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Simon Holdorf
Simon Holdorf

Posted on • Originally published at thesmartcoder.dev

10 Fantastic Books By Developers For Developers

Reading books still is a great way to discover and learn new skills, especially for developers, to stay relevant in the fastly changing tech industry.

In this article, I'll present you with ten fantastic books for developers that have been written by developers. These are not the typical mainstream books you'll find in every "must-read books for programmers list" but handpicked treasures by domain experts with proven track records.


Ten Ways To Make Money As A Developer

Ten Ways To Make Money As A Developer
The first book in this post is from the excellent creator and developer Florin Pop. Florin is widely known for his successful Youtube channel, his crazy challenges (10 JavaScript Projects in 10 Hours, for example), and his addiction to everything purple.
But even more so he is a successful creator that knows how to leverage his developer skills to generate different kinds of revenue streams.

In his new book, Florin is going to show you ten unique ways to make money as a developer. So if you are curious to learn how to make some side money by blogging, building SaaS products, freelancing, mentoring, and more, you should definitely get his book!

I've also written a post about making money programming some time ago if you want to give it a read.

Link to the book


The Tech Resume Inside Out

The Tech Resume Inside Out
Getting a job in tech is something many people strive for yet don't really know how to create a resume as a real asset that helps them to stand out from the crowd.

Luckily we have Gergely Orozs who worked for fantastic companies like Uber, Skype, and Microsoft. He used his vast experience of reviewing hundreds of developer resumes to write this fantastic book. In it, Gergely shows you exactly how you can write an outstanding resume.

Furthermore, he gives specific advice on what recruiters really look for in resumes and what happens when you submit yours to large corporations. Last but not least, his book includes 3 ready-to-submit resume templates for different tech positions.

Link to the book


Content For Developers

Content For Developers
Writing is a very beneficial skill for every developer. Be it to market themselves, to write down the learning process, starting a blog, writing documentation, and much more.

But setting up a good writing content strategy and writing routine isn't that simple. Many developers struggle with writing in an authentic and professional style.

Maedah Batool, content strategist, speaker, and Node.js Community Committee Outreach is going to show you simple rules and more than 30 professional content tips and tricks that will help you become a better writer!

Here you can read more about reasons to write as a programmer.

Link to the book


Building an Effective Dev Portfolio

Building an Effective Dev Portfolio
Having a portfolio to show to recruiters, clients, and potential employers is a big asset that every developer should consider creating.

But even if you already have a portfolio or want to create one, it is easy to miss the mark when it comes to helping you get hired or presented with new job opportunities.

The fantastic Josh Comeau knows this from experience. He reviewed hundreds of portfolio sites and helped countless developers to break into the tech industry with the help of their portfolios.

All his knowledge and experience he condensed into this free ebook for you to read and learn. I say it again: It's free! So download the book and start using that secret weapon of yours, your portfolio!

Link to the book


The Good Parts of AWS

The Good Parts of AWS
Have you ever browsed the Amazon AWS console and thought: Oh my god, what are all these services and what can I possibly do with them?

I did. Many times...But then I found this great book by Daniel Vassallo and Josh Pschorr that worked for Amazon AWS for more than 10 years. They do not cover every service Amazon offers but hand-picked ones they have used themselves and that developers should know about.

And they present to you a technique that helps you make technical decisions like selecting a programming language, framework, database, cloud service, and similar in the context of AWS. A technique that can also be generalized and used in any other technical decision.

Link to the book


The Standout Developer

The Standout Developer
Randal Kanna, author of this excellent book knows from experience how stressful the job hunt for a position in tech can be. Difficult coding interviews, competing with dozens of CS grads, and people with years of experience are only some of the things that people struggle with.

Luckily Randall's book can help you with this. Not only will she show you how to craft a resume to help you stand out but also share with you how she got FAMANG companies to reach out to her - not the other way round!

But that's not all. In this book, you will also learn how to prepare for coding interviews, create a powerful blog, negotiate job offers, and speak at conferences.

Link to the book


Cloud Native Web Development

Cloud Native Web Development
Have you ever wondered what a typical web application these days looks like? Maybe some static HTML, some CSS for styling purposes, and a generic backend for form handling? It's, and that I can already promise you at this point, is a little more complex these days.

But fear not, the author of this book, Mike Nikles, walks you through an end-to-end process of developing a cloud-native web application. He uses services like Google's Firebase, a combination of Svelte & Sapper for app development, TailWind CSS for styling, and other state-of-the-art resources.

But instead of providing just theory, this book excels by providing hands-on parts where you, the reader, can collaborate with Mike and other readers via dedicated GitHub repositories. This makes the second part of the book an interactive experience that you shouldn't miss!

Link to the book


The Coding Career Handbook

The Coding Career Handbook
Many of you know Shawn Wang, better known as Swyx who changed careers in his early 30s to programming with the help of FreeCodeCamp and countless nights of coding.

In this outstanding book, Swyx has collected and curated tons of stories of people cracking the coding career. This book doesn't show you how to become a successful and happy coder because there isn't a definitive path that you can just follow along. It rather provides you with a massive amount of experience and tactics that you use to create your very own unique coding career.

You don't have to take a single piece of advice from this book but can learn from what did work for others and what did not. So for anyone looking for career advice, this is your book! And if you want to know how to go from junior to senior developer check out this post.

Link to the book


Pure React

Pure React
React is probably the most famous and used JavaScript framework on the market right now. And as huge as the popularity of React is the ecosystem with all its libraries, tools, best practices, whatnot.

Dave Ceddia will teach you how to "think in React" in his fantastic book. He chose a learn by doing approach so you'll definitely get some hands-on practice by building small focused apps. And to test your knowledge and progress, Dave even included some great exercises.

And the best thing? No TODO-App, I promise! If you want to check out some cool react hooks check out this post.

Link to the book


Grokking the Java Interview

Grokking the Java Interview
Java still is one of the most used programming languages around the world. Trusted by large corporations (most of the AWS stack is written in Java...) for creating solid applications learning Java is always a good choice.

But to get a highly paid, exciting position as a Java Developer you are often faced with coding interviews that many aspiring developers struggle with.

Luckily, Javin Paul, a widely-known Java programmer and blogger, has written a new book that teaches you everything you need to know about fundamental Java topics specifically tailored for coding interviews.

If you are asking yourself Java vs JavaScript - which one is better check out this additional post!

Link to the book


Finding the best books for developers

It's very easy today to miss out on awesome books because they are not published via some big player like Amazon. In fact, the market is very fragmented. Some creators use platforms like Gumroad or Podia to sell their books and some use their sites or dedicated landing pages for it.

This makes it hard for readers to discover books and even harder for creators to market their assets.

I've therefore launched a new service on my site, The Smart Coder, to help creators with marketing and more importantly to help developers discover the best books for developers.

It's called DevBooks and you can find all the books from above there. Furthermore, creators can submit their books via a dedicated form. This way, the list of books will grow steadily and eventually resulting in the most comprehensive, highest-quality repository for outstanding developer books.

So if you are the creator of a book for developers, feel free to submit it to the site. And if you know about a good book that should be on the site, contact the creator to submit it.

Top comments (72)

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javinpaul profile image
javinpaul

Great list Simon and thx for including my book. I actually like the idea of a developer for developer books, keep it up.

P. S. - Anyone interested in buying my book Grokking the Java interview can get it now for just $10.99 (usually $19.9) until tomorrow.
Here is the link - gumroad.com/l/QqjGH

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Sure thing, you deserve it :)

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phpfour profile image
Mohammad Emran Hasan

Great list, thanks for aggregating them!

I'd also include "Doing Content Right" by Steph Smith on the list, it is a well-organized book on creating content on a consistent basis. It also sheds light on building your blog, doing SEO, adding monetization, etc.

Link: bit.ly/DCR-2020 (affiliate).

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Thanks for the comment, gonna reach out to her!

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albertomontalesi profile image
AlbertoM

Nice list! If anybody is interested in JavaScript i have a book that's free to read on GitHub github.com/AlbertoMontalesi/The-co...

There's also a course by the same name on educative, i won't link because I'm spamming myself enough

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Hey Alberto, would be cool if you add your book to the site so othersca find it there 😊

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albertomontalesi profile image
AlbertoM

Done! One suggestion may be to be able to select both Free and Paid. For example my book (but also the YDKJS book 1) are free to read on github or you can pay for it on leanpub/amazon.

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Hey Alberto, thanks for the submission. That's a good hint, will add this to my roadmap!

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marcelcruz profile image
Marcel Cruz

Awesome list, thanks for sharing!

In case you're interested, I've put up a bunch of resources for developers on devresourc.es, and I'll make sure to add a "books" section there too.

Feel free to check it out! :)

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harrisgeo88 profile image
Harris Geo πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’»

Awesome list! I will definitely check most of them!

Another one that is a really interesting read and good to use as a guide for many stuff is the O' Reilly: Software Engineering at Google learning.oreilly.com/library/view/...

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Thank you, Harris!

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swyx profile image
swyx

thanks very much for the mention! :) :)

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

intend to buy it but by the way the cover lacks a bit of sex appeal ;)

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swyx profile image
swyx

thanks haha yeah i am no designer, spent like 2 hours on it on canva and then never touched it again. will happily take a redesign idea if you have them.. or i might do some kind of 99designs contest in june when i launch v2

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

OK I'll propose a new cover :)

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

I made a simple cover for my future own book (in french) dev-to-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/i/...

Do you like that kind of style ?

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swyx profile image
swyx

the font and colors look good, but it's a lot of words! still overall feels professional, nice job.

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

Yes but it's for the frenches :D Yours don't have so many words so it should be even easier to do the cover :)

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong • Edited on

I made a quick cover for your book i.imgur.com/aWAyxVk.png

Of course don't bother if you don't like it ;)

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swyx profile image
swyx

oh nice, thank you very much!

but yea i like the one i have now compared to this... the point was to have one duck with the sunglasses, so that it symbolizes the reader who is a cool duck compared to the others πŸ˜‚

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lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

ok fine :)

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

I didnt know some of the books, thanks for bringing them up. Please don't forget "Your first year in code" which was written from a team of dev.to members :)

leanpub.com/firstyearincode

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Right, we should add that!

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

And it's live :)

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perigk profile image
Periklis Gkolias

Thank you :)

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dceddia profile image
Dave Ceddia

This is a great list! Thanks for including my book :)

I'll recommend another! One that I really like is Sandi Metz's Practical Object Oriented Design in Ruby (she's given some excellent talks as well).

It taught me a lot about software design, how to think about where responsibilities should lie, which parts of the code should "own" behaviors, and that kind of thing. Software design stuff can be really abstract (e.g. Design Patterns) but Sandi's book makes it understandable with concrete examples. I think it's pretty accessible even if you don't know Ruby, and the things it talks about are mostly universal principles that apply to functional and OO styles alike. Definitely worth checking out.

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Love your book, Dave, of course, it's on the list :)

And thanks for the recommendation, I will take care of that! And Sandi can even add it to the site on her own if she wants :)

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andrewchmr profile image
Andriy Chemerynskiy • Edited on

I would also recommend book "Make" by Pieter Levels

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Yeah, I like that one!

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Great list and as always great article πŸ™Œ

You can check out my open-sources Introduction to Bash Scripting eBook here too:

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Hey Bobby, thank you! You could add your book so that others can find it :)

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Thanks for the suggestion! I've just submitted it! πŸ™Œ

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Awesome, I already pushed it to the site :)

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bobbyiliev profile image
Bobby Iliev

Awesome! Thanks for that!

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beetlehope profile image
Nadia Zhuk

Awesome list!

If anyone is looking for a comprehensive self-help book for aspiring coders, you might want to check out my book "Crossing the Rubycon: How to Learn to Code and Build a Programming Career" gumroad.com/l/fhIFH

I packed the book with concrete, practical advice as well as useful insider tips and encouraging stories about learning to code and finding a programming job as a code newbie. All in all, this is the book I wish I could have read 3 years ago when I was teaching myself to code.

P.S. You can check out reviews from the readers on goodreads goodreads.com/book/show/56082981-c...

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realtoughcandy profile image
RealToughCandy.io

Great list and great idea with DevBooks! We have lots of awesome indie authors in our field. I've also written a few dev career books (Portfolio Surgery, Freelance Newbie, How to Get a Job in Web Development) and will definitely be submitting them soon!

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Cool!

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_bkern profile image
Barry

Great list I really enjoyed that this didn't include any of the titles I was assuming to see in a programming/dev book list.

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Thanks, Barry. Yeah, I think we've already seen the same 10 books over and over again :)

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arvindpdmn profile image
Arvind Padmanabhan

Thanks for sharing. Interestingly, "for developers. by developers" is Devopedia's tagline.

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Didn't know that but it's a good fit :)

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kirby profile image
Kirby Shabaga

Thanks for sharing the list!

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simonholdorf profile image
Simon Holdorf

Sure thing, glad you like it!

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