If you could go back in time and tell yourself to read a specific book at the beginning of your career as a developer, which book would it be?
In what area you would like to start your career?
Code Complete, Second Edition,by Steve McConnell
The encyclopedia of good programming practice, Code Complete focuses on individual craftsmanship – all the things that add up to what we instinctively call “writing clean code.” This is the kind of book that has 50 pages just talking about code layout and whitespace."
[b][/b] [b][The Pragmatic Programmer;](http://proanswers.org/pa/amazon.php?asin=020161622X)[/b] it's more about your trade, and how to apply it than the code per se, but it's still very good. This is a great book for programmers who have learned the mechanics of programming, maybe in college, but don't quite feel secure deciding what to do. It's like the difference between drafting and architecture. What you learned in that class in college was drafting, and you can draw beautifully, but if you still feel like you wouldn't quite know where to begin if someone told you to write a P2P music-swapping network all by yourself, this is the book for you.