There are many Internet lists of best programming and software engineering books. Amazon also has their list of best selling computer programming books. I've also blogged on the topic in the past: "Six must have computer science books" and "What makes a good (tech) book read?" Many of the books I own where purchased based on specific topics of interest and of need. My library is filled with many technical books that I use as references. In general, I like books that are small (a quick read) and focused (they get right to the point). Lately, I've started thinking more about my list of best authors instead of just best books. A great author (and industry luminary) has worthwhile information to impart and also has important things to say. If I enjoy one of their books, I usually check out their other books and often buy all of them.
I've created my top eleven list (in alphabetical order by last name) of best programming and software engineering book authors (some are a combination of authors that often write together as well as individually) and listings of some of their definitive works. My top eleven list (if 11 is good enough for Spinal Tap it is also good enough for me.) is based on:
- Their body of written and presented work - books, articles and presentations
- Their contributions to programming's state-of-the-art
- Specific books that "stand the test of time"
- Their involvement in our craft and industry
- If I'll read anything they publish
- The person (many that I've met and some I wish I could meet).