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Posted 19 Jun 2000


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Useful Reference Books

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25 Sep 2016CPOL
A list of popular reference books sent in by the readers of CodeProject
This article has been opened up so any member who is bronze or above can edit and update. Please add your suggestions!

I get a lot of requests from readers about which books are best for learning MFC, ASP, ATL, etc., but with hundreds of books coming out each year, and technology moving ahead in leaps and bounds, keeping up with what's best is hard. Which books have helped you the most?

Here's a list of faves sent in by readers. If you are just starting out in the industry then don't get lured into buying only books that deal with the language you are working in. Read books on how to program. You will save you and your employer a lot of stress. The "Programming Discipline and Design" section below lists a bunch of great books worth reading.

Programming Discipline and Design

  • Writing Solid Code - Steve Maguire
  • Mythical Man-Month - Frederick P. Brooks Jr
  • Code Complete - Steve McConnell
  • The Art of Computer Programming - Knuth
  • Algorithms - Robert Sedgewick
  • Debugging Applications - John Robbins
  • Taligent's Guide to Designing Programs - Taligent
  • Design Patterns - Gamma, Helm, Johnson, Vlissides
  • The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactices for an Imperfect World (Apress) - Christoper Duncan
  • Unite The Tribes - Christopher Duncan
  • Advanced Windows Debugging - Mario Hewardt, Daniel Pravat
  • Windows® Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, Fifth Edition (Pro Developer) - Mark Russinovich, David A. Solomon, Alex Ionescu
  • The Pragmatic Programmer - Andrew Hunt & David Thomas
  • The Psychology of Computer Programming - Gerald Weinberg
  • Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices - Robert C. Martin
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship - Robert C. Martin
  • The Art of Unit Testing: With Examples in .Net - Roy Osherove
  • Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture - Martin Fowler
  • Domain-Specific Languages - Martin Fowler
  • Continuous Delivery - Martin Fowler

IoT (Internet of Things)

C / C++

  • The C Programming Language (Prentice Hall) - Kernigan and Ritchie
  • The C++ Programming Language - Bjarne Stroustroup
  • Programming: Principles and Practice Using C++ - Bjarne Stroustroup
  • C++ Coding Standards (101 Rules, Guidelines and Best Practices) - Herb Sutter, Andrei Alexandrescu
  • Effective C++, More Effective C++ and Effective Modern C++ - Scott Meyers
  • Exceptional C++ and More Exceptional C++ - Herb Sutter
  • C++ Common Knowledge - Stephen C. Dewhurst
  • Large Scale C++ Software Design - John Lakos
  • Inside Visual C++ - David J. Kruglinski
  • C++ How to Program - H. M. Deitel, P. J. Deitel
  • Thinking in C++ (2nd Ed) - Bruce Eckel


  • A Programmer's Introduction to C#, 2nd edition (Apress) - Eric Gunnerson
  • Inside C#, 2nd edition (Microsoft Press) - Tom Archer
  • Component-Based Development with Visual C# (M&T books) - Ted Faison
  • C# Essentials, 2nd edition (O'Reilly) - Ben Albahari, Peter Drayton & Brad Merrill
  • C# in Depth - Jon Skeet
  • CLR via C#, 3rd Edition - Jeffrey Richter
  • C# Programming Language (Covering C# 4.0) - Anders Hejlsberg
  • Programming Entity Framework - Julia Lerman
  • C# 5.0 In a Nutshell: The Definitive Reference - Joseph Albahari & Ben Albahari


  • Debugging ASP.NET (New Riders) - Jonathon Goodyear, Brian Peek, Brad Fox
  • Designing Microsoft ASP.NET Applications (Microsoft Press) - Jonathon Goodyear, Brian Peek, Brad Fox
  • Microsoft ASP.NET Step by Step (Microsoft Press) - G. Andrew Duthrie
  • Deploying and Managing Microsoft .NET Web Farms (Sams) - Barry Bloom
  • Professional ASP.NET MVC 3 (Wrox) - Jon Galloway, Phil Haack, Brad Wilson, K. Scott Allen 
  • Beginning ASP.NET 4.5 in C# - Matthew MacDonald

Windows API

  • Programming Windows 95 - Charles Petzold and Paul Yao
  • Programming Applications for Windows - Jeffrey Richter
  • Advanced Windows - Jeffrey Richter
  • Visual C++ Windows Shell Programming - Dino Esposito


  • Programming Windows 95 with MFC - Jeff Prosise
  • MFC Internals - George Shepherd and Scot Wingo
  • Professional MFC with Visual C++ - Mike Blaszczak


  • Professional ASP Techniques for Webmasters - Alex Homer




  • Windows CE Developers Handbook - Terence A. Goggin
  • Programming Windows CE - Douglas Boling (Microsoft Press)
  • Essential Windows CE Application Programming -Robert Burdick (Wiley)


  • Essential COM - Don Box
  • Professional COM Applications with ATL - Sing Li and Panos Economopoulos
  • Creating Lightweight Components with ATL - Jonathan Bates
  • Inside ALT - George Shepherd and Brad King
  • Understanding DCOM - William Rubin and Marshall Brain
  • Programming Distributed Applications with COM and Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 - Ted Pattison
  • Inside OLE, 2nd Edition - Kraig Brockschmidt

WPF / Silverlight / Windows Phone / WinRT

  • Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed - Adam Nathan
  • Pro WPF In Visual Studio x - Matthew MacDonald
  • Windows Phone Unleashed - Daniel Vaughan
  • Silverlight x Unleashed - Laurent Bugnion
  • Programming Windows - Charles Petzold (yes, he's done a Windows 8 version)
  • Building Windows 8 Apps with C# and XAML - Jeremy Likness

OOP (Object-Oriented Programming)

  • Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design - Brett D. McLaughlin, Gary Pollice, and Dave West

Web Pages/WebMatrix

  • Beginning ASP.NET Web Pages with WebMatrix - Mike Brind and Imar Spaanjaars
  • Building ASP.NET Web Pages with Microsoft WebMatrix - Steve Lydford


  • Windows 8 Apps with XAML and C# Unleashed - Adam Nathan
  • Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript - Kraig Brockschmidt


  • JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual - David Sawyer McFarland
  • Murach's JavaScript and jQuery by Zak Ruvalcaba and Mike Murach
  • Building A JavaScript Framework - dailyjs


  • HTML5 24-Hour Trainer - Joseph W. Lowery and Mark Fletcher
  • HTML & CSS: The Good Parts - Ben Henick
  • Responsive Web Design - Ethan Marcotte


  • CSS3: The Missing Manual - David Sawyer McFarland



  • Introduction to Android Application Development: Android Essentials - Joseph Annuzzi Jr., Lauren Darcey, Shane Conder
  • Beginning Android Tablet Application Development - Wei-Meng Lee
  • Programming Android - Zigurd Mednieks, Laird Dornin, G. Blake Meike, and Masumi Nakamura
  • Android Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach - Dave Smith and Jeff Friesen

Android Studio

  • Android Studio Application Development - Belén Cruz Zapata
  • Getting Started with Android Studio - Barbara Hohensee
  • Android Studio: How to guide and tutorial - Clive Sargeant
  • Android Developer Tools Essentials: Android Studio to Zipalign - Mike Wolfson, Donn Felker



Regular Expressions


  • Introduction to Pattern Recognition A Matlab Approach - Sergios Theodoridis and konstantinos koutroumbas
    • Learning OpenCV Computer Vision - Gary Bradski and Adrian Kaehler
    • OpenCV.2. Computer.Vision.Application. Programming.Cookbook - Robert Laganière
    • OpenCVReferenceManual - Intel
    • Beginning ASP.NET Security - Barry Dorrans
    • SQL Injection Attacks and Defense - Justin Clarke


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Current passion project: CodeProject SenseAI. Please join in!

Chris is the Co-founder of the popular code-sharing site, the digital advertising agency and the content marketing agency ContentLab.IO.

He's been programming way too long and has been, in various guides, an astrophysicist, mechanic, mathematician, physicist, breeder of carnivorous plants, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a serial entrepreneur.

Chris has programmed everything from FORTRAN on a CRAY to Python on a Pi, but generally leans on TypeScript, C#, and SQL for the front, middle and back bits of his applications. His current focus is on ensuring developers know enough about Artificial Intelligence to be dangerous.

Comments and Discussions

GeneralGems Pin
Chris Losinger21-Jun-01 8:12
professionalChris Losinger21-Jun-01 8:12 
GeneralRe: Gems Pin
Christian Graus21-Jun-01 11:14
mveChristian Graus21-Jun-01 11:14 
GeneralRe: Top Graphics Books Pin
26-Jun-01 9:54
suss26-Jun-01 9:54 
GeneralRecommended Book: Discipline and Design Pin
Val Manes5-Sep-00 9:20
sussVal Manes5-Sep-00 9:20 
GeneralOther books Pin
clutch-n-grab6-Aug-00 12:54
Memberclutch-n-grab6-Aug-00 12:54 
GeneralRe: Other books Pin
Zdeslav Vojkovic27-Jun-01 23:32
MemberZdeslav Vojkovic27-Jun-01 23:32 
GeneralDesign of MFC and other Class FrameWorks Pin
Member 87991-Aug-00 5:18
MemberMember 87991-Aug-00 5:18 
QuestionObject Oriented ? Pin
Alex Marbus30-Jul-00 20:42
MemberAlex Marbus30-Jul-00 20:42 


Too bad I mis a list of books about OOP.. (and maybe UML?)
Maybe in the future..

I'll think of some suggestions for this topic.
GeneralRichard Grimes Pin
R. Spekreijse25-Jul-00 23:38
sussR. Spekreijse25-Jul-00 23:38 
GeneralRE: Richard Grimes Pin
Brian Hart7-Aug-00 16:34
MemberBrian Hart7-Aug-00 16:34 
QuestionAny suggestions for Java? Pin
Scot Reed5-Jul-00 4:03
sussScot Reed5-Jul-00 4:03 
AnswerRe: Any suggestions for Java? Pin
C Morell20-Jul-00 11:07
MemberC Morell20-Jul-00 11:07 
AnswerRe: Any suggestions for Java? Pin
Bernie Vachon21-Jul-00 7:59
MemberBernie Vachon21-Jul-00 7:59 
AnswerRe: Any suggestions for Java? Pin
31-Jul-01 16:32
suss31-Jul-01 16:32 
GeneralRe: Any suggestions for Java? Pin
Jon Sagara31-Jul-01 19:02
MemberJon Sagara31-Jul-01 19:02 
GeneralATL COM Pin
mindows29-Jun-00 8:40
Membermindows29-Jun-00 8:40 
GeneralATL COM Pin
Ernan27-Jun-00 12:44
MemberErnan27-Jun-00 12:44 
GeneralMultithreading Pin
Gennady Oster26-Jun-00 22:48
MemberGennady Oster26-Jun-00 22:48 
GeneralRe: Multithreading Pin
Vaughn Arthur10-Jul-00 5:55
sussVaughn Arthur10-Jul-00 5:55 
GeneralATL book Pin
Martin Kulov25-Jun-00 22:30
MemberMartin Kulov25-Jun-00 22:30 
GeneralRe: ATL book Pin
Member 37091-Jul-00 10:58
MemberMember 37091-Jul-00 10:58 
GeneralTwo more... Pin
Gert-Jan Bartelds25-Jun-00 21:53
sussGert-Jan Bartelds25-Jun-00 21:53 
QuestionBrooks "Mythical Man-Month"? Pin
Martin Hellspong25-Jun-00 20:14
MemberMartin Hellspong25-Jun-00 20:14 
AnswerRe: Brooks Pin
Chris Maunder25-Jun-00 23:07
cofounderChris Maunder25-Jun-00 23:07 
GeneralAnother C++ book and UML suggestions Pin
Jonathan Gilligan22-Jun-00 5:40
MemberJonathan Gilligan22-Jun-00 5:40 

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