A selection of tech and non-tech gifts for the software wizards in your life.
The festive season is well and truly upon us, and for those of you who have been putting off holiday shopping (including yours truly), now is the time to start. This gift guide is for the developers and programmers in your life. And while it’s worth pointing out that developers much enjoy the same things as the rest of us – you can also grab a few things that will help make all those hours sat in front of a computer screen more enjoyable (or at least bearable). Read on for 12 of our own gift ideas and stocking-fillers for software coders.
This split-style keyboard is ideal for power users, featuring mechanical Cherry MX Blue switches for high responsiveness and durability, and a linking cable that can be adjusted for comfort and ergonomics. Each key can be custom-programmed, thanks to the SmartSet Programming Engine, while the integrated wrist support makes typing comfortable even during marathon work (or gaming) sessions.
Getting enough sunlight can be tricky during the winter. However, doing so is important for regulating mood and helping your body’s natural day/night cycle. This daylight therapy lamp by German manufacturer Beurer mimics natural daylight with 10,000 lux LED light that can help boost low mood and energy levels – more important than ever now that we’re spending so much more time indoors.
The Raspberry Pi is beloved by open-source enthusiasts all over the world for its accessible architecture and wallet-friendly price point. This starter kit contains all the essentials for getting up and running with the Raspberry Pi, and comes with the flagship Model B. All you need to do is to connect it to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, and away you go.
Would you like some Java with your java? If so, have we got the perfect gift for you. Sure to delight any software developer worth their salt, this handmade ceramic mug makes a perfect, inexpensive stocking-filler. Can be programmed to hold any type of liquid, hot or cold.
For developers who regularly take their work on the go, a good bag to carry your equipment in is must. While most people might opt for a messenger-style bag, we’d suggest taking a look at this versatile backpack from Tortuga instead, which combines a stylish design with great functionality. The Setout Laptop bag is specifically designed with the travelling techie in mind, with dedicated storage for a laptop computer, tablet, and chargers, as well as a water bottle and change of clothes. What’s more, it’s been designed to slide neatly under an airplane seat: perfect for those weekend excursions – when lockdown lifts, at least.
Tello is an impressive little drone from manufacturer DJI designed for both kids and adults which, in addition to being great fun to fly, cab also be programmed with languages like Python, Scratch and Swift. At $99 it’s pretty affordable, and for a few more dollars ($50 to be exact) you can upgrade to the Combo Pack, which includes extra goodies including three batteries, extra propellers and propeller guards.
Written by software engineer Gayle Laakmann McDowell, this useful manual for interview candidates offers solutions to 189 commonly asked questions in coding interviews, including hints on spotting hidden details in a question, and tips on breaking down problem-based questions into manageable chunks. The book is widely recommended in programming circles, and while it may not be the most exciting gift on this list, it’s sure to be appreciated by anyone looking to land their next dream programming job.
These circuit board and matte white acrylic coasters make a great gift for any home-proud techie looking to add a splash of style to their desk or coffee table. Sold separately and available in four colorful designs, each coaster is made form recycled materials and features non-slip, silicon feet to help improve stability and prevent slippage.
Sitting at a desk all day can play havoc on your back and posture, particularly if your setup isn’t ergonomic. Standing desks are increasingly popular for desk workers and allow you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. This 48-inch model from FlexiSpot is one of the manufacturer’s most popular, featuring an electronic motor and built-in controls that allow you to set and save your favorite presets. It also comes in three aesthetically-appealing colors, including black, white, mahogany, maple and grey wood grain.
This meticulously crafted ergonomic mouse from Logitech has been designed for comfort, speed and precision, making it perfect for long or intensive tasks. It’s specifically been designed for coders and creatives, featuring an electromagnetic scrolling wheel that Logitech claims is capable of scrolling 1,000 lines in a second and precise enough to stop on a single pixel. We’re particularly big fans of the ‘Flow’ feature, which allows you to control multiple computers and even transfer files between different devices using basic drag-and-drop function. What an age we live in.
With flexible and home working set to become very much the norm, mobility is going to be key for workers typically used to working off a dedicated workstation. This Full HD 15.6″ monitor from ASUS can be plugged into a laptop via USB-C and runs off the laptop’s own power supply, giving you dual-screen functionality without needing an additional wall socket, or a large desk. Perfect for mobile working situations where space or hardware constraints are an issue.