Internet Programming Self Improvement

9 Free Programming Books That Will Make You A Pro

Joel Lee 29-09-2014

What’s better than a free book? Nine free books!


Calling all programmers, whether new, old, or aspiring: we’ve found a great selection of free (as in beer) books to boost your coding skills to the next level. There’s a little bit of everything for everybody, so hop in and enjoy.

97 Things Every Programmer Should Know


Seriously, every programmer should know these things.

Based on an online collection of essays all about proper programming practices, this book is a must-read for any and all coders ranging from aspiring to newbie to master. In fact, the wisdom therein is so useful that this book is worth an annual re-read.

The original essay collection contained 97 articles but this book is actually the extended version with 68 additional essays, bringing it up to a total of 165. Why aren’t you reading it yet?


Available in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI for free.

Apprenticeship Patterns


The proper mindset of a programmer from apprentice to master.

This is one of the best books on programming I’ve ever read and it doesn’t contain a single line of code. It’s a book about mindset, attitude, and the journey that lies ahead of every programmer. Not only does it cover many of the struggles and problems that coders face, but it also provides solutions to those struggles and problems.


How do you approach the craft of coding? To really succeed, you have to approach it in the right way. This book shows you that right way.

Available in Online HTML for free. EPUB, PDF, and MOBI available for $24 USD.

Learning JavaScript Design Patterns


JavaScript can be a pain to understand, but this book makes it easy.


For a long time, JavaScript was often criticized What is JavaScript and How Does It Work? [Technology Explained] Read More for its propensity to produce messy code, but recent years have shown a massive explosion in its popularity. JavaScript is now an integral component of nearly every modern website and has quickly become one of the best languages to learn if you want a job in web-related development.

Unfortunately, it isn’t so easy for JavaScript to escape its history. The language can be a bit of a pain for newbies to grasp, but this book takes you through all of the different “patterns” that frequently occur when programming with JavaScript. Are you ready to finally understand JavaScript?

Available in Online HTML for free. EPUB, PDF, and MOBI available for $34 USD.

Learn Python The Hard Way



Fortunately, the hard way is actually the easy way.

If you ask me, Python is one of the most elegant languages in the world. There’s beauty in its simplicity and Python’s approach to programming is both unique and practical. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have an entirely new outlook on programming as a whole.

As James pointed out, Python is often described as “fun”, “easy to use”, and “a good learning tool”, making it a good choice for first-time programmers. As far as real-world use is concerned, Python has recently shot up in popularity for web development Which Programming Language to Learn - Web Programming Today we're going to take a look at the various web programming languages that power the Internet. This is the fourth part in a beginners programming series. In part 1, we learnt the basic of... Read More thanks to development of the Django framework.

Should you learn Python? I think so. This book will get you started on the right foot. Afterwards, you can continue your education with these websites for learning Python The 5 Best Websites to Learn Python Programming Want to learn Python programming? Here are the best ways to learn Python online, many of which are entirely free. Read More .

Available in Online HTML for free. EPUB and PDF available for $30 USD.

Thinking In Java


Need to wrap your head around Java and OOP? This is how you do it.

In its early versions, Java sat at the butt end of much criticism that poked at various aspects of the language’s implementation and horrible performance. Since then, Java has matured into the 2nd most popular language in the world according to CodeEval.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Java is its adherence to the object-oriented philosophy. It’s not the easiest language to learn but it can be intensely practical, especially due to its inherent cross-platform portability thanks to the Java virtual machine.

It’s one thing to use Java; it’s another to think in Java. This book is perfect for that.

Available in HTML only.

An Introduction to Programming In Go


For those who want to catch up on Google’s very own programming language.

Go, also known as golang, is one of the more recent programming languages to hit the scene. Initially developed by Google, it has taken on a life of its own and continues to evolve even to this day.

The language is loosely influenced by C, Python, and a few other languages, resulting in a language that feels familiar to veteran programmers but is simple enough for newbies to pick up and understand. This book is a great way to learn the most important bits of the language.

Available in PDF [No longer available] and Online HTML formats. Kindle edition available for $3 USD.

Game Programming Patterns


A must-read for all game programmers of all genres.

If you’ve never made a game before and thought this book would be your holy grail: I’m sorry. It’s not. Rather, brand newbies should check out these game development websites 4 Free Websites Where You Can Learn The Basics Of Game Development When looking for a good game development tutorial series, you want one that will teach you the practices and mentality of good coding because you can then transpose those practices in any language or platform. Read More for learning the basics. Afterwards, you can try these game development tools 5 Free Game Development Software Tools to Make Your Own Games Free game development software is a great way to start video game making. We've compiled the best game software on the market. Read More .

For those who have created games before, you know that games are complex. Structuring your code in a neat way is one of the toughest parts about game development. Fortunately, this book breaks down various structural patterns that you can rely on to make the whole process that much easier.

Available in Online HTML only.

Producing Open Source Software


So you want to join the open source movement but you don’t know how?

The world is starting to accept open source software What Is Open Source Software? [MakeUseOf Explains] "Open source" is a term that’s thrown around a lot these days. You may know that certain things are open source, like Linux and Android, but do you know what it entails? What is open... Read More as a legitimate alternative to proprietary programs. Not that it was ever illegitimate, but many of the myths surrounding open source programming are losing their footing and the whole philosophy of open source has gained a lot of respect in recent years.

Thinking of joining the movement? This book covers everything you need to know, including choosing an open source license Open Source Software Licenses: Which Should You Use? Did you know that not all open source licenses are the same? Read More , organizing an open source team, and making money with open source projects Understanding How Open Source Software Developers Make Money The truth is: many OSS developers and projects do generate revenue. Read More . Honestly, it covers everything you need to know.

Available in Online HTML only.

How To Do What You Love & Earn What You’re Worth As A Programmer


Or, how to get rich not-so-quickly as a programmer.

This short book is a collection of essays on the subject of success and money in the programming field. It is split into two halves: the first half tackles the big decisions when choosing a coding career, the second half involves the process of finding and securing a job.

It’s a quick read, relatively speaking, but it’s densely packed with advice and wisdom that may just change your life — or at the very least, the path of your career. A definite must-read if you intend to seek a programming job (as opposed to being a hobby developer).

Available in Online HTML for free. EPUB, PDF, and MOBI available for $5 USD.

Do you know of any other high-quality programming books that are available for free? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Open Source Code Via Shutterstock, Programmer On Laptop Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Ebooks, Programming.

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  1. Jatudrei
    November 17, 2017 at 12:46 am

    You might want to know about "Think Like A Computer Scientist," which focuses on Python (I think there are versions that serve other languages, too, but I'm not sure).

    Also the six-volume "You Don't Know JavaScript" set.

    Also, here are a bunch of curated guides to freely available courses and books, each one meant to get the student to a particular outcome in programming. (Ranging from "employable" to "senior-level.)

  2. prashant Rajpoot
    March 9, 2017 at 4:58 am

    i want to work your company , but i try to send our form sometimes net said that your donot written your password in capital , letter so sir please help me and join your company

  3. Ayush Dhiman
    January 26, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    I have a hack. If you want all these books search it on google and while typing don't forget to add ''pdf''in the end. and at last when the page open's search for a title with a pdf in starting. And remember that it should be written in small captions.and then download it . and you have the book for free.

    • eva
      February 13, 2017 at 11:13 pm

      better write at the end "filetype:pdf"

  4. Anonymous
    July 13, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Not all these 9 books are free I guess...

  5. Gonzo
    December 23, 2014 at 5:33 am

    From the author of Thinking in Java, there's also: Thinking in C and Thinking in C++

    • Joel Lee
      December 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Yeah, good catch! Those two books seem a bit outdated but they're free so might as well check them out regardless.

  6. Zhong
    October 26, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    So does business information system major count towards a programming career?

    • Joel Lee
      December 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      I think Business Information Systems is more of an analyst/consultant position than a programming one. It may involve some level of programming or it may not. It probably depends on the specific curriculum on a per-school basis.

  7. Rohit
    October 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Indeed a very good list, but you missed couple of classics like Clean Code

    • Joel Lee
      October 18, 2014 at 6:24 pm

      As far as I can tell, Clean Code is not a free book. Please let me know if it can be obtained for free somewhere.

  8. Arad
    October 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Learn you a Haskell for Great Good is good for learning functional programming.

  9. Tice with a J
    October 2, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    If you look at the main page for "Producing Open Source Software", you'll see that Karl Fogel offers a PDF, an EPUB, and even a Rocketbook version for download, in addition to the online HTML version.

    • Joel Lee
      October 7, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Whoops, you're right. It seems that the PDF link is broken but you can still grab it if you download the Full Bundle.

      Can't believe I missed that. Thanks for clarifying!

  10. Kool Wolff
    October 2, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Thanks! I'm starting from scratch, is there any other book worth recommending?
    I'm planning of studying independently because in my country the Computer Science study plan is a joke (a friend who went 2 years and then dropped told me)

  11. Alex Ivanovs
    October 1, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I have to agree with dragonmouth, it seems a little disrespectful that you just took a few programming books and then put them together as a post, where is the context for this particular piece? Are you saying that after I read all nine books I'll become a pro? Sadly, each book is for a different language.

    Learn the market before you try to serve it.

    • Joel
      October 2, 2014 at 11:46 pm

      It's a collection of high quality programming books that happen to be available for free. Nothing more. Consider it a la carte: explore the ones that interest you and ignore the rest.

  12. dragonmouth
    September 29, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Just put these books under your pillow one by one and in nine nights you'll be a crack programmer.

  13. Matthew H
    September 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Great piece Joel. Allow me to add a few others!

    Don't Make My Think - an incredible examination of web usability. A bit dated, but still current and valid.

    Pro Bash Programming - Because everyone needs to know how to shell-script. Doing it well is an art, however.

    JavaScript: The Good Parts - Because Javascript is a horrible language, and learning how to work around its vagaries of idiosyncrasies is an artform.

    • Joel L
      September 30, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Nice suggestions! They look interesting but are they actually free? I did some quick searches but couldn't find free versions of them anywhere outside of piracy sites, unfortunately.

    • Matthew H
      September 30, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Javascript: The Good Parts is, I think. The others? No. Still important - nay, vital - programming books.