15+ Programming Books to Keep on Your Shelf

Every developer needs a set of go-to resources, whether writing their first lines of code or building on 10+ years of experience. Our instructors are avid readers, and we’ve pulled together a few of their top picks to help you get started, stay current, and advance your skills.


Instructor: Tyler Morgan

A passionate JavaScript instructor and a Code Fellows graduate himself, Tyler was quick to recommend several books for developers who want to branch into JavaScript.

  1. Eloquent JavaScript
    Author: Marijn Haverbeke
    Price: Free
    Covers: Functions, objects, regular expressions, modules, Node.js, and much more

  2. Learning JavaScript Design Patterns
    Author: Addy Osmani
    Price: Free
    Covers: How to write well-structured code and design patterns in JavaScript

  3. ng-book: The Complete Book on AngularJS
    Author: Ari Lerner
    Price: $39
    Covers: AngularJS


Instructor: Cris Ewing

Cris transitioned from a career in music composition to become a highly skilled Python developer, and added these two books to our must-have list for Pythonistas.

  1. Two Scoops of Django
    Authors: Daniel Greenfeld and Audrey Roy
    Price: $45
    Covers: Tips, tricks, patterns, code snippets, and techniques for Django

  2. Python Projects
    Authors: Laura Cassell and Alan Gauld
    Price: $45
    Covers: Creating apps in Python and how to use libraries


Instructor: Brad Johnson

Once a student himself and now leading the iOS Development Accelerator, Brad uses his training to help others pursue careers in mobile development. His go-to books cover both Objective-C and Swift programming.

  1. Objective-C Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
    Authors: Aaron Hillegass and Mikey Ward
    Price: $27
    Covers: C, Objective-C and common programming idioms

  2. iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide
    Authors: Christian Keur, Aaron Hillegass, and Joe Conway
    Price: $33
    Covers: iOS development, tools, and updates

  3. Functional Programming in Swift
    Authors: Chris Eidhof, Florian Kugler, and Wouter Swierstra
    Price: $39
    Covers: Swift

Ruby and Rails

Instructor: Brook Riggio

Brook, a Code Fellows co-founder, brings ten years of professional web development experience to the classroom, and knows first-hand which books are the best resources for learning and solving tough problem sets in Ruby and Rails.

  1. Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby
    Author: Sandi Metz
    Price: $45
    Covers: Object-oriented design with realistic examples

  2. Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0 (4th edition): The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide
    Author: Dave Thomas, with Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt
    Price: $28
    Covers: Ruby 1.9 and Ruby 2.0

  3. Eloquent Ruby
    Author: Russ Olsen
    Price: $50
    Covers: How to become fluent in Ruby, the “Ruby way” of thinking and problem solving, and writing Ruby like a true Rubyist.

  4. Rebuilding Rails
    Author: Noah Gibbs
    Price: $40
    Covers: Libraries and resources for building a MVC web framework

  5. The Rails Way
    Author: Obie Fernandez
    Price: $33
    Covers: Rails development in Rails 4.1

Front-End Development

Instructor: Dexter Lesaca

Dexter brings a design background to the Web UI Development Accelerator, and has a passion for helping other designers learn the power of HTML and CSS to create responsive websites. The books he picked are his favorites for a reason—these high quality texts are required material for Foundations I and Bootcamp.

  1. HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites
    Author: Jon Duckett
    Price: $18
    Covers: A full introduction to web development with HTML and CSS

  2. JavaScript and jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development
    Author: Jon Duckett
    Price: $18
    Covers: Syntax and programming concepts in JavaScript and jQuery


  1. Learn to Program
    Author: Chris Pine
    Price: $16
    Covers: The basics of programming

  2. Pro Git
    Authors: Scott Chacon and Ben Straub
    Price: Free
    Covers: Version control systems and how to use Git

Did we miss one of your favorites? Tell us on Twitter which books have a permanent place on your bookshelf.

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