Python is a great choice to start programming in. It is a well-designed language with an emphasis on readability. There are a multitude of resources and libraries to achieve almost any task imaginable.
Later on, you can explore other languages, comparing and contrasting them with your technical judgement and taste.
The Python Tutorial
The official tutorial for programming in Python. Having some programming experience will help you to move through the material presented here at a faster pace.
Language Specific Resources
Learn you a Haskell for great good
A nicely illustrated book on functional programming in Haskell.
What I Wish I Knew When Learning Haskell 2.0
A Haskell Reading List
A collection of OCaml resources.
Real World OCaml
A book about OCaml, a fast, functional programming language used in research and industry. A new edition is in the works.
Aaahhhh, the Lisp family of languages. Features of this family include expressivity, interactive-development, and macros.
Every Lisp language has its strengths and weaknesses, and the tradeoffs need to be carefully considered.
A modern Clojure-like Lisp without the JVM baggage designed for easy embeddability.
Clojure is a modern Lisp on the JVM (and the browser in the form of ClojureScript), which incorporates great ideas from multiple paradigms. Easy interoperability with the large number of available Java libraries is an added bonus.
It features persistent data structures, a well-designed sequence abstraction, great support for concurrency, and to round it off, good performance on the JVM.
The error handling and interactivity may not be as good as Common Lisp, but it doesn’t have all of Common Lisp’s warts and historical baggage.
A modern dialect of Scheme, which is gradually becoming the premier Scheme-ish language. An interesting feature of Racket is that it has several “sublanguages”.
A Road to Common Lisp
Steve Losh’s recommendations on how to learn Common Lisp.
Practical Common Lisp
An introduction to Common Lisp describing the construction of practical, real world programs.
Articulate Common Lisp
A collection of CL resources.
A systems programming language that seems to keep winning Stack Overflow’s “Most Loved Programming Language” year after year.
A logic-programming language. You are probably best off starting with SWI-Prolog.
The language formerly known as Perl 6. At some point the Perl community decided to create a “new” version of Perl i.e. Perl 6. As the changes became more and more backwards-incompatible, they realised that they were designing an all-new sister language. In 2020, after much discussion and Larry Wall’s blessing, Perl 6 was renamed to Raku.
Raku is an expressive, gradually typed, multi-paradigm language drawing from the rich history and roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-your-hands-dirty hacker-ethos of Perl with the explicit goal of being a fun language to program in.
Notable features include first-class support for grammars, modern concurrency primitives, a MOP, being able to easily define arbitrary operators, and keeping in line with Perl’s legacy, all new regexes.
Programming Language Theory
Lambda the Ultimate
A blog and community for programming language enthusiasts.
Oleg Kiselyov’s site
Beej’s Guide to Network Programming Using Internet Sockets
A humorous guide to get started with network programming in C.
Things to learn
What every computer science major should know
Matt Might’s advice on obtaining the essential education any student of CS ought to know.
Alex Bowe’s interview prep advice
Steve Yegge’s interview prep advice
General Programmer Tools
You will have to be familiar with the development tools like the compiler/interpreter and debugger because you’ll be spending a sizeable amount of your time working with them.
The GNU Debugger can help with finding what’s going wrong with your program. It’s usually used to debug C/C++ programs.
Building large projects can take a significant amount of time. ccache can help with reducing the time spent waiting for the build to finish.
Knowing how to efficiently use a text editor is one of the most useful secondary skills of any programmer.
Among the free text editors, vim and emacs have (unfortunately) been the state of the art for quite some time now.
A modal text editor that has nice key bindings and an emphasis on speed. It is an important command-line survival skill. Once installed, run the “vimtutor” command to start a basic tutorial.
An operating system containing, amongst many other things, a file manager, calculator, games, package manager and (arguably) a text editor.
It can be extended in trivial, and non-trivial ways with Emacs Lisp, which also happens to be the language it is written in.
Many users of Emacs suffer from the dreaded “Emacs Pinky” due to having to press down the Control key (or the Caps Lock key for that matter) for almost every command.
This can be alleviated to some extent by adding support of another modifier key like “Hyper”, to reduce dependence on the Control key.
Users who prefer Vim’s more ergonomic keybindings have a lot of options in making Emacs work that way.
A modern open-source text editor developed by Microsoft.
An easy to use, feature-laden text editor.
A Version Control System (VCS) is used to track changes in files. Even the most trivial projects can quickly become unmanageable if a VCS is not used.
A solid introduction to the powerful Git version control system.
Mercurial is easier to learn and use when compared to Git. This tutorial covers the fundamental idea behind version control and basic usage of Mercurial.
Commit message guidelines
It is important to write good commit messages so that commit history is readable.
Mastering the command line shell gives you unfathomable power and more importantly nerd cred. ;-)
A shell with nice completions and other customisable features.
Switching between multiple terminal emulator instances can hamper productivity. This terminal multiplexer can be used with a tiling window manager for a killer combination.
The GNU coreutils bundled with GNU/Linux can be used to perform straighforward tasks, and also arcane wizardry.
For as long as text terminals are used, it will be worth your while to be comfortable with using these.
Allows you to easily view, navigate, search and manage your command history.
A command line fuzzy finder.
Similar to other popular search tools like The Silver Searcher, ack and grep which can be used to search directories recursively.
Tiling window managers are useful in a typical programming session when you have to repeatedly switch between your text-editor, terminal emulator, web-browser, and any number of other programs you may have running. Alt-Tab never again!
A tiling window manager written in Haskell.
The best open source SVG editor there is. Also allows importing from, exporting to the commonly used graphical formats.
Easily converts between a great variety of markup formats.
A handy cheatsheet of algorithmic complexities associated with commonly used data structures and algorithms.
Learning to use references is one of the essential skills of a programmer. References are by necessity large and intimidating, but with time they become indispensable.
Programming Language References
Handy quick reference while writing C++ code. It can be downloaded for offline use.
Another reference on C++. It has clear examples to help you learn how to use the standard library.
Fairly large collection of C++ FAQs and their answers.
C++ Frequently Questioned Answers.
Official C++ FAQ
Simplified Common Lisp Reference
A selection of commonly used symbols.
Common Lisp HyperSpec™
The entire ANSI CL standard in HTML. Rather readable.
Freely available specifications for various internet-related protocols.
A good source of many exercise problems. Many of the problems here require some mathematical (and programming) knowledge.
Some practical programming problems in addition to the sorts of problems found at Project Euler.
Problem of the Day
Any operating system that you are productive in, and happy with, is fine. If that is not the case, however, these are some of our recommendations.
neena says that it is a decent operating system. A widely used, stable Linux distribution.
A Linux distribution with an emphasis on simplicity, configurability and having the latest software packages. Rolling releases keep your system at the bleeding edge.
It is worth checking out some BSDs as well. Features include first-class support for ZFS, great networking software, excellent documentation, no dependence on systemd, and the BSD license for those who prefer it to Linux’s GPL.
From what we can gather, it works better on slightly older hardware as all the latest and greatest drivers may not be well-supported.
BSDs are used in many sites for critical networking infrastructure such as firewalls.
How to Become a Hacker
A good introduction to what it means to be a hacker, and how to get there.
What I Tell All New Programmers
Good advice that new programmers will do well to follow.
Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
Check out his other articles, as well.
Joe Armstrong’s Advice
Joe Armstrong’s recommendations as to what might be worth learning.
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
It’s a good idea to read this before asking questions on the internet (and in real life).
You and Your Research
Fascinating insights into the life experiences of a scientist, and his colleagues.
Programming Language Comparison by Mike Vanier
Slightly dated, but still a good comparison between the various languages the author has used in his career.
A freely available book on Programming Algorithms. Common Lisp is used as the implementation language, which is a refreshing change.
Designing Data-Intensive Applications
Any one working with backend web applications, database infrastructure will need to have a good understanding of distributed systems, for which this book is the premier resource for working professionals. An absolute must-read that will pay dividends many times over in your career.
The C Programming Language
An excellent way to learn C, a widely used, influential programming language.
Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (SICP)
An enlightening introduction to computation and programming. Racket is a good choice for running the example code and doing the exercises from the book as it has a sublanguage for that specific dialect of Scheme.
Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming: Case Studies in Common Lisp
Peter Norvig has kindly made this book freely available which deals with implementing classical AI algorithms in Common Lisp.
While we are on the subject of Mr. Norvig, his articles on Solving Every Sudoku Puzzle and How to Write a Spelling Corrector are legendary. It is manifest how powerful and elegant programming can be when performed by a master. Any programmer who can write a technical article of a similar quality to these two, should be pleased with themselves.