Best Computer Coding Books for Beginners and Experts in 2020

As you begin your path to becoming a coder, nothing is more useful than a good reference, or a strong tutorial. In this article, we will explore some of the best books that will prove useful on your path to becoming a well-rounded coder, no matter what your discipline may be.

We have organized these top picks by discipline, starting with general programming, working through the different languages, with separate sections for front-end and back-end development. These are books that should be in the library of any coder looking to develop or improve their skills.

When looking to buy a book or resource to learn off of, you have to determine what area of concentration and language you want to focus on. the following languages are broken into what type of code you are wanting to focus on (in 2018):

General Coding

Back-End Development

      • Ruby
      • Python

Front-End Development

The following have been read and reviewed by our team here ar Coder’s Eye. We took over 15 hours to choose the absolute best book for each category and each language for you to learn. Links directly to amazon are listed below as well which is the cheapest place you can buy books today.


General Coding Books

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master 

Pragmatic Programmer - From Journeyman to MasterAuthor: Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

Lessons on how to improve productivity, accuracy, and job satisfaction. Designed for an audience from the new coder to the experienced programmer or manager. Develop the attitude that helps you become the best at what you do. The purpose of this book is to bring you from the coder without a foundation or discipline for programming into someone who has a strong understanding of variables, objects, algorithms, and data structures. It is a smooth transition from this book into any coding language, and for this reason we recommend this book as not a language book but a primer in every programming language.

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The C++ Programming Language, 4th Edition (Editor’s Choice)

Bjarne Stroustrup C++11 Programming bookAuthor: Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne (The Author) has been at the forefront of making C++ as stable as it is today. Being the Managing Director for Morgan Stanley puts him in a spot light of that any Coder wanting to learn more should aspire to.

The 4th edition of this book has been rewritten from the ground up (unlike other others that simply update examples in their textbooks). The comprehensive update includes the anticipated C++11 standards. This ensure that anything you will read about in Strounstup’s, C++ Programming language, will be the most cutting edge information we have on C++ implementation.

This book clarifies both syntax and semantics of the modern day C++ language. The beginner that wants to learn can go through earlier chapters as well. Though, for more advanced coders that want to sharpen their programming knowledge this will be a textbook that is definitely on your shelf at your office desk.

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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C

Coding Beginners guide to CAuthor:

This book is targeted directly at beginning programmers. This book has been updated and answers nearly every question you may have about the C language. This book is one of the best-sellers in computer programming reference and talks to the readers at their level.

The book describes everything about how to get started learning C programming with easy-to-understand exercises. Guide to C uses special icons, clues, notes, and warnings to make understanding the concept of C programming easier. They starts with the basic concepts of standard I/O and gradually goes on to teach memory, loops, structures, and many other features of the language.

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C Programming Language

C the programming language full guideAuthor: Kernighan and Ritche

This book is Kernighan and Ritchie’s 1988 classic, The C Programming Language (4th Ed.). One of the best-selling programming books published in the last fifty years, “K&R” has been called everything from the “bible” to “a landmark in computer science” and it has influenced generations of programmers.

This concise and beautifully written text is a “must-have” reference for every serious programmer’s digital library. There is discussion of the differences between Kernighan and Ritchie C and ANSI C, and the readers will get a great experience in learning from the authors of the language themselves. This is a must-read for any C programmer of any level, and should be a component of any C reference library.

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Java: A Beginner’s Guide

Java Coding BookAuthor:

This book is fully updated to the latest standards of the Java platform. Herbert Schildt is a bestselling author in the world of Java programming. The book starts with the basic concepts like how to create, compile, and run a Java program. It slowly moves to more complex areas like syntax, keywords and constructs that are the core aspects of Java.

Beyond that, this Oracle Press book covers some advanced features like generics, multi-threaded programming, and Swing. The book ends with an introduction to JavaFX, the newest interface of Java, along with a complete tutorial. The aim of the book is to prepare the reader for actual programming tasks in the Java field. Considering it doesnt go over Jquery much here (based on Java), you can see our own free Jquery tutorial here.

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Swift/Objective C

Programming in Objective-C

Programming in Objective CAuthor: Stephen G. Kochan

This book concisely explains the best practices for programming for iOS and OS X with Objective C. This book does not assume that the reader has any previous knowledge of any object-oriented programming language. This makes it one of the most accessible volumes on the topic of Objective C. Readers can learn basic concepts of object-oriented programming without learning all the required intricacies of basic C programming language.

This learning guide is a perfect blend of several small coding and programming examples and contains academic exercises at the end of chapters. We recommend this book as an entry point for Objective C and as a way to transition from beginning coding into the Swift programming language which is a version of Objective C specifically for Apple’s iOS platform.

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Back-End Development

Best books for php, pyton and Ruby backend coding


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

How to write code for large web appsAuthor: O’Reilly Publishing

This book, rather than explaining, shows you how to develop smooth and efficient web applications. You see a complete solution from beginning to end and the author provides the background information that explains the fundamentals of why the solution is appropriate. The author has written several other books in other languages and his focus is on efficiency and stability.

This book takes those ideas and also shows how to compose a web application from the ground up. This is an excellent reference book for the back-end developer that transcends programming languages. This book’s origins in Yahoo!’s UI team shows that it has credibility in the real world maintaining an extremely large web application throughout time. We recommend this for your professional library.

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Ruby Coding Book

Ruby Programming Master’s Handbook: A TRUE Beginner’s Guide!

Master Ruby Programming code GuideAuthor: Code Well Academy

Wanting to become a back-end developer? This beginner’s guide to the Ruby language will help you realize that objective. This book, edited by the Code Well Academy, contains solved problems and code samples. It also has a strong grasp of data structures and algorithms. The book also describes various aspects of design and technology in AJAX, Perl, Python and Swift.

The master’s handbook edition not only explains the Ruby syntax, but also points out the common mistakes and pitfalls that beginners should avoid. Because it targets the beginner and acts as an easy entry point to the Ruby language, it is our recommendation for a book for beginning Ruby coders who want to learn quickly and efficiently.

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Python Programming: An Introduction to Computer Science

Best Coding book for PythonAuthor: John Zelle

This is the second edition of Python Programming, created for first year computer science students in traditional school. It contains the updates for Python 3. It is widely regarded as one of the best books on coding, and even touches on Chaos Theory. Included are illustrated examples to help you learn to program more efficiently and cleanly.

It teaches all necessary concepts of Computer Science related to computing and programming. After completing this book, a coder would be ready to tackle real-world applications. Therefore, we recommend this book not only as a beginning book for Python but also as an introduction to coding itself as Python is a tremendous learning language. This book should be part of your reference library.

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Front-End Development

Coding books for Frontend Programming


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

Editors Choice PHP and mysql coding BookAuthor: Alan Forbes

Alan Forbes’ title is for someone who wants to learn to program PHP and MySQL and have fun doing it. The book starts with basic HTML lessons for absolute beginners and gradually moves to tutorials covering simple to complex aspects of PHP. It stresses the importance of HTML, PHP, and MySQL as necessary components for a robust website and how they work together.

All the information is prepared in detail and it makes it a pleasure to work through. The book covers installing and configuring PHP, introduction to HTML, basic PHP Syntax, usage of MySQL and PHP together, and security considerations.

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A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript

Javascript Progrraming GuideAuthor: Mark Myers

This book adopts a learn-by-doing strategy to help you learn JavaScript programming. This book is equally useful for the beginners who are new to Java programming as for the experienced developers who want to sharpen their knowledge. The user-friendly book assumes no prior experience and helps you learn and understand the fundamentals of JavaScript through well-designed tutorials.

Each chapter can be done and absorbed in around ten minutes, so it is broken down into small enough pieces it can be easily digested. It also describes advanced concepts including prototypes and constructors. The explanation is done in plain English with illustrated coding examples.

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These were our top picks for each of the most popular programming languages that anyone would want to learn in 2018. We reviewed general coding knowledge and what books are best recommended for the job, front end Programming like html and css, then finally back-end Development.

All of this should only be looked at if you are one that is able to learn well through learning, studying, and then implementing. But, if you are the type of person that needs an interactive video and actionable steps that you can do right away, we recommend taking a look at the best Udemy courses we listed out.

1 Comment
  1. This post would have helped me get the right coding books for my freshman year of college! Great read..

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