Re: books on programming

From: John Regehr (
Date: Mon Jan 01 2001 - 11:23:00 PST

Couple more words about this, since it's something I've thought about:

Your list is good, but not for beginners. Can you imagine a faster way
to turn off true novices than encouraging them to spend $150 on vols 1-3
of Knuth?

You might want to organize it into sections that a beginner could
reasonably care about (and benefit from), and other books. Another
organizing principle might be around the reason the person has for
learning to program: not everybody cares about programming enough to
learn it the way that computer scientists think it should be taught. Or
maybe you could organize the list around which 97% the reader believes
him/herself to be in:

Bottom 97%: [C, C++, Perl, Java] for Morons

Bottom 97% of the top 3%: a standard intro CS book

Bottom 97% of the top 0.09%: SICP, AOCP

Top 0.0027%: Should be able to learn to program given a CPU, some memory
             chips, and a hard drive... :)

A few other "great books" missing from the list:

  Introduction to Algorithms (the "big white algorithms book")
  Mythical Man Month
  Programming on Purpose
  Writing Solid Code
  The New Hacker's Dictionary
  Writing for Computer Science
  Mr Bunny's Guide to ActiveX


On Sun, 31 Dec 2000, Kragen Sitaker wrote:

> So I wrote --- anyone have
> any comments?
> --
> <> Kragen Sitaker <>
> Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we possess
> ourselves.
> -- Gandalf the White [J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Two Towers", Bk 3, Ch. XI]

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