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Top 5 Books to Start with Embedded Systems

If you’re completely new in this area, this is the selection I would recommend. It’s important to note that if you have no programming experience or engineer background, these books would a bit hard to read.

But don’t get scared. Most of them are well written (easy to read and understand) and with google, you’ll make it.

Having said that, let’s start!

top 5 books

Learn the Foundation

First of all, you need to understand how computers work. The book Computer Systems - A Programmer’s Perspective explains the underlying elements common among all computer systems and how they affect general application performance. If you master this book, you’ll have the most solid base for embedded systems.

I apply the concepts that I learned in this book every day. You will learn and master the basics of computer systems such as how programs run, how the processor works, and memory hierarchy.

I highly recommend you to solve all problems of this book. You won’t ever regret it.

Master your main tool

As an embedded engineer you need to master the C programming language. There is no better choice than the C Programming Language book.

Written by the developers of C, this book teaches you how to take advantage of C’s rich set of operators, control flow, and data structures.

First contact with electronics

As I said if you’re a newbie. You should start with the basics. Practical Electronics for Inventor by Paul Scherz give you a full overview of basic electronics and the best thing is that you’ll apply immediately all the concepts.

Now you are ready to make your first step in the embedded world, properly speaking.

Embedded Systems 101

The three first books teach you concepts about software and hardware, but they are not properly embedded systems books. I’ll give two books that will help you to close gaps and actually introduce you to the embedded systems world.

There are two books in this category.

The first one is An Embedded Software Primer. This book will give an overview of the embedded systems as an engineering field.

Many of the concepts described in this book are also in the first three books, but in this case, you’ll see the connection between them.

The last one is one of my favorite books.

Making Embedded Systems is for me one of best-written books in embedded systems. This easy-to-read guide helps you cultivate good development practices, based on classic software design patterns and new patterns unique to embedded programming.


I gave you 5 books that will take you from a complete newbie to a decent embedded developer. If you master these 5 books, you don’t only have a rock-solid base, but also enough confidence and experience to even get a job in this field.

So, start reading!

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