Twenty of the best free ebooks to learn programming – Gearrice

You can find hundreds of useful books to learn programming, and you can get them without paying ‘not a penny’. But the best thing is that you can also do it without violating its copyright conditions: whether they are out-of-print classic books made available for free download by their authors, or works created from scratch under free licenses (GNU Documentation or Creative Commons, in most cases), you have real gems at your disposal. We have selected some of them for you:


The programmer career in 2017 and in the future (with Javier Santana)
“This book, designed to serve as a bibliography for an undergraduate Operating Systems course, presents the main areas in which the work of an operating system is divided“.
The authors of this book (available in PDF, although its website also includes example source code and other additional material) are 4 academics from different Latin American universities.
This Spanish translation of the book ’97 Things Every Programmer Should Know’ contains all kinds of advice and recommendations for software programming professionals: refactoring, clean code, testing, continuous learning, etc. Available in web format.
Written by GitHub co-founder Scott Chacon and Zendesk developer Ben Straub, this ebook (hosted on Git’s own official website) serves as complete introduction to this version control system which nowadays constitutes a basic tool for any programmer. Available in web, PDF and ePub format.
“Git Immersion is a guided tour that takes us through the basics of Git, inspired by the premise that, to know something, you have to do it. […] The surest path to mastering Git is to dive into its utilities and commands, to experience it first-hand.”
The author of this lib was Jim Weirich, a software developer who played a key role in the Ruby ecosystem, being the creator of tools like Rake and Builder, and the RubyGems package management system. Available in web format.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a DevOps/SysOps engineer, developer, or just a Linux enthusiast, you can turn to Bash scripts to combine different Linux commands and thus automate boring and repetitive daily tasks so you can focus on more productive and fun things.
The author (co-founder of Dev Dojo and community manager of Digital Ocean) of this book focuses, during the first few chapters, on giving us a solid foundation in Bash scripting, and only then goes on to review use case examples. It is available in pdf format (and – this is new – with ‘dark’ and ‘light’ modes).
17 books on technology, software and programming that the Genbeta team recommends to read and give away this Book Day
This book is an introduction to GUI programming in C, in which the first part —intended for absolute beginners— introduces us to the use of language, and the second focuses on teaching us how to create desktop applications for Raspberry Pi OS —the ‘official’ Linux distribution of RPis—using the GTK library. The author is a software engineer working for the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
‘C Elements of Style’ is first and foremost a ‘style guide’, addressing the principles that a good C/C++ programmer should follow in order to write elegant code that can be easily read, understood, and maintained by others. To do this, it attaches great importance to how the comments are written, but also to aspects such as the names of variables, the organization of directories or the elaboration of the ‘makefile’. The version available for download is an abridged version of the printed (and out of print) book of the same name.
‘How to make an Operating System’ is a book that teaches us how to code a computer operating system from scratch in C/C++. The objective? Create a very simple operating system, based on Unix, capable of booting the machine, starting a user shell, and being extensible. Its author is a co-founder of the GitBook platform.
The ‘Boost libraries’ are a set of free, cross-platform libraries intended to extend the capabilities of the C++ programming language. In this book, written by their author, They present and explain up to 72 of them, through 430 code examples illustrating the usefulness and uses of each. Available in web format.
If you have ever searched for programming ebooks on the Internet, you have probably come across the RIP Tutorial guides at some point, a project by the company ZZZ Projects that create books with content extracted from user contributions on Stack Overflow. And possibly one of the most celebrated guides in this collection is the one dedicated to the quintessential young promise among programming languages: ‘Learning Rust’. Available in PDF format.
the author of [‘Desarrollando con Java 8: Poker’](David Pérez Cabrera) —software developer at Telfónica— tackles the teaching of programming in Java from a truly original way: by choosing as its goal the creation of a poker application, which allows revising aspects of the language that go from the coding of algorithms to the graphical interface, passing through the management of events and concurrency. Available in PDF format.

“The goal of this book is to provide an introduction to programming […] oriented to solve common data analysis problems in the world of computing”.
Part of ‘Python for everyone’, used as a reference text in several online courses (from Coursera, edX or CodeMentor) is based, in turn, on an older one, also with a CC license and with a Spanish translation (‘How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python’). Available in web version, PDF and EPUB.
What if you could get your computer to do it for you? all those little-but-tedious tasks that you normally spend hours doing by hand? Rename files or folders, update or format thousands of cells in spreadsheets, split or merge PDFs, fill in forms, do webscrapping…

In ‘Automate the Boring Stuff with Python’, they will teach us how to solve problems like these step by step, even if we start reading without previous knowledge of programming… and in its sequel ‘The big book of small Python projects’ (available on the same website) the author will continue addressing similar practical cases.
“Don’t spend your time doing work that a well-trained monkey could do.”
One of the fields in which Python stands out on its own merits is data science. If you’re interested in this one, you’ll find that this manual published by the reputable O’Reilly publishers—and written by a Google Research software engineer—is great for learning how to tackle everyday problems like manipulation and cleaning of data, its visualization, or its use in statistical and machine learning models.
In addition, the installation and use of programs such as iPython, Jupyter, NumPy, Scikit-Learn or Matplotlab are addressed. Available in web format… and in Jupyter / Colab notebooks.
In ‘Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python’, each chapter gives you the complete source code of a new game (Guess the Number, The Hangman, Tic Tac Toe, Reversi…), and then reviews programming concepts through examples. It addresses the use of the Pygame framework, intended to facilitate the development of games with 2D graphics. Written by the author of ‘Automate the Boring…’.
A simple and accessible programming book, which introduces us to how to program with pseudocode before teaching us JavaScript itself, and which ends up addressing issues such as AJAX requests or dynamic DOM manipulation. Its author is a member of the Node.js Ecosystem Security Working Group. Available in PDF.
“JavaScript is at the heart of almost all modern web applications […] it is not a toy, it is a flexible and complex language that can be used to create large-scale applications. ‘Eloquent JavaScript’ dives into this burgeoning language and teaches you how to write code that’s as elegant as it is effective.”
“By immersing you in the example code and encouraging experimentation from the start, the author quickly gives you the tools you need to build your own programs.” One caveat, though.: The Spanish translation is incomplete, so you may want to take a look at the English original.
Mark Pilgrim was investigated by the FBI in 1992 for creating and distributing a virus. He later worked at IBM and Google, and is now a software developer at Brave. And in this book he offers us a readable and enjoyable introduction to the HTML5 standard and the history of its evolution. Available in web format (obviously).
Aaron Gustafson, who works at Microsoft as a ‘Web Standards Advocate’, gave shape with this work to the concept of ‘adapted web design’ as a category that included ‘responsive’ design (but intended to go further) and linked to the philosophy of ‘progressive improvement’. ‘Adaptive Web Design’ addresses HTML, CSS, JavaScript and accessibility notions.
The popular cloud provider Digital Ocean publishes a lot of programming articles on their blog. In this case, he has compiled those he published on Node.js programming at an ebook that is a great introduction to this environment. We will review how to create HTTP clients or web servers. ‘How To Code in Node.js’ is available in web, PDF and ePub formats.
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