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September 8, 2022

Top Twenty-Five Books for Techies

Ironhack’s best Tech book recs for International Literacy Day: great reads on Web Dev, UX/UI, Data Science, and Cybersecurity - plus career advice!

Frida Chacin Kulak - Tech Writer


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It is International Literacy Day, and we’ve prepared a selection of books from every tech discipline. Learn about different perspectives on Web Development, UX/UI Design, Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity– and take a look at our recommendations for career advancement, too!

Web Development

You can learn to code anywhere, but Web Development books will teach you how to code smart. Take your coding skills to the next level with these industry-leading books.

Code Complete, by Steve McConnell

A time-tested and comprehensive, practical guide to programming, this book provides a framework for managing complexity, showing how to think about programming and software development.

JavaScript Cookbook: Programming the Web, by Matthew MacDonald, Adam D. Scott, and Shelley Powers

Like a real cookbook, this book gives you straight-up code recipes to address common programming problems and tasks.

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, by Nadia Eghbal

Nadia Eghbal offers a history of open source software and a wide vision of the difficulties and intricacies of working in open source projects.

Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship, by Robert C. Martin

From an Agile perspective, clean code questions perceptions of what ‘good’ or ‘bad’ code is, giving an introduction to the concept of software craftsmanship and universal code readability.

Release It!: Design and Deploy Production-Ready Software, by Michael T. Nygard

Release It! is a lesson on how to avoid the pitfalls that application releases usually face, and make your code have the best possible performance and return on investment.

UX/UI Design

App and web design and usability are experiencing a shift towards a more human-centered, kinder perspective. Learn about what the future of UX/UI Design looks like. We’ve recommended more UX/UI books here, by the way!

The Laws Of Simplicity, by John Maeda

Less is more, especially in design, and John Maeda shares ten rules for balancing simplicity and complexity to take a design to its best possible state.

Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, by Steve Krug

Intuitive is where it’s at: users don’t want to think, and Krug tells you exactly how to achieve a no-nonsense design.

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, by Susan Weinschenk

Designers must understand how people think, and the reasons behind their behaviour– and this book teaches you how to design more intuitive, engaging projects that understand their public.

The Design of Everyday Things, by Don Norman

Don Norman reveals the impact behind good (or bad) design of the most unsuspected items, and derives lessons on user friendliness and practicality.

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design, by Kat Holmes

Mismatch provides a framework for how to design for inclusivity and account for the impact of what we design.

Data Analytics

Statistics are a feared word, because few people know how to get around the first assumptions on what data seems to be showing, and actually see the underlying patterns and get useful insights from it. These books show you how to do exactly that!

Data Smart: Using Data Science to Transform Information into Insight, by John W. Foreman

John Foreman introduces you to fundamental techniques of Data Science to process raw data into useful, actionable insights.

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics, by Tim Harford

This book teaches you how to look at statistics without being fooled by what’s apparent– learning how to reason with data and see its hidden patterns.

Statistics Done Wrong: The Woefully Complete Guide, by Alex Reinhart

Statistics Gone Wrong shares cautionary tales of common statistical fallacies and traps, teaching proper methodology for how to become a good data scientist.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, by Caroline Criado Perez

Gender biases are baked into the data, the systems, and the algorithms we use, and this book combines the efforts of hundreds of studies to show exactly how it affects our daily lives.

Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, by Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West

Become aware of your personal biases when reading data results, and learn how to see ‘bullshit’ in manipulated stats.


From the history of hacking to its very exciting present, our Cybersecurity selection will change the way you think about security and data protection in the digital age.

The Art of Invisibility, by Kevin D. Mitnick

Kevin Mitnick, one of the most explosive hackers, draws upon the history of hacking and his own personal experience, and shares tips on how to achieve online anonymity in today’s internet.

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy

From outcasts, nerds, or criminals, to the ethical risk-takers helping protect our sensitive information from the inside: this is the pioneering book that changed the public image of hackers.

Cybersecurity Essentials, by Charles J. Brooks, Philip R. Craig, and Donald Short

The bible of cybersecurity: the ultimate book to take you from cybersecurity newbie to expert. A must-have.

The Code Book, by Simon Singh

A complete history of encryption, all the way from ancient Egypt to internet commerce– complete with explanations for the biggest nerds!

Cult of the Dead Cow, by Joseph Menn

A book on what’s arguably the most significant hacker group in history: the inventors of hacktivism, the developers who helped create Tor, and vital shapers of cybersecurity as we know it.

Tech Career Advice

Not all career guidance is built the same way. The world of Tech has its own idiosyncrasies, but advancing your career doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Learn how to become a unique, valuable professional with these reads.

Thriving At Work, by Michael Dam

An incredibly relevant work full of actionable advice for career starters and switchers alike, with practical solutions and real impact.

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

In a world that seems to push working hard over working smart, this book spearheads the resistance: a healthier, slower work culture is possible.

Pivot, by Jenny Blake

We’ve talked about career pivots before, and Jenny Blake does a deep dive into the transition, breaking it down into universal, simple, fail-proof steps to turn your career around.

Range, by David Epstein

Range is a defense of inefficiency, of dabblers, and of jacks-of-all-trades. As it turns out, the secret to learning (and thriving!) in innovation is broad thinking.

The Making of a Manager, by Julie Zhuo

Pulling from her own experience as a young manager, Julie Zhuo gives us this handbook full of wisdom and tips to be a great leader.

Did these book recs pique your interest? Learn more about Tech, and launch your dream career with an Ironhack bootcamp!

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