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Top 10 Free Programming Books Every Coder Should Read

top free programming books

If you have ever programmed in your life, you already know that programming is mostly trial and error. You try to solve a problem, fail at it, search for solutions on Google and then finally solve it. Every programmer uses the same pattern for solving problems (with some basic difference here and there). The way of handling problem solving has completely eradicated the need for reading books.

Programming is more than writing code. Deep inside, it is all about concepts that work seamlessly together. Any expert would agree on the need for reading books for understanding the underlying concepts. For example, a programmer can read books on testing, debugging, software development, etc. Programmers can also benefit from reading books on different topics such as how to manage teams, how to be good in agile development, and much more.

Today, we will list ten free programming books that every coder should read in summer 2016. The books listed below can be read by anyone who is interested in learning and computers.

Why wait? Let’s get started with the list already!

Best 10 Free Programming Books Every Coder Should Read

Why Programmers work at night

4-why-programmers-work-at-nightWhy Programmers work at night is a witty book by Swizec Teller. With four sections, the author uses humor(a lot of it), logic and statistics to answer the ultimate question of “why programmers work at night.” You should read the book as it offers an interesting perspective on the subject. He is also active on and you can catch him on his channel here. Also, you can check out his website to know more about his work and read some amazing blog posts along the way.



Swizec working on animating 10k+ elements in React and d3


Producing Open Source Software


The book is written by Karl Fogel and is aimed at anyone who wants to work on open source projects. Open source has come a long way. Even though open source seems obvious from the surface, it is far complex underneath. The book is aimed at programmers, but non-programmers can also read the book. So if you have questions such as “How to earn from Open Source projects” or “How to contribute to Open Source”, the book is for you.


Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman


Do you already have a software development experience and want to become a master software developer? Then, this book is for you. The book is written by David H. Hoover and Adewale Oshineye, and the main aim of the book is to teach you different software development patterns and how to use them. It also discusses the common challenges in the field. If you already have experience in software development field, you might already know what the book has to offer.


97 Things Every Programmer Should Know


Wisdom is as important as knowledge. And, this books is all about collective wisdom from experts in IT field. The short book, published by O’Reilly Media contains perils from leading experts and practitioners who discuss their experience. You will surely learn a thing or two from the book. Also, you can complete the book in a single sitting as it only contains 98 pages of content.


What I’ve Learned From Failure


The book by Reginald “Raganwald” Braithwaite aims to teach programmers “how to handle failure”, and enable them to go through the common problems in the software industry diligently.The author also discusses some techniques to handle problems and look failure from a completely different angle.


Confessions of an IT Manager


Are you an IT manager and want to learn from the best? Then, Confessions of an IT Manager by Phil Factor is what you should start reading. Anyone related to programming can read the book, which covers topics such as hiring, managing team, shipping projects, and what not! With over 30 years of experience, the author makes it easy for future programmers to become better managers.


Patterns of Software


Patterns of Software tries to see the life of a programmer from an entirely different angle. The book is written by Richard P. Gabriel and is primarily focused on software patterns, languages, life and much more.



Don’t Just Roll the Dice


The book aims to educate entrepreneurs, engineers and companies about software pricing. Software pricing is a delicate subject and needs to be addressed diligently. The book is written by Neil Davidson and is divided into five chapters with 68 pages of content.



How To Do What You Love & Earn What You’re Worth As A Programmer


The book is written by Reginald “Raganwald” Braithwaite and aims at beginners who are at the stage of making a career choice. It also tries to help the reader with job hunting and interviews. A good read for beginners indeed, but can also be beneficial to those who are currently working in the industry and are looking for a job change.



Hacknot: Essays on Software Development


Hacknot is a collection of essays on software development. The essays are taken from the website Hacknot between 2003 and 2006 which was shut down because of death threats to the author.




Over To You

Books are necessary for learning. It doesn’t matter if you are a programmer, a historian, a doctor, or an engineer in a different field — a book can provide you a better view of what’s happening in your subject matter.

On Livecoding, we also have broadcasters who have written books. For example, alphaglosined has written a book on D programming language. The book, The way to program – Let’s think like a D(eveloper) is available for free to read.


Alphaglosined Working on C Lexing Operators


Another user, darkstar_xeno, a Senior Security Engineer who works at Bromium in Silicon Valley has a book written on Game Hacking — Developing Autonomous Bots for Online Games. He also created XenoBot, an optimal client modifier for Tibia.


Darkstar_Xero working on Abstracting XenoBot UI to for QT


Do you have a suggestion for free books that should have been added to the list? If yes, don’t forget to share it in the comment section below.

About author

I, Dr. Michael J. Garbade is the co-founder of the Education Ecosystem (aka LiveEdu), ex-Amazon, GE, Rebate Networks, Y-combinator. Python, Django, and DevOps Engineer. Serial Entrepreneur. Experienced in raising venture funding. I speak English and German as mother tongues. I have a Masters in Business Administration and Physics, and a Ph.D. in Venture Capital Financing. Currently, I am the Project Lead on the community project -Nationalcoronalvirus Hotline I write subject matter expert technical and business articles in leading blogs like,, Cybrary, Businessinsider,, TechinAsia, Coindesk, and Cointelegraph. I am a frequent speaker and panelist at tech and blockchain conferences around the globe. I serve as a start-up mentor at Axel Springer Accelerator, NY Edtech Accelerator, Seedstars, and Learnlaunch Accelerator. I love hackathons and often serve as a technical judge on hackathon panels.