Want to be productive this summer? If your answer is no, I’m surprised you’re reading this article, but since you’re already here, you might as well read about some potentially productive things. Say, reading some great beginner-grade materials especially if you have an interest in making some of your own Chrome extensions, Windows programs, etc.
We have published a number of articles with links to programming video tutorials, interactive learning modules, and even our own programming lessons, but sometimes, you might just need a good book to immerse yourself in. Lucky for you, up next I’ve gathered a list of legally free programming books that can get you started with learning how to program, scripting and even making your own websites.
Thinking in C++ by Bruce Eckel
Thinking in C++ is a free electronic book in its second edition that consists of two volumes. The first volume constitutes an introduction to C++ while the second one contains more advanced topics and testing techniques as well as exercises. This book earned a Software Development Jolt Cola Award for best book of the year in 1995 when it was released, but it has seen changes to reflect the updates of the ANSI/ISO C++ standard.
The author of the book also has written various books on Java, Python and more, many of which are available for free from his site. With that much experience writing books, it’s no surprise that his books have earned quite respectable reviews on Amazon. In fact, the first volume has an average of 4.5 stars from 91 customer reviews, while the second volume also averages 4.5 stars from 18 reviews. If those aren’t signs of a great book that you should totally include in your summer reading list, I don’t know what is.
Dive Into HTML5 by Mark Pilgrim
Want to make some slick web apps? You know, polished mobile map web apps or websites with awesome drag-and-drop features? This resource to learn HTML 5 will be very handy. Brought to you by the same people that have released Dive Into Python, this Creative Commons-licensed book is also available from Github. You can additionally purchase a physical copy on Amazon, which has accumulated an average of 4 stars from 60 customer reviews.
OK, I know this one doesn’t count as an e-book, but it’s an extensive resource that will probably feel like reading a booklet for learning Python. Python is a rapid-prototyping language that’s perfect for beginners with no programming experience or even experienced programmers with no previous exposure to Python. In fact, that’s the first language Computer Science students (at my University at least) are taught because it’s fairly easy to learn and read. Don’t believe me? Just head to the official Python site, which offers an excellent resource to learn the language from. This one is probably better for reading on your computer as there are different sections and modules for review. This release (3.3) is actually dated June 1st of this year, so it’s quite updated, ready for you to start reading.
Another resource to note is the Non-Programmer’s Tutorial for Python 3 from Wikibooks, which indicates that it’s meant for individuals with no previous programming experience, though I’m sure intermediate programmers could also find the tutorial useful. There’s even a print-friendly version for those that want a physical copy of the tutorial.
For additional resources to learn Python, check out a more complete list of Python-teaching sites.
What other good programming ebooks can you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credit: php code by kakaopor via SXC
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