Books - those who haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, probably hoped they would never have to be in contact with books ever again after school and uni days. They will only be endured as an audiobook at most. Fact is that books won’t just help you acquire knowledge, they will also help you improve your vocabulary and your language skills. We promise these carefully selected books will bring a few Eureka moments and maybe, just maybe, we see you hopped on the wagon, first class, with a book in your hand.
So here we go: Here are the best books for the best developer.
Books for beginners
“Head first Programming”
Head first Programming published by O’Reilly is the book for an introduction to the programming world. The necessary basics are explained pictorial on 440 pages, leaving your brain very satisfied. On the first few pages, you will find an orientation guide, an explanation on text files, functions and commands follow in chapter 2 and 3. For the last part, it’s getting pretty nerdy: for example the sorting of data and graphics interface.
For many programmers, this book counts as one of the most important ones. After finishing this book you’ll know how important it is to write clean code, and we swear, you won’t look back to a time before Clean Code. From naming variables to code testing. This book explains everything you need to know to improve your code drastically.
2. “The pragmatic programmer” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas
Should you already have researched a little bit, this book would’ve come across you multiple times. We hate to exaggerate but you will love this book so much that you will read it twice and buy it for your unlikable colleague. This book covers everything you won’t find in IT studies or any algorithm handbook. How can you be a developer who doesn’t only write down his code emotionless? The pragmatic developer will tell you about special skills of the developer and how to learn them.
This book is an introduction to the programming language Elixir for advanced developers. To master, Elixir gives you the possibility to step a foot on the world of functional programming. Elixir is fun and makes you want to experiment. We think the exercises are well put together and integrated with the information. Should Elixir interest you, this is the book for you! Dave Thomas also co-wrote “The pragmatic programmer”. So should you like the style of writing of that book, you will probably like this one too.
This book helps you write smart but simple code. You will manage to learn skills that can help you with your personal projects. Go is the language of the internet and the recent version comes with a few changes that this book explains perfectly. So, what are you waiting for?
Probably every second person between 18 and 50 can call himself a “Digital Native.” With the rapid development of information technology, the demand for jobs like “Code Monkey” (Programmer) or Software Designer rises consistently. The possibilities to improve one’s skills or learn a new one are numerous, exactly because of this development. It is convenient, for learning a computer skill, that you can basically learn it where- and whenever. That means excuses like “I have no time” or the distance to the course location is not valid in front of the “Education police”. Like Konfuzius said back in the day we find “Education is our most important asset” and should be high up on the priority list.
With the help of this “wink with the fence post” and our list of the "Top 8 online courses for developers”, there is nothing in your way of fulfilling your new year's resolutions.
Skillcrush offers 3-month programs with which you learn how to create a portfolio and which will help you land a job in your dream career. You can exchange with your “classmates” and teachers and will acquire new skills in a structured way: Front End Developer, Visual Designer or UX Professional. There are a lot of so-called “Blueprints” available that help you level up your current career or change to an entirely new one.
Codecademy is probably the most known educational platform among developers. It is easy to use, and the profile is set up super quickly. For a monthly fee, you get access to exclusive quizzes, projects, and personalized curricula. Codecademy is especially recommendable for those who just start learning to code because with the help of interactive learning the topics are very easy to understand. You read a bit, write the code into the browser and see the result right away.
Udacity offers courses on different topics like YouTube Marketing, Career Advancement or Android Development. You can find a big selection of free classes for various skill levels. All courses are summarised well so that you can scan through a few and choose the perfect one for you. How about a Nanodegree in “Intro to Self-Driving Cars”?
Khan Academy is one of those platforms that promise to be free and actually stay free. It offers many courses on different topics like the platforms mentioned above. The rubric Computing is categorized in Computer programming, Computer science and Hour of Code. While Hour of Code is mainly designed for students of grades 6-12, there are advanced courses in the other subcategories.
We really like that you can listen to someone talking while the code is written which is contrary to other online courses feels more natural.
Should you already be an active LinkedIn user, LinkedIn Learning is a great possibility to educate yourself. You get relevant recommendations on courses that are filtered by your skills that you noted on your profile or you can choose a skill that you want to learn. The teaching material can be downloaded and you can track your progress weekly. Should you be unsure if LinkedIn Learning is something for you, you can start with a 1-Month trial and go from there.
We dare to say, that you can find courses on just about anything that your heart desires on Udemy. The quality of the courses differs a lot and depends on the lecturer. Luckily every course gets rated with a star system by the students, which helps a lot with choosing the right one. But be careful not to get lost in the “Course Jungle”!
The “courses” on Hack Design are well-arranged accumulated information from the internet. You can find blogs, tutorials, videos or books. There are no tasks to be solved but Hack Address still is a great website to remember should you need help in a particular field of design. Whether a beginner or someone who works full-time already.
Skillshare also offers a wide range of courses. Today's top course is about “How to Capture Bright Airy Pancakes” for example. So should you always wanted to know how to take pictures of pancakes, your precisely at the right spot. But also should you look for a course on an introduction to 3D Printing. Like people say the world is your oyster - or Skillshare in this case.
Technology, Entertainment, and Design - We all know the beloved TED Talks, that probably are the only educational videos we find on our facebook feed shared by all of our friends. The first TED Event in 1984 was a big fail and didn’t even make any money. Just six years after the world was ready for the wonder that TED should bring.
I’m sure you know the most popular Talk “How School kills Creativity” by Ken Robinson. But in those 2,500+ Talks out there, there sure are a few that make the developer part of your heart jump. So we filtered and filtered and watched TED Talks for days to find the best ones for you.
We all know Tim Berners-Lee, the Dad of the internet. In his TED Talk, he explains the potential and the challenge of the world wide web. He talks about net neutrality, so-called filter bubbles, and web control.
What kind of internet do we want to have and how do we make it our friend and not our enemy?
Did you ever think you’re too young, too old or too inexperienced to start programming? Maybe this 12-year-old boy can turn your world upside down. With a lot of motivation and a good dash of cleverness, he managed to make multiple apps at such a young age.
Excuses couldn’t stop him, so why should they stop you?
Here’s a TED Talk for you, that isn’t a talk, but an interview with the infamous man behind Linux. This 21 minutes long video perfectly presents his motivation and attitude, that made him the engineer and Open Source advocate that he is now.
In 2009, when Topol gave this controversial talk, he predicted, that smartphones will soon monitor our vital signs like the heartbeat, blood pressure, sleep pattern and calorie intake. He also predicted that this development in smartphone usage would make tools like the stethoscope obsolete. Today, with the Apple Watch and Apple Health we made these prognoses real. His talk perfectly explains how the connection of wireless technology with medicine will continuously get better and of more prominent use.
To make it short: The keyword is passion, work, good, focus, drive, service, ideas and persist. If you want details, you should still watch Richard St. John’s talk - we know you’ve got 4 minutes! Maybe it could help you to bring your career as a developer to the next level.
In this TED Talk Bostrom deals with the idea of superhuman AI and stimulates us to think. How do we want to prepare for a world that is “ruled by computers”? Will our creations be disadvantageous in the long term?
Inventor Jay Silver is a child at heart and inspires us to play and be creative with the world around us. Why not make music with ketchup? Or use slices of pizza as remote?
In his talk, he shares his craziest inventions with us, like the Makey Makey-Kit, that helps him to hack things of our everyday life.
Which TED Talks did you think were most interesting? Did you miss some in this listing? Let us know!
Should you not have noticed by the smell of candied almonds, the busy shopping malls and the extra kilos on the scale: Christmas is on its way!
For the Grinches and Ebenezer Scrooges among us, Christmas is nothing more than a big man-made disaster. For every group of carol singers, there will be one person, who is not afraid to shut the door in front of their faces before they can even start their performance. Christmas is also: a big pile of trash (literally), jammed highways, tasteless decorations, and very likely bad weather.
But even if these downsides outweigh for you, there’s still one great thing about it all, that doesn’t only make kids happy: presents. And how easy it can be to get the perfect present for a developer we want to show you now.
We already mentioned the Raspberry Pi in our article “helpful tools for a great developer.” And we feel like we need to mention this great thing here as well. The A+ Modell is smaller than the forerunner and is run by a 1,4 Gigahertz synchronized, tetranuclear Cortex-A53-ARM-CPU. Equipped with Wifi, Bluetooth and 512 Megabyte SDRAM, an HDMI-port, a USB-2.0-Port, CSI- and DSI-Interfaces, a composite video port, and MicroSD-drive. For DIY lovers the Raspberry Pi is an excellent present with low expense. You can get an idea of what cool things you can do with it here.
Something that developers like almost as much as the code is coffee. Without coffee no code. With this coffee cup, you can keep your love for code warm and toasty, show everyone in the office what you do without having to talk and man, this thing is microwave safe! Mug-cakes for daaaaays!
For all of the million memes that suit the developer humor, there is a shirt (and for the ones that don’t suit). The internet is your oyster. Google to a fare-thee-well, and you’ll find something that you find funny. At best, you can put a smile on someone’s face when you walk through the city or the office.
We all know this problem in the cold time of the year: We want to look up a route, answer emails and so on, but our hands are so warm and toasty in the gloves, that we don’t want to take them off. How cool would it be, if you didn’t have to put the gloves off to use the touchscreen? Okay, to be fair, touchscreen gloves aren’t the newest invention, but we still think it’s the best after sliced bread!
Let’s talk about Audible, baby! How good? With Audible, you can listen to all audiobooks you can imagine. Sherlock Holmes, “A short history of humankind” or “Die Drei ???” (we don’t judge). With Audible you’re using the time on the train/car wisely.
They belong to developers like ketchup to fries (or mayo, if you’re weird). A good pair of headphones is an investment that will make the presentee love you endlessly. Every day when he puts his headphones on in the train, gym or at work, he will think of you. Like of the accidental tattoo on his thigh that he is forced to see every time he uses the toilet. Only this would be good thoughts.
Simple drones are so 2017. How about an underwater drone instead? The Gladius drone can take videos in 4k, photos with a 16-megapixel camera and all of that up to hundred meters under water. It is navigated with a sort of gamepad which you can also connect to your smartphone.
VR glasses are fun for everyone. If a developer, geek or not. It is great to play games, watch movies or to connect with friends and family in an entirely new way. VR-glasses are available for just 20 Euros but if you can spend a bit more, have a look at the Oculus VR-glasses.
We are unsure if drum pants are the coolest thing that could lay under the Christmas tree and if it’s really worth it spending money on this. But sure is, it is a hella funny idea. Our mouth tho sure are open by amazement, so we have to let this video talk for us:
“You are not alone!” - A Michael Jackson Song and a fact. It’s no secret that the life of a passionate developer can be lonely. Locked in our small closet, we pound away on our keyboard to fix the code, learn a new language or find a new way to build an app. No matter what you do or where you are in your career: It is essential to free yourself from the self-built cage and to understand that you’re not the only developer on this earth. Luckily there’s a large number of developer communities that make the exchange among another very easy.
How are those communities helpful?
These communities give you room to ask all kind of questions. No matter how stupid they may seem. Other people are more keen on helping out than you think. They give you a nudge in the right direction when you get lost trying to find a solution. Reveal an utterly new viewpoint to you, that you would’ve never considered, shares links and talks with you and, who knows, maybe you’ll find a new coding buddy as well? In this blog post, we don’t want to explain to you, why getting help is a good thing. You get it - you’re smart. But we want to help you fight your way through the jungle of communities to find the right one for you.
StackOverflow is the most popular and most prominent community looking at the amount of information it has to offer. If you ask us, it is an absolute must for all developers, who take their job seriously. With over 4.7 Million users, you can be sure to get an answer to your question in (averagely) 10 minutes. StackOverflow rewards its users for excellent and plentiful answers with guarantee prime responses.
“It is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate intent of collectively increasing the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world.” – Jeff Atwood, Co-Founder
Reddit is a website with character and a community that maintains this exact character. You can find “subreddits,” that allow you to discuss anything and everything. Really. With over 1.2 million subreddits you will find everything that your heart desires. You can start by following the credits in the photo down below. That’s a good start.
Are you already active on Reddit? Which subreddits are you following?
Toptal is a newcomer website that creates a network between freelance developers from over 100 countries. Every one of them had to pass a series of tests, which proved that they are the Ferraris amongst the developer. Toptal`s blog entries are written by developers who are up to date on every new trend of the field. We love that Toptal host events almost daily everywhere around the world, like the “End of the Year Gathering” in Zürich, Tbilisi, La Paz and a lot of other cities.
If you follow us from the start, you know that we’re a big fan of GitHub. GitHub is a little different to the other communities mentioned in a sense, that it doesn’t really simplify communication amongst the users. But it makes it super easy to share your code, which is perfect to find other developers for a collaboration. We would recommend pairing GitHub with the use of a community with a forum to get maximal support.
The SAP Community is great for everyone who wants to concentrate on business coding. If you don’t know what that is: Business coding is used by companies to build robust client-side servers. You stay in the loop on upcoming events and webinars, get help with finding a mentor, and you can download example code.
Sleek design, affordable and energetic community. Treehouse offers an excellent platform to learn to programme and get answers to questions of every level. Tags and categories sort everything and the design is unique on the eyes, so you enjoy spending time and learn on the website.
These are only a few communities, each one with their own character and their own goals. Now it’s on you to find the best one for your needs. There are absolutely no disadvantages to participating actively in a community. If you’re interested in specific languages or platforms; there are communities only a google search away. And remember, developers, are as helpful and friendly in real life as they are passionate in front of the screen. Definitely, use the possibility to go to events hosted by these communities.
Are you part of a community already? Is there one you want us to have a closer look at?
Next up: The pros and cons of working for a startup as a developer.