Top 10 Books Every Computer Science Student Should Read!

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As students, we read a lot of books, especially when they are related to our chosen field. In this article, I will summarise 10 of the best books I read during my time at university as an undergrad. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a recent graduate, I studied towards a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Computing and I’m currently studying towards a Master’s (MSc) Degree in Computer Science. 

As a student, I totally understand that reading books that aren’t part of your curriculum isn’t the best task, however, the books that I am listing in this article have honestly helped me out in understanding the work I am doing. They have also provided me with knowledge from people that are in the industry.

I will honestly say that I haven’t actually read many of these books, I listened to them through Audible. Listening to books in my spare time meant that I get through more books than I have time for. Using services like Audible has allowed me to listen to valuable information whilst commuting to university, running, cycling and even at the gym. 

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The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide

By John Sonmez

I actually own this book in both physical format and audiobook on Audible. It’s a great book if you’re planning a career in software development and not only. It goes through many things including how to ace your interview, how to land the job of your dreams, technical skills and so much more! It’s one of those books you keep and go through as your career progresses. 

How Google Works

By Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg

This is another book that I own both a physical copy and audiobook. I accidentally found this book whilst waiting for a flight in the departures hall of Heathrow airport. In summary, the book explains how Google grew from a young start-up to a global icon. I referenced the book in several assignment reports and used many examples in class discussions. Without giving too much away, the book has several tips and is an overall great read.

Soft Skills: The Software Developer’s Life Manual

By John Sonmez

Another great book by John Sonmez, this is the updated version of the original Soft Skills Book To summarise, it’s a manual that offers advice on several soft skill subjects that are essential for software developers to possess. Soft skills include productivity, career, finance, how to stay fit and even relationships! It’s another book where you can buy a physical copy and keep it with you as you progress through your career. 

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention and Energy

By Chris Bailey

As a student, there were many occasions where I didn’t have the motivation to study or do any work, especially when friends were persuading me to do other student things that sounded more fun. The productivity project taught me how to be more productive when I have little or no motivation by covering several productivity techniques some of which I still use today in my everyday life

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity

By David Allen

Getting Things Done is another great book on productivity that motivated me to do work as a student. Some of the topics covered have helped me to eliminate procrastination and getting more work done compared to the amount of work I used to do in a day.

How to Win Friends & Influence People

By Dale Carnegie

This is probably the best book I ever read, if this was an article on the top 10 books I would recommend, this book will definitely have the first place! It’s an excellent book that covers how you should treat people so that they treat you in your favour. The book is a bit old fashioned, I mean it was originally published in 1936, but don’t let that put you off because the theory is still true to this day. 

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

By Robert Martin

As a student learning to code during my first year at University, I didn’t really think that code should be clean, I always thought that as long as it works it’s fine. I couldn’t be more wrong! The reality is that code needs to be clean so that other developers can easily work from your code, so that it’s easier to find errors and the list just goes on! The book teaches the difference between good and bad code, how to write good code, the list goes on. Overall, a perfect book for anyone who codes.

Think Like a Monk: The secret of how to harness the power of positivity and be happy now

By Jay Shetty

This is a bit of a different book and it’s the latest book I finished listening to. I’ve been following Jay’s motivational videos for months and I really enjoy them, so I decided to get the book. Now, you’re probably thinking -“What has this got to do with Computer Science?” To answer that question, It doesn’t really have anything to do with it. The book teaches you a new way of thinking which can be applied to your work. It also provides great frameworks that combine ancient wisdom with today’s modern society.  

Java All-in-One For Dummies

By Doug Lowe

Throughout my time at University, I did a lot of Java-based modules. Prior to starting university, I did a two-year level 3 computing course at college, at the end of which I had very little experience with Java. This book helped me a lot when I was learning Java. I first borrowed several books from the university library to teach myself Java programming before the modules started. Out of all the books I tried, this one was best for my needs. I actually ended up buying my own copy of this book! Its simple approach ensured that I understood what was being taught. 

Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a Scammer

By James Veitch

This list would be nothing without an entertaining book. Dot Con is a hilarious book full of funny jokes, great to read in your spare time when you want to exit the world of studying. In summary, James replies to spam emails and not only. His hilarious responses also brightened up a bad day. Overall a very funny book!

Your Recommendations

Human-Computer Interaction: Concepts And Design

By Jenny Preece


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