36 Gifts Software Developers Can’t Resist
The Coolest Gifts for Software Developers
No matter what the occasion is, it can get difficult to pick out gifts for software developers. Especially if you aren’t familiar with the industry, it can be almost like reading a foreign language! That’s why our expert reviewers (and software developers) have created this list of 36 excellent gifts for your favorite software developer (well, after us, that is!).
- Hilarious Engineer Mug
- First Computer Patent Wall Picture
- Funny Coding and Bug-fixing T-Shirt
- Cards Against Humanity: Geek Pack
- Complete Arduino Starter Pack
- Arduino Starter Book
- Amazon Kindle
- Toshiba 32” LED Smart TV
- Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones
- Nest Thermostat
- Google Home WiFi System (3 Pack)
- “Ring” Video Doorbell
- Assorted Brand Stickers
- USB WiFi Adapter
- Tech-Friendly Backpack
- Bluetooth Beanie
- Universal Charging Adapter
- Fire TV Stick
- Cracking the Coding Interview
- Speed Cube Set
- Standing Desk Workstation
- Rick & Morty Shot Glasses
- Bose Home Speaker 500
- Portable French Press Maker
- Smart Train Starter Set
- Smart Ceiling Lamp
- People Skills for Engineers
- Smart Power Strip
- Das Keyboard 4 Professional
- Skill Up: A Software Developer’s Guide to Life and Career
- “Trust Me, I’m a Developer” T-Shirt
- The Agile Developer’s Handbook
- Fitbit Versa 2
- HP DeskJet 3755 Wireless Printer
- Ooma Telo Home Phone
- Giant Sticky Note Pack
Buying Tips for Gifts for Software Developers
(Don’t) Go for the Gold!
Subscriptions and gift cards for services like Xbox Live Gold can seem like easy presents to grab, but don’t presume every developer loves video games! Think outside the box.
If in Doubt, Ask Before Buying Gifts for Software Developers!
If you don’t know the genre of gift to go for, feel free to ask if a software engineer needs any technical stuff. They’ll be able to describe exactly what it is (and chances are that it’ll be on this list).
Don’t (Always) Do Digital Gifts
Although there are some digital presents that every software developer would appreciate, don’t feel like you have to get something on a screen! Just like everyone else, there are plenty of physical presents we appreciate!
We’re Not All Nerds!
When you’re looking at gifts for software developers, remember that our only interest isn’t development (although many of us are very passionate about it, even on our off-time).
List of Gifts For Software Developers!
This sturdy porcelain mug has “nutritional facts” on it that go into making one “highly efficient software developer”. With a list of several common qualities of software developers with percentages on the “nutrition label”, this coffee mug is sure to be used at the office and at home by any developer!
- Uses “insider humor” to make it the perfect gift for a software developer.
- 11 ounces and dishwasher and microwave-safe.
- Low-priced gift that will be appreciated (and is very practical).
This 11” x 14” image is a perfect copy of the world’s first computer patent. Software engineers aren’t exactly famous for our interior design skills, so if you’re looking for gifts for software developers with more empty offices, this is another great option!
You can clearly see what went into the first computer invented, and this can even serve as additional inspiration!
- Artist’s rendition of the first computer patent is perfect to a “T”.
- Can be hung up at home or office and appreciated by anyone.
- Shows some authority and establishment at the field, too!
If your software engineer needs a wardrobe upgrade, this could be perfect. This shirt shows a meme that is famous in the industry and plays on the industry joke that “software engineers don’t understand why their code does work and doesn’t work”. It’s a very common office joke, but the shirt can serve as an icebreaker in a new work environment or just as a personality statement!
- Uses universally understood the joke in the industry.
- Perfect for engineer gatherings or the workplace.
- Shows an appreciation for your software developer’s occupation!
Cards Against Humanity is a very famous game among software developers. Chances are that your software engineer does own the base card game, which is why this expansion pack is an affordable and excellent gift! It adds some more fun to the original game, especially if they play the game with other engineers.
- Builds on a very famous game in the field.
- Adds unique options to the Cards Against Humanity game.
- Affordable because you don’t need to buy the whole game, only a pack of cards!
Arduino is a physical robot that can be programmed. Lots of programmers do this as a hobby, and there are even competitions centered around this skill. This kit provides over 200 pieces and is the most complete Arduino kit on the market. Although it does not come with a book (that’s the next item), it comes with everything needed to spark a new hobby!
- Every piece of physical hardware necessary for Arduino development.
- Completely compatible with Arduino specs.
- Contains pieces for maximum creativity, like different-colored lights, circuit boards, etc.
If your software engineer either already owns an Arduino kit or just wants to learn more about it before investing in it, take a look at the best-selling book on the technology! This covers how to prototype Arduino projects and draft them through sketches. Written by Simon Monk, a renowned expert in the field, it has everything an engineer will need to get started with Arduino!
- Same quality as a textbook but much smaller cost.
- Written by a master of the field.
- Demonstrates why things are done the way they are and how to do them.
The newest model of Kindle is near the top of the list of best gifts for software developers! So much of the profession involves constantly learning, and whether it’s on the train, at home, or in the office, software developers always have new materials to brush up on. Rather than purchasing a hardcover or paperback book, a Kindle lets them get books free or at a much smaller cost, saving them money and time as they do their job!
- Now has a backlight, perfect for reading in bed at night!
- Easy access to millions of books with any Internet connection.
- Almost indistinguishable from paper – gives their eyes a break from their screen but keeps the advantage of being digital!
You might be wondering why a TV made the list! That’s because it’s a little-known fact that TV’s double as monitors for developers. Developers often need more monitors; it’s not uncommon to see setups with 4 monitors running at the same time. This TV is fairly priced and comes with all the features you’d expect from a Smart TV (access to common streaming apps right from the television) as well as a remarkable refresh rate that makes it a perfect second, third, or fourth monitor!
- Has a quad-core GPU, making it able to process high-definition graphics almost instantly!
- Lots of input/output options, including three HDMI inputs (the most often-used monitor connection).
- Alexa functionality is built-in!
Contrary to the name, these headphones are often used in office environments. Software development is a very focus-intensive occupation, so it’s crucial to have silence, even when it’s not technically possible. These headphones have unparalleled sound quality, brand recognition, and work without a bunch of annoying cords getting tangled up!
- Battery lasts an average of 22 hours, so it doesn’t have to live on the charger!
- 10 minutes of charging gives you 3 hours of playback time!
- Uses real-time audio calibration, allowing complete noise cancellation!
Nest is a “learning thermostat”, also called a “smart thermostat”. After you set the temperature manually several times, the thermostat learns what temperatures you like and sets them in an energy-efficient manner. Since so much of software engineering involves automation, engineers will be able to easily program this and will probably appreciate not having to change the thermostat every 10 minutes!
- Allows temperature to be changed by any smart device!
- Uses Artificial Intelligence to know when and how you want your temperature set!
- Uses a range of temperatures to help save on your energy bill.
WiFi “dead spots” are more than frustrating when your job relies on WiFi (like those of many software developers). Google developed a new type of WiFi where it doesn’t just rely on a single modem and router. This equipment replaces the modem and router, and you essentially place them in a triangle around the area you want optimal WiFi coverage. It works with every major Internet provider, so your favorite engineer should be up and running in no time!
- Innovative system doesn’t rely on one central point for WiFi coverage.
- Can purchase more devices for a larger coverage area.
- Each one covers about 1,500 sq. ft.
The “Ring” doorbell does require existing wiring to be installed; if that is already in, installation is fairly easy. It lets you see who is at your door from your computer without opening your door. Software engineers are always on tight schedules, and this can help them stick to their deadlines by not having to get rid of salesmen and other annoyances!
- Relies on “smart” technology to screen your home’s visitors.
- Alerts you to motion before the device is even touched!
- Records video using infrared technology, so you can even see people at night!
Stickers may have been the last thing on your mind when it comes to purchasing gifts for software developers! However, developers often use laptop and desktop stickers to identify themselves. This pack has a lot of waterproof stickers that can be easily applied to laptops with nostalgic brand names, such as SEGA. These decals can be placed almost anywhere, ranging from 2.5” wide to 4” wide.
- Comes with 100 different brand stickers, so your software developer will definitely find something for their laptop!
- All stickers are waterproof and “fade-proof”, so they should last a while.
- Guaranteed that there are no duplicates in the pack!
Software engineers often work remotely or sometimes even on vacation. Some laptops don’t have internal WiFi adapters, or they are older and don’t support older routers that many hotels and other public WiFi portals often use. This is an affordable option to guarantee they will be able to connect to the Internet to do their work!
- Uses a dual-band, allowing for faster connection speeds!
- Supports up to 600 Mbps speeds, perfect for any use.
- Just plug it in and run. No additional setup or installations required!
This unique backpack is designed to hold tech. There’s a spot for your headphones, laptop, charger, and more, and it’s completely waterproof! Perfect for expeditions where some work might be done, or even just for regular travel. It also has an anti theft feature; the zippers are essentially “locked”, so you’ll minimize the risk of being pickpocketed!
- Block theft attempts, protecting one of a software developer’s biggest assets: their laptop!
- Charge your devices as you go with this backpack!
- Hold everything you need for a mobile tech setup!
Software engineers tend to love their beanies, and this adds a bit of tech to the beanie, making it even cooler! You probably read that title twice and thought “What on Earth is a Bluetooth Beanie?” It’s new tech that has a microphone and speakers, and it connects with any Bluetooth device, like a phone. You can take calls and listen to music in high fidelity just by wearing the beanie!
- Takes only two hours to charge for thirty hours of use!
- Volume and call-answering controls are on the beanie!
- Don’t get headaches and earaches anymore! Just get sound directly through an affordable beanie.
This gift is useful for anyone who travels often, but especially for the “digital nomad” (person who works online and travels the world). For a low price, you can ensure that you can use all your electronic equipment, regardless of which country you go to. Avoid paying huge amounts for this at expensive locations like airports and foreign electronics stores and be prepared with this awesome gift!
- Allows any conversion from: the US, UK, EU, and AUS outlets!
- Don’t let your favorite software engineer get ripped off!
- Lets you get to work right away in almost any country.
Although not restricted to software developers, the Fire TV Stick belongs on a list of perfect gifts for software developers! That’s because it can turn any TV with a HDMI input (most modern ones) into a Smart TV. If the office has a regular TV, it can be instantly converted into a Smart TV with this device without having to pay for a new TV!
- Save tons of money on both a new TV and on cable!
- Very fast setup process. No installation required.
- Is moddable and programmable, something a software developer will appreciate.
Cracking the Coding Interview
Software engineers are known for “job-hopping” to better opportunities because of how new the field is and how many options there are! It’s always best to stay current on “need-to-know” content for your next interview so you aren’t caught unprepared! This applies especially if the software developer you love is trying to get into one of the “big N” companies (industry slang for one of the huge tech companies, like Netflix, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc.). This book has a list of all the classic questions and clear examples of how interviews typically pan out at these major companies, making it a staple for every engineer!
- Excellent gift for any engineer, because interview questions apply industry-wide!
- Contains optional content that is specific to certain larger tech companies for your loved one to make that next step up!
- A consistent best-seller in job interview prep in a very competitive field because it’s so concise and useful!
I promise that we aren’t obsessed with cubes, but there’s one more set of cubes to discuss! This set includes a variety of cubes based on the Rubik’s Cube. Software developers’ minds have to stay sharp during the entire process. Often, items like Rubik’s Cubes are used as brain teasers and during development breaks, making this a practical and fun present!
- Comes with a standard-sized Rubik’s Cube.
- Also contains four other Rubik’s puzzles that are not the exact cube for extra challenges!
- Compete with friends to see who can complete each puzzle at the fastest speed!
Developers sit a lot, and sitting has been linked to lots of health problems. When you’re considering gifts for software developers, also think about their health! This specific workstation can fit two monitors on it, and it adjusts between sitting and standing positions! That way, if a software developer wants to keep working but do it standing up, they can. If they don’t feel like it, they can just ease it back down.
- Shows your favorite developer that you care about their health.
- Fits two monitors, which is the standard developer’s setup.
- Functions as a computer desk, as well!
Rick & Morty is a common favorite television show among many developers. It’s science-based humor, and many developers discuss it in the office. Unless you’ve been told that your favorite software developer is not a fan of the show, it’s safe to assume this is a great stocking stuffer! It’s marked as a “Szechuan Sauce Cup”, an inside joke to fans of the show.
- Collectible shot glass that is part of a series.
- Fans of the TV show will appreciate the sauce reference (it’s fine if you don’t!).
- Almost everybody needs a shot glass every now and then!
This high-quality Bluetooth speaker by Bose delivers high-fidelity sound and allows you to use Alexa’s voice control. Coming in black or white, it even has an LCD screen showing you what’s playing (and also allows you to control the device). It has the widest stereo range possible, making this an awesome find if your software developer ever has to work alone or remotely!
- Allows for both voice control and control via LCD screen.
- Comes from the most respected brand in sound.
- Supports lots of apps, like Google Play Music and Spotify.
Let’s face it: game development is a tiring and stressful (but rewarding) job or hobby. Many people in the industry love using coffee as a morning boost, but buying it can get expensive, and that cheap office coffee might not taste so great… That’s where the portable french press maker comes in! As a common accessory of tech professionals, this handheld item under $20 can make a great-tasting drink on demand.
- Acts as both a coffee maker and a coffee cup!
- It is completely BPA-free, so it’s safe to use!
- When sealed, it is air-tight, so it doesn’t leak, and it makes the highest quality French Press possible!
Whether it’s the holiday season or not (and whether you’re a kid or an adult), miniature trains are always a blast! They’re even more of a blast when they’re fully programmable, like this one! Although this “Smart Train” may be marketed as a “STEM Toy”, adults can still have plenty of fun with it, especially if they have the skills to unlock large customizations (i.e. software development skills)!
- Fully customizable and programmable Smart Train!
- Comes with engine, wagon, snapping pieces of track, and everything else you’ll need!
- Show off coding skills with your masterpiece!
This is a rather unique item. It’s marketed as a standard-sized ceiling light. The color can be changed through an app on a phone. It’s also compatible with Bluetooth, so you can play music through your light (weird, we know). It works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and you can make it pretty much any specific color and bright or dim it as much as you’d like. This will satisfy your favorite software engineer’s desire to tinker!
- Both Alexa and Google Assistant compatible!
- Functions as a light and a speaker!
- Color is dynamic and can be easily changed via app or remote control!
People Skills for Engineers
One thing most software engineers would agree with is that, while we might be technology wizards, we certainly aren’t social wizards! “Soft skills” and “people skills” are often required for jobs, but few engineers have this talent naturally. It’s often something that an engineer has to work on over the duration of his or her career. Younger engineers often don’t even realize it, making it the best gift to get that they never thought they needed! With realistic scenarios and thought-provoking questions, this book is perfect for your software developer’s next rung up in career advancement!
- Engineers work in office environments with many different personalities; this book shows them how to handle it!
- Tackles a traditionally overlooked difficulty of many engineers.
- Most developers are unaware they need to develop more people skills to thrive in their jobs, making this the perfect gift!
It’s no secret that software developers often need to plug in a lot of devices! Since everything else is “smart” these days, why not get a “smart” power strip? Your favorite developer will be able to save energy and give it voice commands. It functions via Google Home and any WiFi network, so there’s no paid subscription involved. Three USB ports and three standard outlet ports are there for all your favorite dev’s devices!
- Electronic protection with style!
- Takes advantage of smart technology to save energy.
- Can control via your voice or an app!
This is no ordinary keyboard! It’s a pretty industrial one, meant for heavy use, just like software developers do! Keys are reinforced so they don’t wear nearly as much. It has physical large media controls for watching videos or playing music, as well. It even comes with its own USB ports, perfect for plugging in mice or other devices! The keyboard is engineered by a respected brand, and it’s a great choice if you want to make your favorite software developer’s job just a little easier!
- Designed for lots of use, as most developers’ keyboards get.
- Physical, oversized media controls, perfect for taking a break and streaming.
- Has its own USB ports, perfect for any device!
If there’s one constant among all software developers, it’s the desire to constantly learn and improve! It’s the only way that they can keep their jobs and stay competent. Many developers struggle with issues within their own careers that are difficult to discuss with people who don’t fully understand their struggles. This book addresses this phenomenon and gives 65 suggestions that can help developers be even better!
- Very useful and highly-rated book for software developers.
- Contains content from many authors on career improvement.
- Lots of new insights and information for developers!
This is the last T-Shirt, I promise! This T-Shirt uses a retro design with the text “Trust Me, I’m a Developer”. Many developers will find this funny, since there is an industry joke that even developers don’t fully understand what they are doing many times. This also serves as an excellent and affordable gift for any software developer; it shows an appreciation for their profession and their “insider humor”!
- Show your favorite developer you care about their job!
- Comes in eight different colors!
- Casual T-Shirt design perfect for many coding workplaces.
Yes, it’s another book, but it’s important! “Agile” is a methodology most modern workplaces try to take advantage of, but even many degreed developers don’t have it all the way down. This book can serve as a great reference or in-depth read for developers interested in improving existing Agile skills (or even “creating” Agile skills for the first time)! It’s written simply and in a manner that most developers can comprehend quickly.
- Book goes through every facet of Agile!
- Serves as an excellent desk reference for software developers or even a night-time read!
- Targeted at programmers in industry, not students learning theory.
Fitness is often neglected, or at the least, not prioritized by many developers. Putting fitness in a digital form will help a lot of tech professionals get into better shape! Note: Some companies give out Fitbits to their employees; make sure the individual for whom you’re buying doesn’t have this perk at work. This specific Fitbit can track walking, running, swimming, sports, and sleeping, rounding out most forms of exercise! It double-functions as a “smart watch”, so there’s no reason not to wear it and see metrics of your health in detail!
- Tracks pretty much every health metric and puts it in graphs, allowing engineers to see where they should improve.
- Helps ensure programmers get enough sleep so they can function optimally at work!
- Also it is a pretty fancy smartwatch!
Even if they have a printer at work, having a personal printer can’t hurt! This awesome printer uses “HP Instant Ink”, which is essentially a subscription ink cartridge delivery service. That means that your favorite developer will never run out of ink again! This functions as a photo printer and standard document printer, and it’s compact and ready to be taken on travel! Whether it’s a home office, The Bahamas, or anything in-between, this printer can output anything that your favorite dev needs printed!
- Completely wireless printer; just connect to WiFi, and it’s ready to go!
- Compact design allows it to easily be taken places during travel.
- Even cheaper when you sign up for ink delivery program!
This is not just your ordinary home or office phone! This is an all-in-one device. It takes calls, can reply with a menu or just an answering machine, and even block robocalls. This device can make working from a home office much easier and way more convenient, as the developer can be sure that their time will not be wasted by spammers and scammers!
- No additional fees to use this product other than the costs of using home phone service!
- Installation is completed within only a few minutes!
- High-definition phone makes it easier for developers to understand and speak to clients and customers.
We developers are not known for keeping clean notes. That’s probably why our monitors are usually covered in sticky notes, and (unfortunately) you’re likely to find certain passwords on sticky notes under our keyboards! We write down shortcuts, site names, and more on these little pads and put them all over. A giant sticky note pack has 24 standard packs of sticky notes, which will probably last at least a few months!
- Much cheaper than buying each pack individually.
- Will definitely be put to good use by any software developer.
- One of the least-thought-of but most necessary gifts for software developers!
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