Better Programmer

Becoming a Better Programmer, Pete Goodliffe

New programmers will benefit from reading this book, and applying its recommended development practices. It is important enough that I will claim that your career will taken to a new level. My experience working with many programmers is that at least half of them needed to adopt the practices covered by this book (not you of course!).

Experienced programmers will get a queasy feeling, knowing they have cut some corners to get code delivered a day or so earlier, and that it will come back to bite them soon.

This is not an Extreme Programming (XP) book, though the author seems in favour of XP. It is more about how to program, design, and test well. I particularly liked the explanation of Technical Debt, which other books and blogs mention without explaining.

Read the e-book on the bus to work!

Google App Engine

Programming Google App Engine, Dan Sanderson, O’Reilly, 2012

Programmers will like this book. If you want a scalable web app written in Java or Python then the Google app hosting platform is for you. This book explains the architecture and shows how to program to the API. Your app will be responding to requests and generating responses as normal. The big difference is the DB API, because the DB is not relational and does not use SQL. 500 pages.

Maya Python

Maya Python for Games and Film A Complete Reference for the Maya Python and the Maya Python API, Adam Mechtley, – 2012

If you are using Autodesk’s Maya then you will want to read this book. You do not need to know Python in advance, because this book covers the basics. Hardcover, 350 pages.

Python Cookbook

Python Cookbook 3rd edition, Brian Jones, – 2011

Python programmers will like this practical book. Note: the authors have changed since the second edition.

  • working with dictionaries
  • list comprehensions
  • monitoring a network
  • building a templating system


  • Manipulating text
  • Searching and sorting
  • Working with files and the filesystem
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Dealing with threads and processes
  • System administration
  • Interacting with databases
  • Network and web programming
  • Processing XML
  • Distributed programming
  • Debugging and testing

Legendary O’Reilly quality, 800 pages.