These are some great history of computing books, in this list I chose books that tend to focus on software and programming languages. These are books I like in categories I invented myself.
- A Science of Operations: Machines, logic and the invention of programming. - Mark Priestley. A book so expensive is sort of an investment, but a good one. If you want to learn about how computing evolved this is the book you need. Great writing style too for a topic that can be a little dry sometimes. Go beyond the pop culture knowledge on the subject and learn about how programming came to be, disentangled from hardware.
Heroes pseudo history
- Hackers: Heroes of the computer revolution - Steven Levy. I really enjoyed reading this. It gave me an idea of perhaps what it felt like being at MIT in the early years of computing and being one of the gang. Compared with books like “A Science of Operation” this book feels underwhelmingly light with too many anecdotal stories. The end of the book is rather disappointing.
- History of Programming Languages, Volume 2 (ACM Press) by Thomas J. Bergin , Richard G. Gibson . Many of the papers included in this book I read at the edge of my seat. Excellent compilation that includes the papers the presentation of the paper and the discussion that followed the presentation. 100% recommended.
I accidentally a history book
- Exercises in programming style - Cristina Videira Lopes. I bought this book for many great reasons (learning about different programming styles) and the surprise was the excellent historical background and further reading contained in it. If you find that history is not your main interest but you want to understand where certain programming styles come from you can do much much worse than this book.