Software developers (not to be confused with programmers or software engineers) work hard designing the apps and packages you use every day.
Improve their performance and provide an entertaining user experience with these fun and practical gifts for software developers
39 Gift Ideas for Software Developers
For Android Developers: Kotlin and Android Development
In May 2019, Google made Kotlin its preferred language for Android app developers. Kotlin is based on Java but has cleaned up many of Java’s long-standing issues and complexities. Michael Fazio’s Kotlin and Android Development will help you unlock Kotlin’s full potential and put you on your way to building better, safer apps.
For Apple Developers: iOS Programming
Over the past several years, Apple has moved toward merging OS X and iOS into a unified platform that runs on both desktops and mobile devices. iOS Programming will prepare aspiring developers to work within that new paradigm.
The “iPadification of the Mac” is upon us, and iOS Programming will show you how to deal with that transition.
For Artistic Developers: Castle Art Supplies Colored Pencil Set
You might think developers would prefer to draw using Illustrator, Corel Draw, or other software packages. But even full-time computer artists frequently start their projects with paper sketches. If your developer likes to relax with a sketch pad, this pencil set will put 120 different colors at their disposal.
With this set, they’ll be ready for anything from coloring books to fine art.
For Aspiring Developers: Learn To Code. Get a Job
Job seekers frequently hear “Learn to Code.” Learn to Code. Get a Job teaches how to master a programming language and provides steps toward learning computer languages and landing your first job as a software developer.
For Bloomsday: Ulysses Unbound
James Joyce’s Ulysses spends over 700 pages on a June 16 day wherein Leopold Bloom and several other characters wander through Dublin. Like much computer code, Ulysses is dense, rambling, and tangled.
Many developers celebrate June 16 as “Bloomsday.” Developers also love manuals, so Ulysses Unbound will help them compile Joyce’s brilliant verbosity.
For Board-Game Loving Developers: Viticulture
Sure, you can play farm games on your phone. But many developers prefer spending quality time playing over an old-fashioned board. Viticulture takes your developer to pre-modern Tuscany. Starting with an old press and a few land plots, Viticulture challenges each player to become a significant player in the wine industry.
It’s like Animal Crossing with alcohol.
For Developer Bookshelves: The Annotated Turing
Alan Turing’s theoretical Machine marked the beginning of the Computer Age. Like many software developers, Turing did not receive due credit for much of his work. He also had to wait years before computing machines could run his programs.
The Annotated Turing offers “A Guided Tour Through Alan Turing’s Historic Paper on Computability and the Turing Machine.”
For Burning Man: Igloo 110 Qt Cooler
Most of the time, developers think “Camp” is an intensive course that teaches programming languages. But during the last week of August, many developers and computer professionals gather in the Nevada desert for the Burning Man Festival.
Since burners must bring in their food and water supplies, your developer will appreciate this sizable wheeled cooler.
For Canada Day: Escuminac Canadian Maple Syrup
Many Canadian software developers find themselves working in the United States — and vice versa! Both Canada and America have a robust IT sector. If your Canadian developer is feeling homesick — or if your American developer wants to get into the Canadian spirit — nothing does the trick like some of Canada’s legendary maple syrup.
For Developer Conferences: Lightweight Rain Jacket
Conferences can be fun, educational, and great for your career. But air-conditioned conference rooms can get uncomfortably cold. Your developer will appreciate a jacket they can throw on when they’re chilly, then fold into a small pack when they’re ready to visit the warm outdoors again.
For Developer Cubicles: Margaret Hamilton Poster
Margaret Hamilton is considered the first software engineer. But since she helped design the software that got Apollo 11 to the moon and back, software developers can forgive her. This Margaret Hamilton poster is sure to cheer software developers up.
No matter how bad their job gets, at least they don’t have to input all that source code using punch cards.
For Database Developers: Database Design, Application Development
Database Administrators (DBAs) make sure the database’s back-end runs smoothly and gives clients continued access to their required information, with no access to data they’re not authorized to see.
Database Design will help a knowledgeable DBA transition to database architecture and application programming.
For Drupal Developers: Drupal 9 Module Development
Drupal provides the back-end framework for 12% of the world’s top 10,000 websites. An open-source framework, Drupal also has an active community of over 120,000 active users contributing modules and support.
Drupal 9 Module Development — and participation in the Drupal community — will teach aspiring developers how to build Drupal modules and applications.
For Full Stack Developers: The Full-Stack Developer
There are many arguments about who is and is not a full-stack developer. Chris Northwood has offered his thoughts in an “Essential Guide to the Everyday Skills Expected of a Modern Full Stack Web Developer.
” If you want to be a full-stack developer — or if you think you already are — Northwood’s book will help you acquire all the skills that the position requires.
For Game Developers: Unreal Engine C++ the Ultimate Developer’s Handbook
Many people want to design games, but few want to become proficient in challenging languages like C++. However, since most popular game engines were written in C++ and use C++ commands, learning C++ is mandatory for professional game developers.
Unreal Engine C++ will teach you C++ and Unreal Engine by helping you create a complete action game.
For Go Developers: Go in Practice: Includes 70 Techniques
As more services move to the Cloud, Go has become an increasingly popular language. Go is faster and less memory-intensive than Java or C++, and its simpler syntax and smaller command set make it easier to master.
If you’re already familiar with these legacy languages, you should have little difficulty adding Go to your toolkit.
For IoT Developers: The IoT Architect’s Guide
IoT (the “Internet of Things”) is the underlying technology that powers our smart appliances and thermostats. IoT is also notorious for security issues that have allowed hackers to take over security cameras and turn IoT nodes for botnet attacks.
IoT Architect’s Guide to Attainable Security and Privacy will help IoT developers avoid embarrassing leaks.
For Java Developers: Software Development, Design and Coding
Java is complicated, fussy, and can be slow and insecure. But it still can be found everywhere, from server farms to mobile phones. John Dooley’s Software Development teaches you how to use Java’s many strengths while avoiding its most notorious pitfalls.
You may be familiar with Java; Software Development will help you become an expert.
For Linux Developers: Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible
Most back-end processes run atop a Linux kernel. Sooner or later, every software developer will face issues that require the Linux Command-Line. Linux Command Line and Shell Scripting Bible helps developers maneuver through directories, starting and killing processes and other commands which will allow them to save the day — and their jobs!
For a Developer’s Morning: Mueller French Press Coffee Maker
Every corporate office has a soulless machine that swallows plastic pods and spits out colored water. Your software developer deserves better. This French press coffee maker produces glorious fresh coffee pressed for flavor.
Like the best programs, the French press is a durable, time-tested machine that will never become obsolete.
For a Developer’s Special Morning: Breville Barista Express
This chrome beauty is the perfect gift for the developer with C-Suite coffee tastes. Pour coffee beans; wait less than a minute; drink a fresh and flavorful cup of steaming espresso. The Barista Express is an espresso maker and grinder all in one.
If the French Press is a classic program, the Barista Express is a smoothly-running software package.
For Managing Developers: Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager
Developing software applications requires a team. Shipping your app on time while keeping your staff happy and productive can be challenging. Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager will help software developers work better with their programmers and supervisors.
For Microsoft Developers: Microsoft PowerApps Cookbook
Microsoft PowerApps gives employees the power to create the apps and features they use. Diligent employees can leverage their PowerApps knowledge toward a software and app development position. If you already have some basic understanding of Microsoft programming, Microsoft PowerApps Cookbook can make you a PowerApps master.
For Musical Developers: Turkish String Musical Instrument Oud
Many computer professionals are musically inclined, and many musicians have a knack for computers. Both software development and music involve a combination of rigorous logical rules and intuitive thinking.
This Oud will challenge your developer to learn new scales and new ways of imagining music, which means it will be more fun than a Rubik’s Cube!
For Out of Shape Developers: Walk Your Butt Off
Staying in shape can be challenging when you spend long hours slaving over urgent projects. But even when you can’t make it to the gym, you can still Walk Your Butt Off. By following the guidelines given by a fitness specialist and sports nutritionist, your developer can go from flabby to fit with this 12-week plan.
For Philosophical Developers: Clean Architecture
Most authors try to teach their readers how to program in a computer language. Robert C. Martin teaches the underlying principles of computer programming. His books discuss why computers work the way they do and teach developers and programmers how to use all computer languages efficiently and logically.
For Pi Day: Pi Pie Pan
Developers love math and puns, so every March 14 (3/14), they celebrate Pi Day by eating pie. Help your developer take Pi Day to the next level with this pi-shaped pie pan, as they eat pie that looks like pi while celebrating pi day with pie.
Don’t let them spend another 3/14 eating wedges when they can have an authentic piece of pi.
For Python Developers: Architecture Patterns with Python
Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages, thanks to its emphasis on clarity and simple syntax. Suppose you’ve been coding with Python for some time. In that case, Architecture Patterns with Python will teach you how to work with its more advanced functions and manage your applications in a complex, mission-critical environment.
For RPG Playing Developers: RPG Adventurer’s DnD Bag
After a long day staring at computers, many developers unwind with old-school role-playing games (RPGs). This RPG Adventurer’s bag will hold up to eight guides, manuals, and handbooks. And it even has pockets for dice, figurines, and tokens; loops to hold maps; even a compartment for snacks.
The Wizards who crafted this bag thought of everything!
For Scrumming Developers: Learning Agile
Scrum gets its name from rugby, but scrumming developers only rarely tackle each other. Scrum is an “Agile” management framework that started in software development but is becoming popular in other areas.
This guide from O’Reilly Publishers will help seasoned developers and those hoping to become software developers.
For Security Software Developers: Software Security Assessment
In the age of hackers, secure software is something every development team strives for. Though published in 2006, The Art of Software Security Assessment remains one of the best security guides on the market.
At 1,200 pages, Art is a thick book, but it’ll prove invaluable to those learning how to identify and prevent software vulnerabilities.
For Socially Challenged Developers: How To Win Friends
Software development involves more than superior technical skills. Successful software developers must know how to get along with their team. This update of Dale Carnegie’s famous 1936 book How to Win Friends and Influence People will help awkward developers gain the people skills they need to take their career to the next level.
For Star Wars Day: LEGO New Hope Imperial Star Destroyer
May 4 is National Star Wars Day, and there can be no more fabulous gift for those developers who observe the holiday (which is to say, most of them) than the LEGO New Hope Imperial Star Destroyer. The Star Destroyer comes from the first Star Wars film released — and it’s enormous.
The price is steep, but isn’t your favorite Star Wars-loving developer worth it?
For Swift Developers: Classic Computer Science Problems in Swift
Swift is most frequently used today by developers creating iOS apps. Classic Computer Problems in Swift will teach iOS developers how to program effectively. Kopec’s approach is practical. Instead of forcing the reader to memorize theory, he applies theory to real-world problems.
This book will give an app designer a solid grasp of computer programming.
For Developers in Summertime: Sunscreen
Developers don’t see a lot of sunshine. Long hours in cubicles can leave them with the classic Computer Geek Pallor. It can also leave them unprepared for the burning rays of the Yellow Face when summertime strikes.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch offers SPF 100+ protection. That means it shields developers from 99% of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays.
For Systems Software Developers: Software Architect’s Handbook
Software Architect’s Handbook covers everything a working (or aspiring) systems developer needs to know about computer architecture. Design principles, best practices, documentation, and other software development necessities are just a few topics covered.
This gift will help systems software engineers at all stages of their careers.
For Talk Like a Pirate Day: Jack Sparrow Hat
Arrr, ye have not heard of “Talk Like a Pirate” day? Every software developer dreams of sailing the seven seas in search of booty. And every September 19, developers celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
This Jack Sparrow hat will ensure your developer celebrates in proper style. Even vegan pirates can wear this tricorn — it’s polyester!
For Unemployed Developers: Cracking the Coding Interview
For 98.6% of software developers, this is good news. If your developer’s startup has failed or they have otherwise found themselves out of work, Cracking the Coding Interview will improve their self-confidence and help them find a new job soon!
For Web Software Developers: Full-Stack React Projects
If your developer is currently focused on front-end web projects (client interfaces), mastering the back-end (databases and website architecture) will improve their performance reviews and increase their paycheck.
Full-Stack React Projects leverages their front-end skills and introduces them to back-end planning and programming.
For Developers in Wintertime: Light Therapy Lamp
Developers are famous for spending much of their time indoors and away from the sun. During the winter, this can spark Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This Circadian Optics lamp provides 10,000 LUX of brightness at 5500K, the same spectrum as the noonday sun.
It may help your depressed developer with winter blues, insomnia, lack of focus, fatigue, or general sadness.
Does your fitness app track your time at the gym? Have you spent hours enjoying your favorite social simulation game? Did you file your taxes online? You can thank software developers for the applications you use for work and play.
Applications software developers work on programs like Photoshop and QuickBooks, while systems software developers create and modify operating systems like Windows and iOS. Both work directly with code and with other team members.
Software developers report to software engineers who engage with clients and assign projects to development, while developers work with programmers to build the software and to make sure it meets client and end-user needs.
Software developers need extensive knowledge of the programming languages and operating used to create your favorite applications and run your devices. Software development requires advanced skills in at least one and ideally several languages.
But software developers also require people management skills. Developers spend as much or more time engaging with supervisors and co-workers as they do writing code. They must communicate clearly with their teams to ensure work is completed well and on time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports software developers earn a median annual salary of $107,510 and expects the employment of software developers to grow 22% by 2029. According to the U.S. News and World Report, unemployment among software developers is 1.4%.
Software development is a hot field. While many programmers seek to break into software development, demand for software developers will be greater than the supply for some time to come.
Are these suggestions helpful for you, software developers? Do you have other gift ideas you would like to share? Please feel free to leave us a message in the comments below!