techniques, and tools that help shrink and control development schedules and keep projects moving. Th...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
Rapid Development isn't about rapid development. It's about **the reality of failure** .     source
The Mythical Man-Month
Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition)
by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. (Aug 11, 1995)
Goodreads Rating
Tags: programmingnonfictiontechnologybusinessmanagement
Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month. With a blend of software engineering facts and thought-provoking opinions, Fred Brooks offers insight for anyone managing complex projects. These essays draw from his experience as project manager for the IBM System/360 computer family and then...
Jeff Atwood
Feb 02, 2004
Arguably the only classic book in our field. If you haven't read it, shame on you". "Reading this classic work will certainly be a better use of your time than poring over the latest thousand page technical tome du jour.     source
This book is also recommended by
Alan KayJeff BezosMarc BenioffLarry Ellison