Great Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for Programmers

It's that time of year again, and if you're unsure of what gifts to get that special coder in your life, fear not–we've got some great suggestions!

Great Gifts & Stocking Stuffers for Programmers
Photo by Rodion Kutsaiev / Unsplash

It's that time of year again, and if you're unsure of what gifts to get that special coder in your life, fear not–we've got some great suggestions!  From productivity boosters to pure fun, there are lot of great, affordable gifts for programmers.

One thing we'll avoid on this list are t-shirts and mugs.  While there is certainly no shortage of programming t-shirts and mugs, they can honestly be a little unoriginal.  Instead, think a little out of the box and check out the gifts below!

The Rubber Duck Debugger

You know the rubber duck debugging technique, right?  When you get stuck on a coding problem, simply explain what your code does step by step to a rubber duck. The simple act of explaining your code often helps you to find the problem, and you can do it without disturbing a coworker using this oversized programming rubber ducky.

The technique is so effective that many programmers keep a rubber ducky on their desk as a reminder to themselves (and others) on how to solve a difficult problem.  If your special programmer gets stuck on a hard coding problem, they can just explain it to the rubber ducky!

Oversized Rubber Duck on Amazon

... For the Person Who Tells People About the Rubber Duck Debugger

Or maybe, the programmer in your life is the one people run to when they have a coding problem.  If your programmer loved one is a more experienced developer, they're probably used to telling people about the rubber duck debugging technique.

In that case, get them this adorable Rubber Duck Debugger Pillow.  Now, instead of being troubled to take off their headphones and exasperatedly sigh, "Have you tried explaining it to the rubber duck?", they can simply point to the pillow!  Productivity life hack!

Rubber Duck Debugger Pillow on Amazon

Floppy Disk Drink Coasters

How about a bit of nostalgia for the, uh, more experienced members of your team.  You know, the old ones.  Older coders will fondly remember the joy of installing software from 1.44 fl0ppies and will love to have these floppy disk drink coasters.  Actually, that's a lie: nobody remembers these things fondly, but even back then, they were a great place to put your drink.

Or maybe try giving these to the more junior members of your team.  Do they even know what they are?  See if the millenial coders at your company know what these were ever used for.

Floppy Disk Drink Coasters on Amazon

Mini Desk Zen Garden

Is your love one stressed by the Jira backlog?  Or the fact that they have to use Jira in the first place?  Perhaps you can get them to relax with this calming Mini Desk Zen Garden.  This elegant, relaxing desktop zen garden can transport you to a calm plane of existence free of Jira, product managers and executive teams setting overzealous deadlines.  At least for a couple of moments.

A calm, clean working environment is key for many developers, so this minimalist desk zen garden can help keep the programmer in your life happy and productive.

Mini Desk Zen Garden on Amazon

Wireless Mechanical Keyboard

For the mechanical keyboard lover in your life, check out this backlit, wireless mini-office mechanical keyboard.  The satisfying "clack" of a mechanical keyboard can't be beat, and it proven to keep you coding 20% longer than a squishy keyboard.  Okay, I made that up, but it sounds totally plausible, right?

Mechanical keyboards are the kinds of things that some people really geek out on and they can go for hundreds of dollars.  This is a solid affordable mechanical keyboard option, not a top-of-the-line choice, so if they're a real mechanical keyboard afficianado, this might not be the first choice.  But, still it's a great choice for a first foray into the world of mechanical keyboards, or for a second machine at home or at the office.

Backlit Wireless Mechanical Keyboard on Amazon