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How to pick a good programming book to learn?
1 point by shivajikobardan 75 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
For a moment, please keep aside the discussion whether you really need books to learn programming.

Generally the reviews online are highly confusing. If you start reading all negative and positive reviews, you'd be forever confused.

So, how do you pick good programming books?

few ideas:

  * learning style: theoretical, hands-on examples, progressively build a project, enough to know how terminology is used/applied

  * relevent skill level(s) before, skill level after using book: totally new subject to did phd thesis, to some mix/match various background related to 'programming book'

  * 'age / scope of content material': bleeding edge / getting up to speed / broading understanding of topic(s) area(s) such as general operating system concepts / narrow focus, such as using yacc / need to translate original 1950's fortran 1 into current object oriented fortran.  

   ok, last one likely 2 books, unless new to object orient design, then 3.  Perhaps 4 if need to build & program a diy punch card reader to upload the fortran 1 punch cards to a electronic file on usb drive, some interminate amount of parenthetical book references used to learn/build program(s) to convert a single picture of bunch of punch cards into ascii text file. 

  * purpose for using the book:  reference, support some programming project, use to help understand a project, using to suplement understanding of tools used in programming class

for me books aren't primary source of learning. I just want them, read them whenever confused and my materials I'm following aren't answering my questions or clearing me about concepts. I primarily use videos and blogs.

Book author page and/or book errata sheet might contain further help.

so, parenthetical notes / bibliography / appendix from source material.

cross reference source material bibliography / appendix references with websites that provide number of citations for given biblo/appendex reference.

Assumption is that skill level matches skill level of group citing the biblo/appendex reference.

citation counts : https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/2063576.2063757

find related topic in https://arxiv.org/ & check the 'related papers / books'

Used for $4 to $9

I am talking about content of the book.

It's hard to judge content before you've read it. Price is easy to judge, and for the used market gives some signals as to quality.

so read the publically available electronic version first or check out a version from library?

ebooks allow one to invert the review comments.

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