Every so often, someone on Stack Overflow will include a link to their favorite programming book. All those links add up over time. Now one website has compiled a list of the most-referenced books on Stack Overflow, having scanned over 40 million questions and answers.
Using a publicly available dump of user-contributed content on Stack Overflow, dev-books.com analyzed links to Amazon. The resulting list is easily searchable thanks to tabs such as ‘Java’ and ‘Math.’
The topic of the top book shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone involved in programming: ‘Working Effectively with Legacy Code.’ Stack Overflow is ripe with developers asking about legacy code, especially as it relates to older syntax or dreaded ‘spaghetti code’ that has been patched together over the ages.
In second place is a book that’s closely related to the top pick. ‘Design Patterns’ deals with designing code that can be reused for object-oriented software, which helps you avoid tangled-up code-bases. The third-most-referenced book, ‘Clean Code,’ helps you start out on the right foot (sensing a pattern yet?).
Six of the top 30 books directly relate to the C programming languages, which are some of the most widely used. TIOBE routinely ranks at least two C languages in its top five, and the most recent Stack Overflow survey has C, C# and C++ in its top ten.
Dev-books has the full list, replete with Amazon links and a nice tag filtering system for your language or discipline of choice. If nothing else, it’s a good resource to visit now and then if you’re looking for a new book to read.