As I was so young, I didn't have many books as I couldn't afford them. But I remember learning from a qbasic book which I didn't have the compiler for so did it by hand on paper. My uncle gave me a Visual Basic book which had a compiler but was full of boring projects. He also have me a C++ book which was massive and it did a good job of reminding me that there is always more to learn.
I’m the author of two books, The Book of CSS3 (second edition out now!) and The Modern Web.
Like everyone else of my generation of developers, Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards was a huge influence on me, and Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions was another huge help for my career. The best book I’ve read in the past few years is Stephen Hay’s Responsive Design Workflow, which has the balance of dev and process that I need in my job.
There is a great book called Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg which I am currently reading. It is perfect for people who work in a team.
Another book I'd recommend to everyone involved in writing code is Pro Git by Scott Chacon.
There are too many to list, but my favourite books include:
- Responsive Web Design (Book) by Ethan Marcotte
- Responsible Responsive Design (Book) by Scott Jehl
- Seductive Interaction Design (Book) by Stephen P. Anderson — You can get an overview of this book in this blog post.
- Design Is A Job (Book) by Mike Monteiro
- Stop Stealing Sheep & find out how type works (Book) by Erik Spiekermann
The web development books that have had the biggest influence on my career are the ones I mentioned before: Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing with Web Standards and Dan Cederholm’s Web Standards Solutions and Bulletproof Web Design. I simply would not be doing what I’m doing if it weren’t for them.
Some of the A Book Apart series have been really helpful too. HTML5 for Web Designers, Mobile First, Responsive Web Design and Responsible Responsive Design are probably my favourites.
I have a number of really excellent books about development on my shelf which I haven't read at all, and I think all the books I started out with are long gone out of print. Since then, I've always just poked and prodded at anything new to find out how it works. I don't think that a good application needs a manual, and equally a good development environment shouldn't either. Apple does have reasonable documentation on their developer site, the forums there are worth checking out, but for everything else either ask fellow developers on Twitter, or come up with a good Google search to find the answer.
Almost every question you might have about AppKit has been asked on Stack Overflow at least once already, so that's always a good place to start looking.
I started with the Liz Castro book on XHTML & CSS, moved on to the Larry Ullman books on php/MySQL, and became forever addicted when I found the first Dan Cederholm book. And then there was the CSS Zen Garden! I went page-by-page, front-to-back and back again, except for when I was rudely interrupted by my on-call job at the railroad. Eventually life-circumstances forced me away from the railroad job and I took a full-time job as a developer.