Cover image for The DEV Community Published a Book: Your First Year in Code
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The DEV Community Published a Book: Your First Year in Code

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・2 min read

The emphasis from this title should be on the word community. This was an incredible initiative driven by longtime DEV member @isaacdlyman . It started with an idea, and a DEV post:

We are very happy to announce that Your First Year In Code is available today.

👉 Purchase on LeanPub Now 📘

It is critically important for the industry that books like this exist, and that experienced developers point newer devs towards it. Many of the best software books are not useful or ideal for early career developers. Long-form reads do not help newer developers if the material is overly abstract. This book seeks to offer practical guidance for creating the structure for a great career in software.

The book was authored by Isaac and fifteen co-authors, many of whom are active DEV members. But this book is more than just a collection of blog posts, Isaac's vision and excellence can be felt throughout the material. Those of you with more experience will resonate with much of the advice and get a refresher on the perspective and challenges of newer developers. Those of you who are just starting out, well, you’re lucky to have this guide. I wish this book was available during my first year.

The I wish this were available when I were starting out feeling has been palpable since Isaac announced the project, and the book lives up to the expectation.

Some reactions and feedback from that first post:

This sounds like the book I wish I had 5 years ago. I'd love to contribute. I'll be reaching out.

Thinking aloud, Keziyah of Juniors in Tech may be a good resource to reach out too as a possible co-author/avenue to promote—her newsletter content is great.

This is amazing! I wish I read more programming books during my studies and at the beginning of my career 2 years ago. I have recently started reading Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship and have already learned a lot from it.

I think I am still a little too "junior" to be of any help with your book.
I would love to be a beta reader, I am sure there will be lots of useful tips that I can use.

For the "Do I fit in?" chapter you mentioned that you are not the right person for that chapter, what is the type of person you are looking to write this?

Pay What You Can

When we agreed to co-publish First Year In Code with Isaac, we knew it was our kind of partnership because he was adamant on making the book available for the entire community. We are pleased to announce that First Year In Code is available on a pay-what-you-can pricing model. With that said, Isaac and all the co-authors have spent much of their time and energy in putting the book together so all contributions are appreciated.

We recommend $15 if you can afford it. The proceeds will be distributed among the deserving co-authors and 10% of all proceeds will go directly to Girls Who Code.

Isaac has been one of the leading DEV Community members in terms of understanding its value and place in the ecosystem. In addition to his contributions to this book, his whole publishing backlog is a goldmine, and you should heed some of his practical advice, like:

One more thing

Ask your manager to buy a copy for the whole team, and support this awesome community initiative! 😉

👉 Purchase on LeanPub Now 📘

Happy coding!

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Ben Halpern


A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.

The DEV Team

The team behind this very platform. 😄


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Thanks @jess , very excited about it 😍

I wish there were dedicated badges for the contributors though 😁


Thank you Jess. The community excitiment is the actual reward here and I am happy to be part of this trigger 😁😁


Thanks Jess! It was a pleasure to be part of such an awesome group putting this together, and we couldn't have done it without the DEV Community! 😁❤️


Late but thank you!

Loved being a part of the project. The response to it's launch has been great and reminds me yet again how kind the dev community is :)


If anyone is looking to buy but doesn't have the money and doesn't feel comfortable paying $0.00 for a book, I paid $30 if someone wants to have a "free" book based on my purchase.

Receipt of $30 payment

It looks like a really solid book for new devs and I'd hate to see someone miss out. But I also know what it was like being unemployed for a year after graduation, so if this makes it comfier for someone to take the free book, I hope I helped :) Worst case, I supported the book double :P


What a kind and considerate message - thanks for the support Kayla!!


Didn't even know that there is such an option.
Saw Radiohead did something similar from time to time, but never saw with a book.
What a kind and considerate person you are. Thank you on behalf of other newbies!


So sweet of you to do that. 😊


hey, is this option still available ?


Always! You can set your own price for the book, even free. We don't mind.


I was lucky enough to get a chance to write the foreward for the book.

This is what you'll get from me to kick off the book...

Your first year in code is a whirlwind, I know it was for me. The more you learn, the more you learn that there’s more to learn. Code is such an abstract problem that there’s no set of always-applicable rules or rock-solid advice. Code powers the planet these days, but knowledge is still passed down through our elders and cultivated via community.

There is no one true way to be a coder. Gone are the days, if ever they truly existed, of the archetypal “programmer.” We all carry supercomputers in our pockets. Cloud service outages are front page news; email servers and encryption can be everyday political topics. The nerds have won and code has become mainstream.

The only way for code to be for the people is if it is created by the people. We cannot let this craft become magic wielded by a select few. We must ensure that the discourse is accessible to all.

The fact that this book is such a true bottom-up community initiative speaks to the soul of the material. Isaac and the rest of the incredible authors assembled in these pages represent the warmth, humanity, and diversity of our industry. If you are in your first year of code, you’re lucky to have discovered material like this. I wish I had. It’s still a tremendous read years into my career.

Happy coding!


Fabulous! Will be recommending on company intranet and twitter. Also unable to resist the O'Rly cover :)

ORly First Year in Code


Wow. astonished. Now I have to google how to change a cover of .mobi


Thanks Ben! DEV is what really made this project work. It wouldn't have been possible without the incredible community your team has built here. I'm proud to be a part of it and beyond excited for everyone to read our book.


This book is awesome, I really enjoyed reading through it. What an awesome resource!


Amazing! Congratulations to all the authors!

Now, there's a crazy idea that came to my mind when I read the title of this post: could it be possible that DEV could become a book publisher? Handling transactions, publications, peer reviewing and so on... even printing!

Am I dreaming or is this possible in a maybe not-so-distant future? 🤔


this is JUST for me. everyone out of here. I'll have it all by myself.

voidjuneau image

Thanks a lot, as always, but additionally.
my only wish = audiobook. I'm willing to join crowdfundding to make it happen.


Actually would be kinda cool having every author read their chapter - I would be keen to do it.

Sounds super. Should I run a petition? (kidding)
I used to be a serious activist. (non-kidding)


Learning how to learn - that was a milestone for me.


I am excited about this book! Thank you Isaac, et al. I am as poor as a church mouse right now, but you can depend on me to buy several copies as gifts in the future!


Take it for free! Your contribution as a member of the community is more than enough.


I think this deserves a retweet on its own :)


Many congrats! I'll be purchasing this as soon as I get the chance. Can't wait to read it!


So stoked for this! I would have loved a resource like this when I was going through my first year!


Amazing! Can't wait to read it.


This is so cool! What a great resource


Amazing! I wish I had such resources available when I started.😄💗


This is so awesome. I'm buying a copy for a friend :)


Thanks for sharing! As a recent college grad, I look forward to reading this.


Yay!!! So glad this exists. I'm gonna get a copy for our intern ❤️


Looks an interesting read - I will consider buying it soon :)

Might there one day be a physical version of the book available to purchase? (Sorry if you've addressed this already, a quick search with CTRL-F found nothing)




Very awesome surprise! Ordered and looking forward to receiving it - thank you for the heads up Isaac :)


Does anyone know if it's possible to get a hard copy? I've bought the ebook but really struggle with headaches reading on a screen! Please reach out if you can! I've just landed an internship and sounds like my kindve book 😊




What a wonderful thing, I wish I had this last year when I started


thanks, mate for the book and for this PLATFORM, places like these are heaven for coders and techno geeks, i always strive for places and stuff like these, iám junior coder and can't afford it right now but surely contribute my part by paying in future.


Great news, I hope to see this book available in other languages.


Just purchased my copy this morning! Can't wait until I have some free time to read it! Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to our DEV community.


Congrats @isaacdlyman ! This book is an amazing read! I can't wait for "Year 2: Electric Boogaloo" (not a real thing... yet)


Purchased my Copy! I've been trying to learn to code for some time now so I am really excited to get into this and start to learn more about the programming landscape and help propel me forward to continue on this journey and help make a difference! Thank you all for putting this together!


Thank you guys. Love to read this book for starter like me.


Yay Dev! Love you guys! Is so cool!! 👏👏👏


Heck Yeah!

Love to support the Girls Who Code as well. Double bonus!