Monday, February 20, 2017

Paper Comp Sci Classics

Being a programmer/systems architect/whatever brings with it a big reading load just to stay current. It used to be the case that this, for me, involved consuming lots of physical books and periodicals. Nowadays, less so because there is so much good stuff online. The glory-days of paper-based publications are never coming back so I think its worth taking a moment to give a shout out to some of the classics.

My top three comp sci books, the ones I will never throw out are:
- The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Ritchie
- Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, Abelson and Sussman
- Godel, Escher, Bach, Hofstadter

Sadly, I did dump a lot of classic magazines:-/ Byte, Dr Dobbs, PCW....

Your turn:-)


Unknown said...

"An eternal golden braid"? Title please Sean, last ref?

Russell Gibson said...

"The Whole Internet" - Ed Krol

Unknown said...

SICP is by Abelson and Sussman
The Dragon Book. is of course a classic too.
You should have 4 not 3... :-)

Unknown said...

Structured Design: Yourdon? Had the biggest impact on my code.

Sean McGrath said...

Yes. An Eternal Golden Braid.
Douglas Hofstadter

Thomas Bruce said...

What -- no Knuth?

Sean McGrath said...


The limit of 3 is a tough one as so many really important books cannot squeeze into the three slots. When I look back at my 30+ years in this industry, I spent a lot more time with the above 3 than with Knuth although I had all vols in the set. Oddly enough Knuth, for me, is more an influence in typesetting/markup thinking than fundamental algorithms of, say, sorting.

I find myself referring to concepts in TeX, latex, MetaFont and Tangle/Weave on a regular basis.