This page introduces the classic texts on code quality and technical debt. I am not a developer and I have not read all of these books but they have been recommended to me by people who I consider to be experts on the matter:

Code Quality

  • Clean Code by Bob Martin
  • Growing Object Oriented Systems guided by Tests by Steve Freeman & Nat Pryce
  • Object Design by Rebecca Wirfs-Brock
  • Programming Pearls  by Bentley
  • Software Tools by Kernighan and Plaugher
  • Object-Oriented Reengineering Patterns – Demeyer, Ducasse & Nierstrasz (old, but free!
  • Patterns languages of software design series by Various Authors
  • Code Complete by Steven McConnell

Technical Debt

  • Dealing with Legacy Systems by Michael Feathers
  • The Mikado Method by Ole Ellnestam and Daniel Brolund
  • Managing Software Debt by Chris Sterling
  • Refactoring by Martin Fowler
  • Your Code as a Crime Scene by Adam Thornhil
  • Leprechauns of Software Engineering by Laurent Bossavit
  • Galvanised view of Technical Debt by Michael Feathers

Classic Related Texts

  • Extreme Programming Explained by Kent Beck
  • Conway’s Law
  • Mythical Man Month by Fred Brooks
  • Peopleware by Tim Lister & Tom DeMarco
  • Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt & Dave Thomas

Thank you to Steve Freeman, Sam Newman, Paul Hammant, Jon Tirsen, Nat Pryce, and Clinton Begin for helping to compile the list.