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Top 10 Must-Read Books for Computer Science

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Computer science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications. It is the systematic study of the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of the methodical procedures (or algorithms) that underlie the acquisition, representation, processing, storage, communication of, and access to information, whether such information is encoded as bits in a computer memory or transcribed in genes and protein structures in a biological cell. A computer scientist specializes in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is an academic and applied discipline involving the study of both the theoretical foundations of information and computation, (as in computer science proper), and their implementations and applications in computer systems. Computer scientists study the theoretical foundations of algorithms and the inventions of new computational techniques.

In applications, computer scientists devise algorithms whose efficiency for a given task exceeds that of naive approaches. Another important application of computer science is the design of computer and network Security systems that reliably detect and prevent attacks.

A computer scientist is someone who has an essentially unlimited imagination and computational skills to invent something. If a computer scientist designed a VCR, it would have a microprocessor, a memory, the ability to play tapes, and thousands of possibilities not limited by any technological constraints. A VCR engineer would probably take the same computer and modify it to clean the floors. It is the role of computer scientists to take a step back and see the big picture.

A computer scientist does not design a GPS, because that is not on the list of what the machine can do. A GPS engineer designs the machine to make sure it has an internal clock, and then tells it to return to a specific latitude and longitude. If the GPS is in an airplane over the Pacific Ocean, it could go a long time without hitting land, and that is the difference between a computer scientist and a computer engineer. We need both types of people: problem solvers, and creative geniuses.

Are Computer Science Books Hard To Read?

Computer science is a branch of science that studies the theory and use of computers. It is also a practical engineering discipline that deals with designing software and hardware systems that can process complex tasks through the manipulation of data. A computer science practitioner is a person who applies the theoretical and practical knowledge of computer science in building computer software systems or computer hardware systems.

Computer Science (or Comp Sys) is the study of computers and computer programming, and the practical application of its principles and theories. Computer scientists study a wide spectrum of topics, including artificial intelligence, networks, programming languages, graphics, databases, document analysis, theory of computation, software engineering, and many more. By reading this article, readers may gain a good understanding of the basic concepts of the computer science.

What To Look For When Buying Computer Science Books?

Learning computer science is an important task for most people in the planet, no matter if they go to school or work as an IT professional. There are hundreds of books on the subject, but only a few are deemed as bestsellers. These are the books that will give you a solid base for going into computer science.

The topic of computer science has many subtopics and the details can often get confusing, that’s why it’s important to choose a good book on the subject. The main reason why you should read computer science books is to increase your understanding and knowledge. There are many free resources on the web, but they often lack exercise and examples. Books provide a good way to expand your knowledge and skills in an organized manner.

Why Learn Computer Science Through Books?

There are multiple ways of learning computer science, such as self teaching, online courses, classes, conferences and different types of apprenticeships. However, computer science is a subject that goes back to the basics and you need to start from scratch to get started. Some people learn the subject by taking a college course, while others check online courses and videos.

Many people prefer reading books over attending classes, mainly because you can read the book as many times as you want and you will never get bored. You will always find a chapter that interests you or a topic that you didn’t understand fully before.

Computer science textbooks give you the chance of becoming more independent and you will be able to learn while studying alone, taking notes, doing the exercises and even reading ahead of your class. You can learn about algorithms, programming languages, computer graphics, networks and hundreds of other topics.

The best part is obtaining a library of knowledge that you can always refer to, not just for your current class, but also for future ones. Bear in mind that some of the books on our list are recommended for a specific class or course, but they are still relevant if you wish to understand the foundations of computer programming and the computer.

The Best Books for Learning Computer Science

The best books are those that you can read and apply. If you wish to learn computer science for self-growth, then you should look for a book that goes into the basics. You will need a basic understanding of programming languages. Many experienced programmers prefer to learn about algorithms by reading books on data structures and object-oriented programming, and then moving onto advanced courses.

For someone who wishes to learn the subject for a specific purpose, such as a diploma or an academic degree, you should look for a book that targets the subject and the audience. There are many computer science books that explain the basics and others that go further into specific topics such as artificial intelligence and operating systems.


SIP: Understanding the Session Initiation Protocol by Alan B. Johnston

This product was recommended by Anthony from RationalRunner

I used this book to learn SIP in a hurry. It doesn’t hold your hand or contain any fluff but is a steady companion. It gets straight to the point and in detail. I thought the price tag was high but went with the recommendations from earlier editions and I was glad I did. It saved me countless hours looking through faq’s and rfc’s. I used this book as a diagnosis tool using the knowledge gained from it as corner stones from which to hang subsequent issue tracing. I can see it being used during development processes as a reference due to the logical way chapters group together methods of a similar nature.


Algorithms (4th Edition) by Robert Sedgewick

This product was recommended by M. Ammar Shahid from SuperHeroCorp

This book is a leading textbook on algorithms which is widely used in educational institutions worldwide. It comprises details of the most critical algorithm currently in use and their treatment. The algorithms shared in this book are the collection of the last five decades of knowledge body, which are indispensable for the professionals as well as elementary java language learners.


Beginning Programming All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies by Wallace Wang

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

This book covers the basics of computer science. It’s very easy to read through and understand the concepts as it goes delves through every detail about HTML and CSS and coding and a lot more.


Cracking the Coding Interview By Gayle Laakmann McDowell

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

This book is a must-read for people who want to get an in-depth explanation of how to get programming jobs. The book is well written and could guide you through your job interviews.


The Pragmatic Programmer by David Thomas

This product was recommended by Albert Griesmayr from Scribando

This book has so many takeaways on how to become a great software engineer. This should be a required read for all programmers to help them in coding and making programs. It is basically a collection of programming ideas that you can apply to your programs.


Introduction to Algorithms by Thomas H. Cormen

This product was recommended by Michael Astashkevich from Smart IT

The book is a great point of reference for consolidating fundamental principles of mathematics and algorithms. It might not be breaking new ground, but it helps to reinforce knowledge you might already have with a computer science background. Therefore it is a must-have on an software engineer’s bookshelf.


Bullseye Breach by Greg Scott

This product was recommended by Greg Scott from Infrasupport Corporation

In continues a proud tradition of using realistic fiction to teach real-world lessons. After overseas attackers steal forty million customer credit card numbers from Bullseye Stores over a busy Christmas shopping season, an ad-hoc team in Minneapolis finds a way to fight back. Bullseye Breach uses entertainment to teach how attackers exploit a thriving underground economy to find and plunder juicy targets via phishing, SQL injection, zero-day vulnerabilities, and other attack vectors, and what organizations can do about it. It’s one of the few computer science textbooks students will want to read cover-to-cover, because it’s structured as a novel instead of a textbook.


Open Source Intelligence Techniques by Michael Bazzell

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information by Michael Bazzell. This book puts the power back in your hands. The new OSINT professional must be self-sustaining and possess their own tools and resources.


The Pragmatic Programmer by David Thomas

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

The Pragmatic Programmer: your journey to mastery by David Thomas illustrates the best practices and major pitfalls of many different aspects of software development. Whether you’re a new coder, an experienced programmer, or a manager responsible for software projects, use these lessons daily, and you’ll quickly see improvements in personal productivity, accuracy, and job satisfaction.


Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug

This product was recommended by Jennifer Willy from Etia

Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug was first published in 2000. He returns with a fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic-with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability.

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