18.12.2017

Santa’s Cheat Sheet: Christmas Gifts Ideas For Programmers & Engineers

Santa’s Cheat Sheet: Christmas Gifts Ideas For Programmers & Engineers
The winter holidays are approaching with all the joy and festive mood, Christmas presents, and…a headache connected with buying them.

Seriously, who doesn’t spend hours searching for gifts that would please people around, don’t require going to the North Pole to pick them or spending a fortune? And the challenge gets even harder if you have IT pros on your “lucky-ones-to-get-a-present-from-me” list…Regular gloves or a scarf won’t work here. You need something more intricate to satisfy those fastidious minds.

I work in IT company, my friends are mostly people working in tech, and I’m married to a developer... I know your pain.

So this year I’ve spent some time spying on people surrounding me, talking to colleagues, friends in order to figure out what is better to buy for our beloved engineers and programmers for Christmas. Let me share my findings with you:

Firstly, there is no one perfect present suitable for all people in tech (except for PS4 Pro). Every IT professional is a human and thus is unique. So the present should be PS4 Pro individually picked and personalized.

Secondly, forget all stereotypes you heard about IT professionals. Tech people have various interests and hobbies that spread far beyond video games (surprise-surprise!). They do sports, they care about their appearance, they keep an eye on new tech and trends and they definitely evolved far from that geeky image some people still have in mind while thinking about programmers and engineers (see below). If you need a new face to be associated with tech professionals, think of Elon Musk or Evan Spiegel, not this guy:



Finally, there are some common trends, dos and donts, that can help with your dilemma and cut down the stress around holidays. So keep reading to learn more ;)

WORST PRESENTS FOR IT PROFESSIONALS:


Let’s start with the things that could sound like a good idea for a present but should be avoided by all means:

Mugs, bottles, power banks, mind-breakers, t-shirts, etc...


Do you really think developers and engineers don’t have enough of those from recruiters and marketers at IT conferences, expos and job fairs? All this merchandise is produced in bulk and doesn’t surprise anyone in IT anymore. So unless your friend lives a sheltered life and avoids IT-related events, these presents would end up in a dusty corner of a flat or a trash bin.

Spinners


Not sure if this needs to be explained even. Too mainstream. Too useless. Too teenagerish. Too hipsterish… Just don’t.

Forced socializing


Think your friend lacks a social life and thus it’s a good idea to force him to attend a cooking master class or speed-dating? Well, it might be a really dangerous move. It’s the same as pushing a person with no vivid sense of humor or public speaking skills to stand-up comedy open-mic. I don’t want to say it compulsory ends up badly, but there is a big chance it will. So unless you know for sure that a person is into all these crafts and social events, don’t force him or her to go there.


GIFTS YOU’LL BE WORSHIPPED FOR:


Lego


And I don’t mean the building kit we used to play in our childhood. Tech within toys developed at an astonishing rate within the recent years. These days Lego offers kits that include technic elements, processors, sensors and software that allow not only build but also programme your creation. A great gift for IT pros interested in robotics and engineering. Here are the NeuroSYS team’s favorites: LEGO Mindstorms EV3 31313, LEGO Millennium Falcon.

Books


It’s a bit tricky (coz you cannot simply pick the first book from IT section with a nice cover), but very much appreciated present by all IT pros. Choose among professional literature, but learn what your friend really wants first. If spying isn’t your thing - go with Amazon gift cards then ;)

Online courses


Another category in educational presents which offers plenty of options, just choose a course or buy a subscription: Safari, Pluralsight, Udemy, Coursera, or Masterclass. The latter one for sure isn’t covered by any employer’s training package. Just look at this amazing photography master class offered by one and only Annie Leibovitz if you haven't get enough of it through online ads (great gift for IT professionals passionate about photography anyways).

Harmony


Programming and engineering is a hard brain-sucking job. People who do it professionally need to rewind and relax from time to time. And whereas harmony is an abstract thing you cannot buy, the tools that help to achieve it are very realistic and even commercialized. For example, Mindvalley courses and events or a meditation app subscription can be a good present for those who care about personal development and a clear state of mind.

Streaming media


Depending on what shows your friend likes, you can choose among Netflix, HBO for video streaming. Similar to that is Amazon Prime which offers not only movies and shows, but also music, books and magazines, free shipping and other items from Amazon. Spotify is another idea in this category. Whatever you choose - be sure your friend doesn’t have a similar subscription already before buying.

SPA treatment


Here you can go with something traditional like a voucher for a massage, or be more specific: get a gift certificate from a barbershop or check for some special SPA beard treatments (if your friend has a beard of course).

Little pleasantnesses


Want your present to be unique and unusual? Hunt for recent gimmicks on the market, like a tiny arcade machine, stick-on sandals or some weird gadgets like this.

Big pleasantnesses


Last but not least, don’t forget about classic tech presents: action cameras, gyro (self-balancing) scooters, quadcopters, or something less original but still useful: a good second screen or keyboard.


EITHER LOVED OR HATED:


Be careful with some types of presents. Some items are still a mistery for me. For example, socks and boxers: some people hate them, others - love receiving. You just never know...



...Hope this blog post helps in your search. If you have other ideas or disagree with something - leave us a comment, we are really curious about other opinions.

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