On the other hand, giving makes us a much happier person; It can either be helping a total stranger or buying a birthday present for your significant other.
In addition to personal happiness, it cements our relationships and helps us grow closer to the people we care about.
But how do I choose a thoughtful gift for a nerd?
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.
So if your loved one is a programmer, coder, software engineer, front-end developer, or backend developer, you’re on the right path.
Luckily, tech people like similar things.
Choosing a gift is tricky! There are many options, but time and budget are limited.
There are so many what-if questions we ask ourselves when buying a gift:
What if they don’t like it?
What if they already have it?
What if they won’t use it?
What if it looks so cheap?
It makes sense, though!
Buying an inappropriate gift might negatively affect your relationship with someone. A bad gift might imply you don’t know them enough, or you don’t share anything in common.
But there’s nothing to worry about when you know what you’re doing.
Five quick tips on choosing the best gift
Plan in advance
You found something very cool online but preparation and shipping take a week. But 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 thinking of a personalized item, or 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.
Make sure they don’t have a similar thing
You already know this one! We always need to do a bit of research and make sure they have that item.
The poor receiver needs to fake a smile after seeing the gift! I know you don’t want that.
So make sure she doesn’t have that mug warmer before shortlisting it.
Take their personality & lifestyle into consideration
Sometimes we fall in love with something, and we might even go over the budget because we think the receiver would feel the same! But when it’s time to give the present, you don’t see that excitement in their eyes.
It’s like buying a grill for a friend who lives in an apartment with no outdoor space. Or a tactical watch for that friend who goes hicking once a year.
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 a new complexity to their routine.
So if she’s busy coding for hours, instead of buying a violin to practice, you can get them a turntable instead.
It’s not programming-related, but every programmer would love a bit of change in the scenery.
Have the time of the year in mind
Imagine, you receive a nice pair of flip-flops from a friend. But you’ll have to wait until next summer to use it!
You’ll put it in a closet, and you’ll forget about it until next summer.
Don’t be that friend!
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 small 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.
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.
Besides, your friend might feel uncomfortable receiving such an expensive gift.
Now that we’ve gotten the fundamentals down, let’s go over the list I prepared for you.
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.
Here are the best gifts you can buy for the programmer, coder, software engineer, front-end developer, or the back-end developer in your life.
Logitech MX Master 3 mouse￼
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), you won't have to recharge it for at least a couple of months! And it can still be used while it's being charged!
Durgod Fusion Mechanical Keyboard￼
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. A perfect 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.
Hydrate Spark 3 Smart Water Bottle￼
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.
One 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 a programmer who always forgets to drink water.
Bowflex SelectTech 552 ￼
What? A pair of dumbbells for a programmer?!
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.
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.
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.
OrgaNice Hourglass Sand Timer￼
There are two main reasons we get distracted when working and pulled towards social media:
Not breaking down our tasks into manageable units
Not setting a time to get them done
These minimalist yet gorgeous sand timers make it easier to break down the work into efficient intervals.
They can split their work date 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.
Sony WH-1000XM4 with active noise-canceling￼
"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.
Ember Temperature Control mug￼
Programmers love their coffee and some love it hot! But since they're busy coding, they need a way to keep that coffee perfectly hot for a longer time.
Ember is a popular smart temperature control mug among many programmers 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.
Fluance turntable RT81￼
A 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, why not buy them a high-quality turntable so they can experience some hi-fi music?
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 and of course far better sound quality.
This gorgeous Fluance RT81 turntable with an AudioTechnica cartridge makes a perfect gift for your loved one. It has a built-in preamp, which means they can connect it to any speaker and start listening to their favorite singer right away.
Book: Clean code￼
"Even bad code can function. But if code isn't clean, it can bring a development organization to its knees."
Clean code is a must-read for every programmer, written by the well-known American software engineer and best-seller author Robert C. Martin, known as Uncle Bob.
This book is full of examples, case studies, and best practices to instill within the reader the values of a software craftsman.
Book: Head First Design patterns￼
If you want them to thank you every day
A Book is always a thoughtful choice for a gift.
If you want your loved one to remember you daily, this book is a good option.
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, 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.
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.
You can carry thousands of titles wherever you go.
Oh, by the way, a single charge via USB-C lasts for weeks!
Neck Massager with Heat
Nothing is better than a relaxing massage after hunching behind the screen all day long.
This portable messager by Magic Makers is a perfect gift for programmers.
Even though it's designed for the neck, they can use it for the back, shoulders, thighs, calves, and feet.
It's worth mentioning they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and one-year warranty and support.
All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) – 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 with an Echo Dot! 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!
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