Back to School Gifts for Programmers and Developers

gifts for programmers

Even for those of us long out of school, September still feels somewhat like the start of a new year: the weather is changing, routines are settling back in, and there’s a sense of impending busyness looming ahead. Black Friday/Cyber Monday approaches, and in the months leading up to it, developers and programmers in the ecommerce world can be found testing and getting organized for the biggest buying season of the year.

Essentially, September can be a jarring time. Gone are the summer vacations; here to stay is the intensity of your work life—which makes September not so different now than when we were in school, after all.

And just like eager students buying fresh erasers, snazzy binders, and fancy calculators before the start of a new school year, there’s still joy to be had in treating yourself or a developer friend to a fun back-to-school gift in September. 

So for those developers in your life getting back into the routine of work—or as a well-deserved gift for yourself—we’ve rounded up 10 of the most useful (or cheekiest) gifts for programmers and developers that we could find.

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1. Full snack developer hat

gifts for programmers: hat

It’s important to show off your priorities. Proclaim your love for snacking (and your day job, of course) with a witty ball cap that leaves no doubt to what’s on your mind.

Price: $28 

Available at: Shopify Partner Kelly Vaughn’s shop

Are you working with Visual Studio Code for development? Check out our article on the best Visual Studio Code extensions.

2. Arduino

gifts for programmers: toy

For those that want to widen their skillset this September, this gift is just the thing. Arduino is an electronics platform that builds kits for creating digital devices. It’s designed for coders of all levels, and users can create anything from robots to thermostats, and more. 

This Starter Kit has everything you’ll need to make 15 projects, including step-by-step tutorials in the included Project Book.

Price: $87.90

Available at: Arduino store

3. Anti-theft laptop bag

gifts for programmers: backpack

As a programmer or developer, nothing is more precious than your laptop. Give yourself some peace of mind and keep your livelihood safe with a fancy new theft-proof backpack. This one from Pacsafe comes complete with RFID protection, slash guards, locking systems, and security clips. Whether you’re travelling the world or just riding the subway, your computer will be safe.

Price: $149.95

Available at: Pacsafe

You might also like: 12 Holiday Gifts For Designers and Developers.

4. Pomodoro timer

gifts for programmers: timer

With Black Friday/Cyber Monday looming, time management is key. One oft-touted time management technique is the Pomodoro Technique, where tasks are broken down into 30 minute intervals with little breaks in between. You could use your phone or any old kitchen timer to measure intervals, but for those aesthetically-minded among us, this elegant set will look better sitting on your desk.

Price: $26.99

Available at: Amazon

5. Blue light filtering glasses

gifts for programmers: glasses

When you work in front of screens all day, the blue light constantly hitting your eyes can cause strain, headaches, and sleeplessness. Because of this, blue light filter glasses, which block the harmful light from hitting your eyeballs, are becoming popular. 

Most major eyeglass sites now offer the filter on any pair of glasses. We like this trendy pair, which allow you to choose one of two options for blue light filtering lenses: regular, or a premium option that comes with a magnifying bottom portion to make reading mobile devices more comfortable.

Price: $50 + blue light filter ($27 to $37, depending on which option you choose)

Available at: EyeBuyDirect

6. A rubber duck

gifts for programmers: rubber duck

Not a joke. Rubber duck debugging is the idea that explaining your code to someone with no coding experience—in this case, the rubber duck—will help you find the solution to whatever problem you’re facing. A rubber duck is a silly but effective reminder to talk it out whenever a challenge arises.

Price: $2

Available at: Amazon

You might also like: Top 10 Podcasts for App Developers.

7. This would make a good sticker

gifts for programmers: sticker

With seemingly every programmer or developer’s computer covered in stickers, you knew this was going to be on the list. This one in particular is a solid tongue-in-cheek addition to any sticker connoisseur's collection, though It works on my machine and CSS is awesome are also top contenders.

Price: $4

Available at: Kelly Vaughn’s store

8. Desktop mug warmer

 gifts for programmers: mug warmer

We’ve all experienced the frustration of an over-zealous air conditioner and a freezing cold office, and as winter descends on half the globe, that chillness is only going to get worse. To help combat it, there’s nothing better than your second (or fifth) mug of hot coffee. 

To help keep your coffee and you toasty, there’s nothing better than a desktop mug warmer. Indulgent? Yes. Worth it? Also yes.

Price: On sale for $8.49 (regular $12)

Available at: Wayfair

9. Muse

gifts for programmers: muse

When work gets busy, staying calm and focused is paramount—which is one of the reasons why mindfulness has become a hot topic in almost every industry. Combining your love for meditation and technology, the Muse meditation headband reads the wearer’s mental activity, and translates that into weather sounds. Feeling busy? You’ll hear the sounds of a storm. Feeling calm? You’ll hear a nice day. These cues will help you learn to focus and quiet the mind, so you can meditate more deeply and refocus more effectively.

Price: $149.99

Available at: Muse

You might also like: 3 Trends From 2018's Best Shopify Apps That Will Help You Build Better Products.

10. Code blooded t-shirt

gifts for programmers: tshirt

You can never go wrong with a good t-shirt. There are thousands of options out there for every kind of programmer or developer. We like this one as a slightly over-dramatic way of telling people what you do for a living. 

Not quite your style? Check out World's Okayest Developer or Help me stack overflow, you're my only hope instead.

Price: $20

Available at: Etsy

Inspiration for the rest of 2019

You may be too old for back to school shopping, but there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself to something useful (or downright silly) this September regardless, to help bring a little fun into the busyness of the upcoming months.

What are your favorite gifts for developers? Anything we missed? Let us know below!

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