The one book I recommend for software developers

Which book should you read as a software developer? Sometimes junior developers that are just getting started ask me this question. So which one do I recommend?

There are a lot of books

There is no doubt that there are a lot of books about software development. And if you pick a wider scope you can add books about time management, learning, communication skills, health and generally personal development to the list.

With all that in mind there is an endless stream of Top-100, Top-50, Top-10 or Top-5 list on the Internet that want to give you advice on how you may be able to do better in all those different areas.

My recommendation

Instead of reading too many books – especially when you are just starting your career in the software development field – I suggest the following: Use the concept of learning by doing. How do you get better at developing software? By actually doing it.

And the book “Clean Code” by Robert C. Martin will help you with that. By reading the book you will be able to spot bad code and maybe you will be able to refactor it to good code instead. But to really understand it you just have to develop software and certainly you will make mistakes and can learn from them.


Coming to a conclusion I want to say that you should not set unrealistic expectations. By just reading a book you won’t directly write better code. Instead prepare for a journey that may take a few years. With Clean Code you will build on a solid foundation and everything else I mentioned earlier – like project or time management – will fall into place later on.