“What gift can I buy the web developer in my life?” If you know a programmer well, you’ll probably be asking this question every Christmas.
Hopefully, there will be some gift ideas in here to help you help them.
Gift idea #8: A domain name
This could be the simplest and most affordable idea on our list, so we thought we’d start with it. There’s a good chance that your friendly neighbourhood programmer is a freelancer. If so, do they have a website promoting their work? As HubSpot discussed, it’s not unusual for marketers to struggle with marketing their own business. By the same token, web devs may never have found the time to build their own website. If so, buying them a domain name might be the kick-start they need.
It would probably be advisable to discuss this with them first, mind, rather than foisting a domain name on them that they won’t like. Once you’ve agreed, you can check out the range of domains and domain extensions that are available through the Heart Internet Domain Search Engine.
Gift idea #7: Subscriptions
Subscriptions are a thoughtful gift. You could buy them a subscription to a service they will use. Here are a few examples of online services they may use, or like to use given the chance:
JetBrains is a repository of desktop developer tools that are available for monthly or yearly subscriptions.
Treehouse is a training academy offering more than 300 programming and design courses.
Sketch is a series of design tools for UI and UX design.
Codeanywhere is a cloud-based suite of tools for web dev.
Music is a constant companion for a lot of people who work in front of a screen; so a subscription to a music streaming service could be a gift that never stops giving. For example:
Apple Music – £9.99 per month.
Deezer – free, or £9.99 per month.
SoundCloud – free, or £7.50 per month for Pro.
Spotify – free, or £9.99 per month.
Tidal – from £9.99 per month.
YouTube Music – £9.99 per month.
Gift idea #6: Headphones
If you’re buying a programmer some music to carry them through the long hours at the keyboard, it’s a logical move to think about buying them headphones on which to enjoy it.
Good headphones offer both the privacy to enjoy their music alone and, of course, the benefit to anyone who shares office space with them is they don’t have to share their taste in music as well. The audio experts at ‘What HiFi’ have put together their choice of Best Headphones of 2020 which offers the perfect balance between performance and affordability.
Gift idea #5: Gaming bed
Okay, so this is a silly idea. Or, is it? If you ignore the bed part of this, and just think about the racks and shelves of kit all arranged around the person in the middle, you’ll realise that having all your tech in one shelf/desk unit specifically designed for the job is kind of a great idea. This gaming bed is produced by the gaming furniture specialist, Bauhutte in Japan. It retails at ¥126,000 which, somewhat surprisingly, converts to just under £1,000. Although, that does exclude the actual bed!
But, in all seriousness, the Bauhutte catalogue includes a wide range of seating, desk options and monitor configurations which could be of considerable use to a web dev or a designer.
Gift idea #4: External hard-drive
One can never have too much storage, so an external hard-drive is always going to be welcome and useful. And, if it’s portable too, all the better. ‘Creative Bloq’ has put together a list of recommended hard-drives that are compatible with both Macs and PCs but, for a good balance of price, convenience and reliability, you could look at the range of Western Digital My Passport portable drives, which come in a range of sizes, get their power through the USB, so need no plug and, as the name suggests, slip conveniently into your pocket.
Gift idea #3: Mouse
The mouse is to many a web professional as the trowel is to the bricklayer. ‘Techradar’ has put together a useful list of what they consider to be the Best Mice of 2020, and web devs seem to agree with the finding that the Logitech MX Master Mouse is the one to beat.
As with so many high-end mice, that one is ergonomically designed to fit snugly in the right hand. But, what if the gift is for a south-paw? ‘Creative Bloq’ has you covered with its rundown of Best Left-Handed Mice of 2020.
Gift idea #2: Mechanical Keyboard
Possibly the only tool more essential than the mouse – is the keyboard. If you go to the web dev forum on Reddit and discuss their work with them, you’ll find that many web devs have a preference for a mechanical keyboard, because they consider them more accurate and more durable than the alternative membrane keyboards you find on most laptops.
The IT blog ‘Code Delay’ lists some of their favourite keyboards for programmers, including ergonomic models which can help to reduce the danger of RSI for those who spend all day typing. The programmer, educator and YouTube vlogger, Will Stern, over on his LearnCode Academy channel, gives a full and frank review of the modestly named Ultimate Hacking Keyboard, which he believes deserves the name ‘ultimate’.
Gift idea #1: Macbook Pro
If you were thinking of shelling out for a computer, you’ll find that the Macbook Pro is a versatile workhorse; it has a 9th-generation Intel Core CPU at its heart and up-to 8 GB of onboard storage. That should be speedy and roomy enough for any compiling job.
For more data-hungry jobs, such as compositing and rendering 3D animated films, there’s always the tippetty-top-of-the-range Mac Pro – which starts at a trifling £5,500 for the tower and, depending on your processor, memory and graphics-card choices, can soar up to north of £50,000.