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With the holidays just around the corner, it’s time to start stuffing stockings and surfing the web for something special. If you’re looking to shop for the web developer in your life—whether they’re just getting off the ground or a seasoned pro, you’ve come to the right place.
As a bonus, many of these gifts are perfect for entrepreneurs or freelancers in general—whether it’s a killer playlist to help them get through another workday, or a new set of bookkeeping software that will revolutionize this year’s taxes—people who own their own businesses are usually moving a mile a minute, and they can use all the help they can get!
Start with the Fun Stuff
Many of the gifts listed here are something that programmers definitely need in order to do their jobs, and you can take some of the stress of running a web development business away by chipping in to their overhead. But make sure you start with something fun, first, and bundle it with something more practical.
- Play around with open source arduinos with the ARDUINO K000007 The Starter Kit; $87.95
- Also in the arduino family: consider the latest version of Raspberry Pi, a computer the size of a business card: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit; $69.99
- This is technically for children, but I know many adults who’d go crazy for the Bloxels Build Your Own Video Game; $34.99
- Because CSS is awesome, try the CSS Is Awesome Mug; $16.75 (check out the related gifts for a full product line of coder dad-jokey mugs)
- Looking for some wall art? Check out the 1974 ENIAC First Programmable Computer Patent Print; starts at $6.99
- If you’re going for the “cute tech” vibe, this Old School Floppy Disk Pillow will do the trick; $12
If you’re looking to buy for a freelance programmer, note that bookkeeping is essential to keeping a freelancer on their feet (and while it may sound boring, making sure you get paid is anything but). There are a range of solid digital platforms that offer user-friendly software for small-business owners to choose from so that they can focus on client work without worrying about the minutiae of keeping their numbers straight. Consider the specific needs of the business these systems would be serving—what the web dev in your life really needs. Have the complained that their clients always say “The check’s in the mail” and are looking to switch to online payments? Or are they doing business with international companies and constantly Googling conversion rates? Whatever the case, take your pick from any one of these excellent options:
- QuickBooks offers payroll support—critical if your giftee is planning on hiring a staff; $10-$50/month
- Xero works with flexible payment options like PayPal and Swipe; $9-$70/month
- FreshBooks works on any device; $15-$50/month
Agile and Communication Tools
Half the battle of getting work done is organization. Add to that the stress of communicating with various clients and teammates, and you’re looking at hours of time lost to managing. That’s where agile tools come in. These systems are designed to streamline projects so that communication around goals, timelines, and the final product, are clear and easy to follow.
- Asana offers a variety of digital tools to make collaboration smooth and organized; plans start at $9.99/month
- Dropbox gives users storage space and sharing options to track projects with clients; starts at $9.99/month
- Slack is a secure chat system with archiving and search features make it easy to find conversations as you work, and collaborators can be invited to join; starts at $8/month
- Trello —like Asana— is an organization and project-tracking system that you can customize depending on your style and type of work; starts at $9.99/month
The coder in your life almost certainly has a computer, but you can help them get the upgrade their set up with a few accessories. These range in price from stocking stuffer to a big expense—but each packs a significant punch.
- Never squint at a tiny laptop screen again with Le Slide by SlidenJoy Laptop Monitor extender; starting at $411.50
- This serious investment means the home office of any developers dreams, but you might need the whole family to chip in on the Dell U-Series 37.5″ Screen LED-Lit Monitor; $1099.93
- Protect those eyes with anti-glare computer glasses; $12.99. (We’re also a fan of this more fashion-forward pair for only $9.49)
- The Intel Compute Stick CS125 Computer with Intel Atom x5 Processor and Windows 10 turns just about any screen with an HDMI connection into a fully functioning computer—meaning you can literally carry a computer around with you in your pocket; $119.99
Sometimes the greatest challenge of any workday boils down to productivity—which is all about taking care of yourself. Whether you’re your own boss or writing code for a company that (thankfully) gives you plenty of space and autonomy, productivity is yours to manage. And when you burn out on long workdays, self-management becomes even harder. That’s where these products come in. Give the web developer in your life a boost to get them through the work days that require Eye of the Tiger playlists or a meditative wakeup call.
- Spotify memberships come with unlimited access to millions of songs, playlists, and podcasts; $9.99/month
- YogaWakeUp is an app that curates gentle, meditative sequences for you to wake up to and are designed to create a thoughtful, peaceful start to the workday; begins at $5.99/month
- Kindle Unlimited subscriptions can be accessed from any device with an internet connection—whether your giftee wants to read up on coding or simply take some time off with their favorite fiction writer; $59.94/month
If you’re looking for more suggestions for the remote worker or freelancer in your life, check back later this month for our customized gift guides.