Giddy up jingle horse

The JAXenter developer gift guide: 2013 edition

Elliot Bentley and Lucy Carey

‘Tis the season to be… panicking about what to get for that special developer in your life. Never fear, we’ve compiled a list of ten festive treats coders will love.

Black Friday was last week. Cyber Monday is over. There are only
three weekends until the X-bomb drops, and you still have no idea
what to buy for your favourite developer.

Don’t let seasonal panic ruin this most magical of consumer
fests though – we’ve done the donkey work for you and put together
a list of ten presents we think any coder would be overjoyed to
find in their stocking. You’re welcome, dear JAX-fans. 

1. Parrot AR Drone

Perhaps you’ve heard about Amazon’s new drone
, or caught Darach Ennis’
JAX London keynote
. Basically, Drones are the new hotness, and
thanks to projects like Nodecopter, they’re easier to hack
than ever. At around $300, the standard Parrot AR Drone 2.0 doesn’t come
cheap, but could eventually pay itself back in postage fees. They
even offer a new way to utilise that
in your stocking.

Ideal for: Harbingers of the robot apocalypse.


2. The Well-Grounded Java Developer book

Do you believe that knowledge is the greatest gift of
all? Our friends at the London Java Community, Ben Evans and
Martijn ‘Diabolical Developer’ Verburg, have put together a guide
to modern Java development called The Well-Grounded Java
. Covering new (and functional) JVM languages,
multi-core processing and concurrency, and contemporary approaches
to testing, build, and continuous integration, it’s worth a look
for that colleague who just can’t get enough technical trivia.

Ideal for: Dishevelled coders


3. Breaking Bad bath salts

This set of
fluorescent blue bath salts
may be reminiscent of Walter
White’s ahem product, but rest assured – they’re a “relaxing and
rejuvenating” combination of “ancient salts and organic essential
oils”. The product description notes that it “won’t melt your bath
like a certain memorable scene”. Plus, it’ll complement your
‘Heisenbug’ JAX
London t-shirt

Ideal for: Overstimulated TV junkies.


4. iNecklace

The iNecklace is much more
than just a pendant shaped like a power button. It contains a
pulsating LED (like the sleep indicators on Macs) with a hackable
circuit board. The entire thing is open source, from the
CAD files to the software, and there’s iCufflinks, too. The
only downside is that its replaceable battery wears down in just 72

Ideal for: Whoever turns you on!


5. Browser sketch pad and stencil

Even if you’re not a designer, it’s a good idea to
plan out a page before coding to prevent it from becoming a
complete mess. Pen and paper still works, and with this browser
sketch pad
and matching stencil
, you can sketch them out in no time. The company, UI Stencils, also does pads and
stencils for iPhone, iPad, Android and other UIs.

Ideal for: The front-ender.


6. Applecore cord organizers

Until everything goes wireless (which is a problem in
itself; ever tried pairing an Xbox controller?), we’re still stuck
with jungles of messy cords. Applecore’s solution is a small
plastic, spindle-thing which you wind the cables around to tuck
everything away. Not sexy, certainly, but a very practical

Ideal for: Neat freaks.


7. TriggerHappy camera remote

Oh hey, here’s a casual shot of me, just looking
studly, that someone just happened to take up real close. Please,
nothing says attention hungry narcissist like a social media
profile stuffed  with lame self-portraits  - and with
‘selfie’ crowned the word of the year, it’s more important than
ever to master the dark art that went viral in 2013.

(a $50 combined app and cable) allows you to
control the timing of a DSLR’s shutter, ensuring your selfies are
perfectly staged, and more importantly, nobody ever has to know you
took it yourself!  Oh, and it can shoot timelapses, long
exposures and HDR photos too – but who cares about that?

Ideal for: Posers, pouters, and serial oversharers.


8. Java merchandise

Once upon a time, Sun Microsystems produced a
wealth of tacky Java merchandise
, from cuddly Dukes to branded
coffee cups, and even late-90s
denim shirts
 embroidered with the logo.

Nowadays, Oracle’s merch store
provides much slimmer pickings. If you’re desperate for some
 Java themed swag,  you can chose from a host of
disappointingly practical Oracle-branded products, such as a Java
. While a
squeezy toy is listed, at the time of writing it
was out of stock.

Alternatively, Etsy user mouhoxlab’s range of cuddly Tux
penguins includes this mad-looking
“Punk Tux” with Duke on his belly
. We think we know what we’ll
be traumatising little coders with this December 25th!

Ideal for: True Java devotees.


9. ‘Scroogled’ merchandise

For the past few years, Microsoft has been running a
‘Scroogled’ campaign attacking the shadier aspects of Google’s
business model (sharing personal info, scanning emails for ads and,
erm, making Chromebooks).

It’s only recently, though, they’ve opened a
Scroogled store
with various tasteful products, such as the
above T-shirt described as “a classic that shows the world that
you’re tired of having your digital life monetized by Google”.
Sadly the
“Keep Calm while We Steal Your Data” stuff
appear to have been
taken down.

Ideal for: Die-hard Micro$oft fanboys.


10. Desk-sized catapult

Finally, continuous delivery is right at your
fingertips! Give your favourite benevolent overlord the power to
conquer the office with this five inch high
– apparently a highly detailed replica of the real
Medieval deal – with authentic firing action.

For a desk decoration that’s a bit less dangerous but
still carries that all important WTF factor, you might want to
consider importing an illuminated
Mini USB construction site
(from Japan, of course).

Ideal for: Launching fruit at that guy who keeps breaking


Want more? Check out
last year’s gift guide


Elliot Bentley and Lucy Carey

All Posts by Elliot Bentley and Lucy Carey

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