The following books have shaped the way I code. I bought them for myself, and recommend them to you.


Disclosure: The book links below are affiliate links. If you buy anything, I earn a commission, at no extra cost to you.

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The Art of Agile Development: Pragmatic Guide to Agile Software Development

by James Shore and Shane Warden

A handbook for applying Extreme Programming (XP). XP is the foundational agile approach focusing on technical practices.

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The Art of Unit Testing: with examples in C#

by Roy Osherove

This book gave me a solid foundation. Don’t be put off by the “C#” in the title. This is good, good stuff.

Book cover: Byond Legacy Code

Beyond Legacy Code: Nine Practices to Extend the Life (and Value) of Your Software

by David Scott Bernstein

A practical guide to technical agile practices.

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Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship

by Robert Martin

I thought my code was already clean. Then I read this book, and it helped make my code so much cleaner.

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Dependency Injection Principles, Practices, and Patterns

by Mark Seemann and Steven van Deursen

This book helped me get a handle on Dependency Injection. I read the first edition, and look forward to getting this update. The examples are in C# on .NET  — don’t let that put you off.

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Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, John Vlissides

You can’t claim expertise in OOP without being familiar with this book.

Book cover: Domain-Driven Design

Domain-Driven Design: Tackling Complexity in the Heart of Software

by Eric Evans

This book explores Object Oriented Design (OOD). Can you shape your code to express your domain?

Book cover: The Mikado Method

The Mikado Method

by Ole Ellnestam and Daniel Brolund

An effective technique for tackling multi-step refactoring.

Book cover: Refactoring

Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code

by Martin Fowler

The first edition completely changed the way I code, and started my whole journey. The second edition is better still. Essential.

See my post Refactoring: The Book that Changed Everything for Me

Book cover: Refactoring to Patterns

Refactoring to Patterns

by Joshua Kerievsky

How to refactor towards a pattern, and also away from a pattern.

Book cover: Test-Driven iOS Development

Test-Driven iOS Development

by Graham Lee

The original iOS TDD book. The examples are in Objective-C, but the concepts go much deeper.
See my post Test-Driven iOS Development: The Book That Fills a Big Hole for more thoughts.

Book cover: Test-Drive iOS Development with Swift 4

Test-Driven iOS Development with Swift 4

by Dominik Hauser

Don’t just read this; actually work through the example yourself.

Book cover: Working Effectively with Legacy Code

Working Effectively with Legacy Code

by Michael Feathers

This book taught me how to break the cycle of fear with approaching legacy code: “I can’t refactor without tests, but I can’t add tests without refactoring.” The author defines “legacy code” as any code without unit tests.

Book cover: xUnit Test Patterns

xUnit Test Patterns: Refactoring Test Code

by Gerard Meszaros

This is the Unit Testing Bible. A wealth of information on how to write, organize, and refactor test code.

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