As a developer, I think keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and gaining a deeper knowledge about our field, is key to producing quality solutions. It's also not possible anymore to learn everything you need to learn on the job. Imagine you work in a company that doesn't use DI, one day you get restless and want to change jobs.
The new role you're looking to work on has structure map as a desirable skill. You go for the interview and get down to the final two... in the end, you find out you don't get the job as you were equally matched for the role but the other candidate had better DI experience.
Some people might sit there and blame fate that their current employer didn't use it; the real truth is you could have got a book and read up about it, made a few demo sites and gone into the interview demonstrating your understanding of the problem. I'm not saying you need to spend every waking hour reading development books..
Life's too short, but if you aim for 3-4 a year, in 10 years' time you will be better read than 80% of your peers and that advantage will help you get better books. Over the years I have read a lot of books about development and as I mainly focus on .NET CMS based solutions, I thought I'd list the books that had the most influence on my career
Code Complete by Steve McConnell
It's a bit of a monster in terms of size at 960 pages but I think this is an essential read for every developer. This book definitely helped me broaden my development toolkit.
Head First Design Patterns by Elisabeth Freeman and Eric Freeman*
If you don't know anything about design patterns, this is the first book you should read on the subject. Really easy to understand. If you don't know why you need to learn about design patterns.. read this now! Another great book that will help you understand all the intricacies of coding
Episerver 7 CMS Development: Good reference book
Do you agree or disagree with my list ? Post your comments on the most influential programming book that you've ever read