For those that don’t know, I am a Development Editor for PragProg and have written a couple of books, but I’ve kept this list pretty objective. These are the books I think every developer should own.
This is honestly one of my favorite books, and I’ve bought many copies of this for people I know looking for jobs. If you’re a college student or just starting out in your career, this is a great guide for getting a great job instead of just a job.
This book does such a wonderful job introducing complete beginners to the wonderful world of programming. As a bonus, it uses the Ruby programming language.
This book helps you understand how you learn so you can adapt to learn more things faster. It’s recommended reading for my interns, and to pretty much anyone else working in a field that demands constant learning.
It’s no secret I love Ruby, but JRuby lets me use Ruby on a lot more platforms, and it’s super efficient. This book is a great way to learn how to make Ruby play nicely with Java code, so whether you’re a Ruby developer or a Java developer, you’re going to learn a ton.
This is a must-read if you work with relational databases, or even if you think you know relational databases well. It’s fun to read, and it has a lot of interesting solutions.
There are, of course, so many other great books there, but these are the ones I’ve bought numerous times as gifts for other people. These are the “go to” books for me.