10 Best Computer History Books

This is my list of the 10 best computer history books. These are the pillar books that have helped me understand computers, the computing industry, and some of the pioneers in the industry. In my opinon, these are 10 computer history books every developer should read. They are listed here in no particular order.

Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software

by Charles Petzold

Print | eBook

The Book in Three Sentences: A journey through time exploring various languages and codes humans use to send and store information. Whether you’re trying to communicate with your best friend in the neighborhood with a string telephone or sending a loved one a telegraph message while you’re overseas, you’ll learn about the inner workings of computers from the past to the present.

The Soul of A New Machine

by Tracy Kidder

Print | eBook| Audiobook

The Book in Three Sentences: A ragtag team of engineers who build a state of the art minicomputer despite their odds of succeeding. In high pressure conditions that bring the team almost to insanity, you’ll find this to paint the picture of the mental and emotional stress that engineers go through when working on products.

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

by David Kushner

Print | eBook| Audiobook

The Book in Three Sentences: John Carmack and John Romero revolutionized the video game industry by sparking controversy, pushing the limits of computers, and letting ego come into play. These two misfits were able to follow their passions for video games and computer programming to make important advances in technology while getting rich at the same time.

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution

by Steven Levy

Print | eBook| Audiobook

The Book in Three Sentences: One of the most inspiring books to pioneers of the computer industry, follow along various hackers and their stories to bring their visions alive. Whether you’re following MIT hackers, homebrewing in the Bay Area, or video game hackers blaze the trail for others to follow in their footsteps.

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

by James Gleick

Print | eBook| Audiobook

The Book in Three Sentences: The history of information theory is a history of improving abstraction to humans to the point where information becomes noise. Learn about the chaotic work produced by greats like Charles Babbage, Lady Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing, and many more.