Gift ideas lists exist all over the internet, some are great, I use them myself for most occasions, but sometimes they are overwhelming. In the interest of finding an item for each person/occasion they create huge lists that confuses me more than help me select the perfect gift for my wife, kids, or a friend.
I created this list with a few categories and hand-picking the items on each category with gifts I’ve received or items that I bought for myself. So if you honey found this list, please don’t read further, it won’t help you 🤣.
Whether you are a developer looking for something to buy, or to suggest some ideas to friends and family, or if you are someone who needs to give an awesome gift to a developer, this gift guide is for you.
You can use the table of contents on the left of the guide to navigate the different categories, and I promise I won’t add more than one or two options per category, and with an additional link to find more items if that’s what you would like.
Everyone uses headphones nowadays. We use them all day to listen to music, take phone calls, and attend digital meetings. They’ve become an integral part of every programmer’s day. There are headphones in every price range, from a couple of bucks up to premium headphones for thousands of dollars. You can get comfortable over-ear Bluetooth headphones, in-ear buds, and everything in between. Having a great pair of headphones makes almost any day better. Here is a couple that I love.
Asking for a pair of apple headphones. The sound quality, battery life, and durability are excellent. And, if you use apple products, nothing seamlessly integrates better than apple headphones. If you are asking yourself, “are these worth the price?” The answer is a resounding yes.
Solid, over-ear options if you aren’t on the earbud bandwagon. These provide good-quality sound, sturdy construction, and an excellent all-day listening experience at a price that won’t kick your anxiety into overdrive if you accidentally leave them at the office.
There are a lot of fabulous headphones in the world today. If you want to learn about more options check out my guide on the best headphones for developers.
Your keyboard makes all the difference in the world to your work. You’ll spend thousands of hours typing on it. So, if you have a crappy keyboard, you’ll spend thousands of hours struggling with it. But, if you have one you love that offers extreme customization and helps you be more efficient, it will make every character you type more enjoyable.
Not thrilled with either of these options? Click here for a larger list of great keyboards.
Laptops are great, but even if you use a laptop, the trackpad just isn’t efficient enough when you have to get a lot of work done. Even the best trackpad can’t compete with the precision, comfort, and automatic functionality of a great mouse.
At nearly $100, it isn’t cheap. But, for that price, you are getting something that literally doesn’t have a downside. It’s comfortable. It hmas unbeatable battery life, charges quickly, and is amazingly precise. I use it every day and wouldn’t dream of changing it.
It’s wired, so you don’t have to worry about it running out of charge in the middle of a project. Also, if you don’t like your fingers brushing up against a bunch of buttons while you use your mouse, its minimalistic design will feel good in your hand. And it’s precise whether you are using a mousepad or not. At less than $30, it is a great budget option to become your workhorse mouse for a long time.
Who needs books, Right? We write code! Paper is obsolete! Well… not really. Sometimes there’s nothing better (or quicker) than having a handy desk reference at your disposal. Besides, some books are so extraordinary that they are a “must-have” for anyone who wants to pursue coding. But, if you’re going to break into a tech company for the first time or learn something specific, books are a great way of acquiring critical knowledge.
Some things never change, even in programming. Certain pillars of how we work have stood the test of time. Code Complete helps you get and understand these things. Anyone who wants to build a career as a programmer eventually needs to read this book.
I’ve written about the coding interview before (also called the technical interview), which is a critical part of nearly every programming job. If you’ve never done one before or can’t seem to crack the code, this book is for you.
You need this programming book if you don’t want to learn programming in a “traditional” environment. Even if you think you know everything you need, this book helps you look and feel more well-rounded and confident when working with other programmers.
There are a lot of great books about programming out there. Check out this article to see many of my top book picks.
Looking to pick up a new skill? Or do you have someone in your family who wants to learn to code? There are all kidneys of great programming courses online that you can learn from. Here are a few of my favorites.
Python is one of the most popular programming languages today. Whether you are a complete novice to programming or are looking to pick it up for a new job or shift in career path, this is a proven course. The instruction is excellent, the course content is easy to follow and engaging, and you’ll be writing programs faster than expected.
One of the most comprehensive and up-to-date places to learn Go, this course gives you everything you need to know Go without any prior experience with programming. It’s the best way to get an aspiring programmer a great start in their new hobby or career.
Looking to learn a different programming language or skill? I’ve compiled a much larger list of great courses for you to check out here.