3 essential books to become a great developer

Petr Zaparka
3 min readOct 12, 2020

Books that stand the test of time

Did you ever wonder which books you should read about development? Books that are still relevant despite the advances in computer technology?

I looked at the books that help me the most with my career and that are still relevant today.

Clean code by Robert C. Martin

This book is an essential book that shows you how to write better, more understandable code. It also explains why you should do it this way.

It covers naming conventions, method lengths or principles like DRY and KISS. It talks about comments, formatting, object and data structures, error handling and tests. This book serves as a reference guide that you should have on your desk.

eXtreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck and Cynthia Andres

Extreme programming is not about the code. It is about you as a developer. It guides you through the basic principles of working in a team. Why you should deploy often and how you should structure testing. It is more about the philosophy of being a developer than about how to refactor your code. This book will show you how to be a useful member of the team.

Pragmatic Thinking and Learning by Andy Hunt

When I first read Pragmatic Thinking & Learning, it blew my mind. I was more concerned about the code and not about how to be a more effective learner.

Andy Hunt thought me about the learning process. And how to get “more mental processing power”. He explains what does it mean to learn deliberately and how to “debug your mind”. With this book you will have a better idea of how to get from beginner to more experienced developer. By learning better.


I know that there are other books that I could put on this list. But these three books cover the essential skillset. You can focus on details that are most relevant to you and your journey after you learn the basics.

Please let me know if you think these books are not relevant anymore. Or if there is a book you can’t believe I didn’t put on this list.

Thank you for reading.



Petr Zaparka

I love wine, self-improvement, chocolate and running. I do web development for a living. You can visit zaparka.cz or drop me an email petr@zaparka.cz