Programmer gifts you can pick for this Christmas 🎅🏽 + 12 ideas

Vintage tin robot toys
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A guide to finding thoughtful programmer gifts in 2022

As the festive season is approaching, many of of us are looking for ways to make our loved ones happy. Needless to say, one of these ways are buying Christmas gifts to celebrate their presence – specially in the best time of the year! If you’ve been searching the Internet to find the best programmer gifts on the Internet, this guide is for you.

I’m a computer programmer myself, but I always need time to figure out the proper gift for a fellow programmer.

I’ve done my research to end this struggle once and for all, and I’d like to share it with you.

You may be saying oh, come on! Just show me the list! I don’t have time!

Trust me, there’s a list at the bottom of this page! You can even jump to it right now! But I highly recommend you read the introductory part as well.

Why? 

It takes five minutes of your time, and it might help you find the perfect gift even if you don’t find what you’re looking for on this list.

How to shortlist appropriate programmer gifts

 First, let’s clarify some terminology here.

There are many titles in the tech industry, especially in software development. However, sometimes the difference is just in the person’s responsibility in their team.

So if your boyfriend or girlfriend is a programmer, developer, software engineer, or a computer science major, chances are high they like similar gadgets, or desk accessories.

Finding the perfect gift is an art. And here are five tips to master the art of gift buying!

  1. Plan in advance
  2. Look for gifts that keep on giving
  3. Cautiously add a healthy habit to their routine
  4. One good gift is better than three average ones
  5. Stick to the budget

📅 Plan in advance: You found something very cool online but preparation and shipping take a week. And all you have is a day! Does that sound familiar?

Always start looking for a gift at least a week in advance. You’ll have many more options.

All you need to do is to leave enough time for preparation, packaging, and shipping – especially if you’re ordering the gift from abroad.

Planning is key!

🪴 Look for gifts that keep on giving: Look for gifts that last rather than giving a temporary enthusiasm. Which one would you choose: 

An exotic bouquet of flowers that live for a couple of days or a white Orchid in a vase that will last for years? The same applies to other types of gifts. For instance, an expensive bottle of wine v.s a pair of dependable headphones they can use while coding.

🚴‍♀️ Cautiously add a healthy habit to their routine: This is my favorite! I love to cautiously make a change in my loved ones’ life. But you should also make sure you don’t add a new complexity to their routine.

So if she’s busy coding for hours, instead of buying her a violin to practice, you can get them a turntable instead. It will definitely make their programming sessions more enjoyable.

🎁 One good gift is better than three average ones: Sometimes we think “Oh let’s buy some related items; It’s cool!” or “Let’s make a gift box! she’ll love it!” I wouldn’t recommend this strategy, either!

Spend your money on one good thing rather than five average things.

💰 Stick to the budget: I know every time you go gift shopping (either online or in physical stores), things that catch your eyes exceed the budget, and programmer gifts are no exception.

It happens every time! It’s okay if you go slightly over budget to get what you think checks all the boxes. However, you need to be mindful of your financials too as going overboard might have unpleasant consequences – specially near Christmas.

Besides, your friend might feel uncomfortable receiving such an expensive gift.

Alright! that we’ve gotten the fundamentals down, let’s go over the list I prepared for you.

Oh by the way, all the items below are in affiliation with Amazon. I might receive a commission if you purchase any of those. However, it doesn’t make a change to the cost you’ll have to pay.

And here are the best programmer gifts you can get for programmers, coders, or computer science majors.

12 programmer gifts ideas

If you’re in a hurry, no problem! Here’s a compact list of tech gadgets, desk accessories for programmers, coding books, which I believe make great gifts for your loved one:

All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Smart speaker with Alexa
Check on Amazon
Kindle Paperwhite
To carry thousands of titles wherever they go.
Check on Amazon
Book: Head First Design patterns
If you want them to remember you everyday!
Check on Amazon
Book: Clean code
To help them write great programs!
Check on Amazon
Fluance turntable RT81
To experience some hi-fi music while programming!
Check on Amazon
Ember Temperature Control mug
The coffee will no longer gets cold!
Check on Amazon
Sony WH-1000XM4 with active noise-canceling
A game-changer for those who code in coffee shops.
Check on Amazon
OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer
To increase productivity!
Check on Amazon
Bowflex SelectTech 552
Don’t have time for a gym? No problem
Check on Amazon
Hydrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle
A practical gift for programmers who always forget to drink water.
Check on Amazon
Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard
A mechanical keyboard every programmer would fall in love with!
Check on Amazon
Logitech MX Master 3 mouse
One of the best productivity mouses in the market!
Check on Amazon
Gadgets & books that make awesome gifts for coding

1. All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa

Smart speaker with Alexa

Imagine you say “Hey Alexa play the top hits” and the music starts in the whole house!

This slick voice-controlled device is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker with Alexa voice assistant.

Life is a bit easier when setting a reminder or calling a friend is just a command away.

They can control their compatible smart-home devices with voice commands. They can even turn on the lights before jumping out of bed or turn on the coffee machine! Echo Dot is among the most popular programmer gifts for programmers and computer science majors.

Kindle Paperwhite

2. Kindle Paperwhite

To carry thousands of titles wherever they go!

If you ask me, everyone needs a Kindle book reader.

The new Kindle Paperwhite has a 6.8 inches display with adjustable warm light. They’ll enjoy the Kindle’s glare-free display with the e-ink technology that reads like paper, even in bright sunlight.

They can carry thousands of programming or fiction books wherever they go.

Oh, by the way, a single charge via USB-C lasts for weeks!

Book: Head First Design patterns

3. Book: Head First Design patterns

If you want them to remember you everyday!

A Book is always a thoughtful choice for a gift – specially for a programmer.

If you want your loved one to remember you daily, this book is a good pick.

What makes this book so special? You may ask.

A programmer’s job is to create solutions to various problems. In software development, a design pattern is a general solution to commonly-occurring problems. 

Knowing design patterns help coders follow solutions that have been used and tested by other computer scientists or engineers.

Head First book series – also known as brain-friendly guides – simplify complex concepts in visually rich formats. This book is suitable for beginners and advanced programmers alike. And will make their life easier and helps them focus on making great stuff.

Book: Clean code

4. Book: Clean Code

To help them write high quality programs!

Clean Code is a must-read book for every programmer, written by the well-known American software engineer Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob). Clean Code is considered as one of the best gifts for programmers.

This book is full of examples, case studies, and best practices to help programmers write high-quality code from day one.

Check on Amazon

Fluance turntable RT81

5. Fluance turntable RT81

To experience hi-fi music while programming!

recent study found that engaging in extraordinary experiences brings more feelings of closeness.

Now, how about you give your loved one a whole new experience in listening to music while coding? 

And now that vinyl is back, a dependable turntable is a cool option to consider.

We used to enjoy and appreciate music more in the era of vinyl and cassette tapes. Probably because listening, skipping, and replaying music required us to leave our seats, and do some manual work.

And that was probably the reason we tried to enjoy our favorite tracks as much as possible. The reward was a more pleasant experience.

This gorgeous Fluance RT81 turntable with an AudioTechnica cartridge makes a perfect gift for the programmer in your life. It has a built-in preamp, which means they can connect it to any speaker and start listening to their favorite records right away. 

Ember Temperature Control mug

6. Ember Temperature Control mug

The coffee will no longer gets cold!

Programmers love their coffee and some love it hot! But since they’re busy coding, they need a way to keep that coffee pleasantly hot for a longer time.

Ember is a popular smart temperature control mug that solves their cold-coffee problem. All they need to do is to set their desired temperature via the app on their smartphone, and it’s done.

These ceramic mugs are washable, and According to the manufacturer, scratch-free.

7. Sony WH-1000XM4 with active noise-canceling

One of the best noise-cancelling headphone for those who code in coffee shops!

“Everybody has a pair of earbuds these days; Who wants overhead headphones?!”

I thought the same, but once I got my Sony EH-1000XM3 (the older model) last year, I was over the clouds.

An overhead headphone provides much better isolation and comfort compared to earbuds.

It has a 30-hour battery life with fast charging. Only 10 minutes of charging can give you 5 hours of playback!

Its active noise canceling feature is a game-changer for those who code in coffee shops.

Via the app, you can define how much outside noise you want to let in – a safety feature when walking/running outdoors. If you’re looking for an awesome gift for your programmer boyfriend or girlfriend, consider this one!

OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer

8. OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer

To increase productivity!

Time management is one the top qualities of great programmers. It’s a soft skill that gets people hired and promoted!

These minimalist yet gorgeous sand timers make it easier to break down the work into efficient intervals.

Why is it important?

There are two main reasons we get distracted, and loose track of time:

  1. Not breaking down our tasks into manageable units
  2. Not setting a time to get them done

With this cute and affordable sand timer, you can manage your working hours into 30-minute work and 5-minute rest intervals without burning out. It’s the perfect gadget to track work and stay focused during the day.

Bowflex SelectTech 552

9. Bowflex SelectTech 552

Don’t have time for a gym? No problem!

What? A pair of dumbbells among programmer gifts?!

If you ask me, programmers need a pair of dumbbells more than anyone else!

Owing to sitting in the same position for hours, coders usually experience many health problems, including diabetes, heart diseases, and back pain, to name a few.

Additionally, the seated position puts huge stress on the back muscles, and it’s even worse if they slouch! 

That said, in addition to moving around, daily exercise plays an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A pair of Bowflex SelectTech 552 adjustable dumbbells is good enough for a home exercise without cluttering the space. They can adjust the weight with a turn of a dial, from 5 pounds (~2.26 KG) up to 52.5 pounds (23.81 KG). 

This is one of those cautious habit-changing gifts you can shortlist – one of the best gifts for programmers!

Don’t have time for a gym? No problem! They can just stand up and do a 15 mins workout 5 feet away from their desk.

If the price tag doesn’t matter to you, this would make a great gift for your loved one.

Hydrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle

10. Hydrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle

A practical gift for programmers who always forget to drink water.

Scientists say to drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

But do we remember to do that? Well, most of us don’t.

A modern way to fight our forgetfulness is by investing in a smart water bottle.

Hydrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle is one of the gadgets that I’ve been looking at for a while. This bottle glows to remind you it’s time to drink! It also tracks your water intake via its free app!

This BPA-free and vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottle keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours!

A practical gift for programmers who always forget to drink water.

Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard

11. Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard every programmer would fall in love with!

Programmers love their mechanical keyboards. Mechanical keyboards are more responsive, pleasant to type on, and sound awesome!

Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard is a wireless mechanical keyboard with a nice retro look. An awesome gift for 90’s kids who played lots of NES or commodore 64!

Its brown Cherry MX switches make it pleasant to type without making too much noise.

I also have one of these and use it alongside my Logitech G13.

It can be connected via Bluetooth, a USB wireless dongle, and a USB cable. Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices.

Logitech MX Master 3 mouse

12. Logitech MX Master 3 mouse

One of the best productivity mouses in the market!

I didn’t use a mouse for a very long time, and I thought that was okay. But I changed my mind when I got a Logitech MX Master 3 productivity mouse last year.

This ergonomic and fully customizable mouse completely changed the way I work. My hand rests on it naturally with easy access to all buttons and wheels.

The buttons on this mouse can be programmed via the Logitech’s Options app. For instance, I’ve programmed my horizontal wheel to adjust my laptop’s volume as I rarely need horizontal scrolling.

Another advantage is its battery life; Once fully charged (with its USB-C quick charging for ~3 hours), they won’t have to recharge it for at least a couple of months! And it can still be used while it’s being charged!

Good luck with gift shopping

I hope you could get some ideas of programmer gifts and know what to look for among these endless listings.

Thanks for reading, and good luck with gift shopping!

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Hey 👋 I'm a software engineer, an author, and an open-source contributor. I enjoy helping people (including myself) decode the complex side of technology. I share my findings on Twitter: @lavary_

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Disclaimer: This post might contain affiliate links. I might receive a commission if a purchase is made. However, it doesn’t change the cost you’ll pay.