What Are the Best Books on Computer Science for Young Programmers?

There are so many books available which are aimed at people wanting to learn more about computer science. Here are our recommendations for some books which will give a good start to young people wanting to know more about this fascinating and complex subject

Introduction to Algorithms by Thomas H. Cormen

Anyone studying computer science needs a very solid foundation in the understanding of algorithms. This book is an excellent place to start for the young computer scientist. This text book is aimed at beginners at first year college level.

To describe this book as comprehensive is an understatement. With 1312 pages this book is going to be one of the heaviest on your shelf.

Although many of the elements of computer science change very rapidly which make books out of date very quickly, the fundamental principles of algorithms remain constant. This is significant because it means that an excellent text book like this can remain relevant for many years.


Computer Science Illuminated by Nell Dale and John Lewis

This is an excellent over view of computer science for the young programmer. Computer science is a huge subject and no one text book will be able to cover very much ground, but Computer Science Illuminated does a great job of covering the basics of a lot of the principles of this discipline.

This book is now in its 5th edition and has been updated to include sections on Google+ and Facebook as well as a comprehensive update on HTML5.

Readers will also have access to a comprehensive website which has a lot of very useful information.


The C ++ Programming Language by Bjarne Stroustrop

This is one of the best C ++ programming books for young computer scientists. This is a very comprehensive book and it does assume that the reader has a solid basis in programming already – it is not for the absolute beginner, but serves as an advanced text book for those wanting to get a more in-depth knowledge of the C ++programming language.


Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving by V. Anton Spraul

This book is not a conventional text book. The aim of the book is to enable young programmers to think differently when approaching problems. Programming is very obviously a science, but this book gets the young person to think about the concept that it is also very much an art as well.

One of the problems which computer science students have is that they find it very difficult to write a complete program from beginning to end. A student can know the theory very well, but the difficulty comes when the start to try and apply it to a problem. This book encourages the student to think differently and start to be able to apply the knowledge they have and actually apply it in a practical way.


Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by John Erickson

This is one of the best books available which covers the art of creative problem solving in programing – or “hacking” as it is commonly known. This isn’t a book for the absolute beginner, as to get the most out of it the reader needs to have at least a basic understanding of programming.

The book aims to get the reader to think differently about problem solving and how computers actually work. There are a lot of practical examples as well as detailed technical explanations.


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