JAX London 2014: A retrospective
27 days to go!

10 Christmas gift ideas for developers

ElliotBentley
presents

Struggling to think of interesting presents? Don’t worry, JAXenter’s got you covered with our top ten recommended gifts for the coders in your life.

With only 27 days until Christmas, we’re well and truly into the present-buying window. But if you’re struggling to think of interesting gifts, don’t worry – JAXenter’s got you covered with our top ten recommended presents for the coders in your life.


1. Raspberry Pi
For those living under a rock for the past six months, the Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer with a 700 MHz ARM CPU, 512Mb RAM and an SD card slot. It’s small and cheap enough to utilise in M2M projects, yet still powerful enough to run Java.

If you’re still unconvinced by the power of the Pi, look no further than Holly Cummins’s server-in-a-hat for the possibilities afforded by this low-cost hardware. Plus, it now runs Minecraft. They’re available to buy from Element14 and RS Online for $35.

Ideal for: Everyone!


2. iOS Developer Program subscription

There’s still little to touch the iOS App Store, at least in terms of profitability. At $99/year, a subscription to Apple’s developer program is potentially not only a great gift, but a profitably investment too if the recipient strikes gold. If you’re buying for a Java dev unwilling to touch Objective-C with a barge pole, a license to publish to Google Play costs $25.

Ideal for: Wannabe ‘appantreneurs’.


3. Lego Mindstorm robots

Thanks to the dancing Devoxx robots and James Gosling’s recent escapades, robots are officially cool again. A cost-effective way of getting in on the action is via Lego’s Mindstorm series, which are easy to customise and can even run Java.

Alternatively, Mindstorm robots make a great introduction to coding for kids, and can run the simplified RCX language.

Ideal for: Instigators of the robot apocalypse.


4. Makey Makey

This clever little kit allows everyday objects to be turned into computer controllers by attaching crocodile clips. Any object able to carry an electrical current will work, including playdoh, fruits, water, pencil sketches and even other humans. Originally funded on Kickstarter, where it reached its goal 22 times over, MaKey MaKey is now a retail product sold for $50.

Ideal for: Creatives.


5. Kinect
While official Kinect-based games tend to be gimmicky and shallow, the hacker community has taken the original idea and run with it, even convincing Microsoft to provide official support. Providing a camera, depth sensor, skeletal tracking and speech recognition, it’s a versatile input device begging to be made use of, whether for indie games or otherwise.

Ideal for: People bored of using a mouse and keyboard.


6. Google merch

You already know they do email, smartphones and self-driving cars… but did you know Google does tacky merchandise too? How about a Google mouse mat, just $1.92? Or tasteful Google socks? Or, for Android enthusiasts, how about a cuddly Android toy?

Apple fans may be disappointed to know that official Apple merch can only be purchased in person from the company store in Cupertino.

Ideal for: Google fanboys.


7. Mac power button cufflinks

Alright, here’s one for those devoted to their iDevices. Novelty cufflinks are always a good bet, and this handmade pair we found on Etsy are particularly fun. Made out of power buttons recycled from old MacBooks, they’re silly yet surprisingly stylish.

Ideal for: Well-dressed Apple fans.


8. The One keyboard

It can be easy to fall for marketing hype, but this phone-and-desktop keyboard pretty much sells itself. ‘The One’ allows you to switch between desktop and smartphone input at the touch of a button, sporting a stand for your device to rest on. And since it connects to your phone or tablet via bluetooth, it’s future-proof too. It also comes in both Windows and Mac flavours.

Ideal for: Mobile developers.


9. Localhost doormat
First impressions count. And what could give a better (or more accurate) first impression to visitors to your house or office than this doormat? If it’s not to your taste, Mashable have compiled a gallery of other equally geeky mats.

Ideal for: Houseproud devs.


10. Project Utopia

Has your billion-dollar startup recently been acquired? Finding your cash burning a hole in your pocket? Then why not treat yourself to Project Utopia, a supervillain-esque floating fortress with eleven decks, a sports court, a dock and the ability to propel itself, albeit at a maximum speed of around 17 miles per hour. At just £100,000,000 from Firebox, it’s an absolute steal.

Ideal for: Mark Zuckerberg.

What are you planning to give for Christmas? Let us know in the comments!
Teaser picture by Kelvin Kay.
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