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Five Books Every C++ Programmer Should Read...

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Hello again, and welcome to another exciting episode of 'Code Rants'! :P This time we're going to look at some awesome books that I find rather intriguing and that I believe are an essential part of any C++ library (that could be taken as a pun). Like always, my posts aren't targeted a 'gurus'. Instead they're focused on helping the intermediate and newer kiddies get on their feet and on the road to expertdom.

Anyways, since I only have three seconds left before your attention totally dissipates, I'll get on with the show.

1. The C++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustup
Considered a 'definitive' source on everything C++, it is always good to have around. If anyone knows a language, it is its creator, and thus this book could never steer you wrong. As one review I saw put it, it's "the right book". (Small note of warning though: just like many books by programming language authors, this book isn't totally steered at novices; or in other words it's a more of a reference than a tutorial).

2. The Effective C++ Series by Scott Meyers
Scott Meyers is to C++ as Warren Buffet is to Investing: a know it all that can never go wrong. This book's motto is "some books teach you C++, I teach you how to use it properly". Considered a must read or 'right of passage' by most in the C++ community, I find it to be one of the most important and best written books on the subject. All three books are full of great humor, and are written fairly straight forward (if you understand the concepts, then you'll get the tips). It's a must have trilogy.

3. C++ Coding Standards: 101 Rules, Guidelines, and Best Practices by Herb Sutter and Andrei Alexandrescu
A book similar to the one mentioned above; that is, showing you how to make your code better. Essentially this book is a compilation of tips gathered from other sources (see its references) and put into one good source. It is similar to Effective C++, and many of the suggestions are identical. However, it is more 'team oriented'; it's to make your workplace and job easier to you and those around you.

4. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Erich Gamma (et al.)
At first, it might seem odd for me to suggest the 'Gang of Four' (GOF) as good C++ reading. "Why is it here" you ask? My answer: yes; it is an OOP book, but don't let that detract from it's value. While you could learn these concepts in many books, few of them are so greatly and deeply integrated with C++. In my opinion, this book shows you how to use OOP in C++ (something similar but different from many other languages). Agree or disagree, it is still a good read and I highly recommend it.

5. Anything else on C++ ;)
So where's book five? Well, there isn't! No five books, no matter how good or how thick could ever show you everything there is to C++; and that's a fact. C++ is a humongous, complex, and just plain fun language in which no one can truly know it all ('cept Scott Meyers ;)). It is a place where you learn something new everyday, and you'll be shocked by 'gotcha's each week! What I'm trying to say, is read! Get on, search for C++ and just pick and choose. You can never go wrong, with books (no I'm not a librarian :whistling:)

Well, that's about all. "I've said all I've said, and I ain't gonna say no more!". Thanks for reading and I hope you really take into account the books I've mentioned here. On a coder-to-coder basis, let me just say these books will work because they are what taught (or are teaching me). See ya next time!

~ Mike

3 Comments On This Entry

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16 May 2010 - 05:22 PM
Great suggestions, I am currently reading "The C++ Programming Language" and I can say as a learning C++ developer it is not directed at the novice programmer. Still a great read so far though, I will have to look into the "Effective C++" series.



29 May 2010 - 03:57 AM
And the "C++, How To Program" by Deitel?


31 May 2010 - 01:19 PM

nathanpc, on 29 May 2010 - 02:57 AM, said:

And the "C++, How To Program" by Deitel?

I think that falls under number 5... :D
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