13 Best Books for Computer Science Coders to Delve Into

Computer science has so many facets that reading a wide range of books on the subject is essential. Discover our guide to the best books for computer science.

Computer science is a broad area of study, whether you are interested in programming, designing user interfaces, or developing software applications. It has evolved quickly over the years. Computer science has become an important part of many industries, and experts in the field can solve complex problems using it.

The field of computer science has evolved to include new applications such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. These applications aim to create software systems synthesizing goal-oriented processes in humans and animals. The following best books for computer science will educate, excite and inspire you to learn more about this fascinating area of study.

Here Are the 13 Best Books for Computer Science

1. Metaverse and Virtual Reality For Beginners: The Complete Guide To Understanding The Metaverse, Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, & The Blockchain and How To Invest And Earn From The Technology, by Alvin Walker

Metaverse and Virtual Reality For Beginners provides an informative look at how this revolutionary technology will impact the virtual reality sector. The book breaks down the industry’s fundamentals and presents the most sophisticated investing methods in a practical way that makes sense.

This book covers everything you need to know about what the Metaverse means regarding job opportunities, investments, and new business models, as well as various tips and techniques to get huge profits from investing in the virtual economy. Various aspects of the Metaverse and virtual reality, as well as the technology and advancements that form the basis of the field, will be demystified in this book.

“After spending the last two years devoted to Zoom and doomscrolling on our phones, all metaverses exist to remove friction, regardless of origin.”

Alvin Walker, Metaverse and Virtual Reality For Beginners

2. Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook, by Grant Smith

The fundamental notions of coding and computer science are broken down in Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding and summarized in an easy-to-understand manner, with major concepts thoroughly dissected and explained. 

Beginners will understand the principles of coding using Scratch, Python, HTML, and CSS, as well as gain an appreciation for the field of computer science by exploring its core concepts. Grant Smith, an expert in computer science education, wrote the book. It was reviewed by an award-winning computer science educator and is intended for students either currently enrolled in a computer science course or is interested in studying computer science.

“Computer science is a type of problem solving; it includes the study of computers, their design, and the way they process information.”

Grant Smith, Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding

3. The Self-Taught Programmer: The Definitive Guide to Programming Professionally, by Cory Althoff

The Self-Taught Programmer is primary focus is not learning how to code. The book’s premise is that learning how to code alone is not enough if your goal is to become a professional programmer. For this reason, the author also covers the rest of the things you need to know to become a professional programmer, which you will not learn in school or from books. The book is a roadmap and a guide that will take you from developing your first Python program to passing your first technical interview.

“Learning a programming language is only part of the battle. There are other skills you need in order to speak the language of computer scientists. I will teach you everything.”

Cory Althoff, The Self-Taught

4. The Soul of a New Machine, by Tracy Kidder

Tracy Kidder
Tracy Kidder via Wikipedia, Public Domain

One of the few histories concerning computer science that cannot be skipped through is Tracy Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine. Kidder’s masterpiece is still widely considered among the best books ever written about computers, even though it was first released in 1981.

At a time when only one company made an effort to bring a new microcomputer to the mass market, The Soul of a New Machine meticulously recounts the drama, comedy, and excitement of the early years of computers. Students majoring in computer science will also appreciate the “go-for-broke” attitude to business, which has become a strategy that many tech startups continue to use. If you enjoyed our guide to the best books for computer science, we have many more scientific books round-up that you can check out such as the best books for quantum physics.

“In the glow of the running lights, most of the crew looked like refugees, huddled, wearing blank faces. Among them, Tom West appeared as a thin figure under a watch cap.”

Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine

5. Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, by Robert C. Martin and Dean Wampler

Robert C. Martin
Robert C. Martin via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Clean Code teaches by example; there is a lot of reading code inside. Readers will learn the guiding concepts, recurring patterns, and best practices for composing clean code. The book includes multiple case studies illustrating rising levels of complexity in cleaning up code from messy to clean.

This computer science book will show you not only how to write clean code for yourself but also teach you how to be able to clean up code for others. It discusses naming standards, how errors are handled, and how readable the code is. This book will be valuable for you in the long run if you are considering a career as a developer, software engineer, project manager, team lead, or systems analyst. 

“Learning to write clean code is hard work. It requires more than just the knowledge of principles and patterns. You must sweat over it. You must practice it yourself, and watch yourself fail”

Robert C. Main and Dean Wampler, Clean Code

6) The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee

Erik Brynjolfsson
Erik Brynjolfsson via Wikipedia, Public Domain

In their book, The Second Machine Age, two leading intellectuals in their respective fields, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee of MIT, outline the factors driving the reinvention of our lives and our economy. According to the book, as the full effects of digital technologies become apparent, we will recognize the great bounty that these technologies have bestowed upon society in the shape of intelligent personal technology, improved infrastructure, and nearly limitless access to cultural objects that enhance our lives.

Brynjolfsson and McAfee present the greatest tactics for survival and a new road to success by drawing on years of study and the most recent trends. The Second Machine Age is a book that significantly modifies how we think about challenges of technical, societal, and economic advancement.

“The conversations we’ve had about The Second Machine Age have pushed us, educated us, and helped refine our thinking; we’re very grateful for them, and for your interest in our work.”

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age

7. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Nick Bostrom
Nick Bostrom via Wikipedia, Public Domain

In Superintelligence, Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom hypothesizes that if machine brains eventually surpass human brains in intelligence, robots may replace humans as the dominant species on Earth. The author walks the reader through several hypothetical situations and prompts them to consider important questions about how best to interact with technology in the here and now to ensure our species’ continued existence in the foreseeable future. It changes the way we think about topics related to the advancement of technology, society, and the economy.

This book has a lot of intellectual ground to cover. It does so by methodically picking its way through the ground. However, the wording is so clear that it makes everything appear to be straightforward. Nick Bostrom’s work takes the reader to the frontier of thinking about the future of intelligent life.

“In this book, I try to understand the challenge presented by the prospect of superintelligence, and how we might best respond.”

Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence

8. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, by John Battelle

John Battelle
John Battelle via Wikipedia, Public Domain

The tale of how Google became one of the most successful, influential, and expansive technology corporations in the annals of business is only a small part of what The Search is about. It is also an overview look at how we got here and where we are headed, covering the history, the present, and the future of search engine technology, as well as how it will continue to touch every aspect of life. 

According to John Battelle, a corporation that can provide an answer to that question in all of its nuances has the potential to solve some of the most challenging problems in the world of commerce and maybe even in human civilization itself. This is a book that examines the history, the present, and the potential future of search technology, as well as the enormous impact that it is beginning to have on marketing, the media, popular culture, dating, job hunting, international law, civil liberties, and pretty much every other area that is of interest to humans.

“The only thing Google has failed to do so far, is fail.”

John Battelle, The Search

9. Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C, by Greg Perry

The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C provides readers starting from scratch with a straightforward, user-friendly, and systematic introduction to comprehending and utilizing the C programming language. This book makes an effort to describe each step in detail so that you may learn C on your own at your own pace by reading it. The fundamentals of programming that you study in this book can also be applied to studying other languages.

This is one of the best beginner’s handbooks available today for learning how to write programs in C and gaining skills applicable to nearly every language. You’ll potentially start generating useful and trustworthy C code for everything from games to mobile apps with the book’s straightforward and practical guidelines.

“If you can’t even spell C, you can learn to program in C with this book.”

Greg Perry, Absolute Beginner’s Guide to C

10. Computer Science Principles: The Foundational Concepts of Computer Science by Kevin P. Hare and Pindar Van Arman

Pindar Van Arman
Pindar Van Arman via Wikipedia, Public Domain

Computer Science Principles is designed to expose readers to the imaginative side of computers. When you have finished reading this book, not only will you be able to build websites, code JavaScript, and become organized with spreadsheets, but you will also have gained an understanding of the fundamental ideas behind computer science along the way. Computer Science Principles answers most of the questions that are beginning computer science students will have.

“Computer science is a creative field, and this textbook’s approach celebrates this creativity.”

Kevin P. Hare and Pindar Van Arman, Computer Science Principles

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11. The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson
Walter Isaacson via Wikipedia, Public Domain

After achieving unprecedented success with his biography of Steve Jobs, best-selling author Walter Isaacson decided to write The Innovators. The book is exhaustively researched and discusses in great depth a variety of historical figures who have made significant contributions to the development of computers and the internet.

The Innovators will go a long way toward providing Computer Science majors with a taste of history and a touch of inspiration through its interesting biographies to encourage them to follow in the inventive footsteps of those profiled in the book. The Innovators is a magnificent tale of collective brilliance destined to become the canonical history of the digital revolution. It is also an invaluable guide to how invention takes place.

Isaacson starts the story with the introduction of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter and a computer programming pioneer in the 1840s. Looking for more scientific books to binge on a weekend? Check out our round-up of the best scientific authors! Or you can also search for our best book guides using our search bar.

“If you act like you can do something, it will work.”

Walter Isaacson, The Innovators

12. Thinking in Systems: A Primer, by Donella H. Meadows

Thinking in Systems has been referred to as the essential primer for taking systems thinking out of the domain of computers and mathematics and into the real world. The author draws parallels between some of the most pressing issues facing the world today, such as conflict, starvation, poverty, and the deterioration of the environment, and asserts that, just like a system failure, these issues cannot be resolved by focusing on a single issue in isolation from others.

Thinking in Systems provides readers with a look at the world in a language that is already familiar to them. From the reader’s perspective, it also demonstrates why and how the study of computer science can be the first step toward finding solutions to the most pressing issues facing the world today.

“One of my purposes is to make you interested. Another of my purposes, the main one, is to give you a basic ability to understand and to deal with complex systems, even if your formal systems training begins and ends with this book.”

Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems

13. Introduction to Algorithms, by Thomas H. Cormen

Introduction to Algorithms is one of a kind since it combines thoroughness and rigor. It covers a wide variety of algorithms in great detail while at the same time rendering their creation and analysis approachable for readers of all skill levels, thanks to its self-contained chapters and algorithms presented in pseudocode. Since the first edition’s release, Introduction to Algorithms has established itself as the preeminent work on algorithms at universities all over the globe. It serves as the gold standard for a professional reference. Looking for more? Check out our essays about technology!

“When you design and analyze algorithms, you need to be able to describe how they operate and how to design them.”

Thomas H. Cormen, Introduction to Algorithms

Author

  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.