Skip the hampers and gift cards and give the developers on your team something useful this holiday season to transform their hard-earned skills into something creative.
Way better than Fruitcake, Raspberry Pi is a credit-card-sized single-board computer running Linux that can be used for all kinds of great ideas from running a web server in your pocket to building home automation systems. We used one to fly helicopters using a fitness wristband device at our last MuleSoft hackathon. You can get one here for less than $50.
iOS Developer Program subscription
Mobile accounts for 13% of all Internet traffic. Next year there will be more mobile phones on the planet than people. By 2020, there is expected to be 50 billion devices in use. All developers should be keeping up to speed on how to develop for mobile platforms. Give your developer access to developing apps for iOS here for $99.
Sphero is a robotic gaming system for iOS and Android. This little robotic ball, which is controlled by your smartphone, can be used for everything from playing games to augmented reality apps.
Developers wear headphones for a reason – writing code often requires deep concentration, which is helped by either blocking out noise or listening to music. These headphones allow them to be in their creative zone and focus better on their work. The V-Moda headphones are some of the best out there.
Become a Master Developer
All developers should know what it takes to be a great developer. To do so requires experience and mastering certain techniques, which you can learn about in the Pragmatic Programmer. You’ll learn skills, habits and attitudes that make a great software developer and form the foundation for long-term success in your programming career.
A Ticket to StrangeLoop
Developers love to learn and Strangeloop is one of the best conferences out there. As one of the top “developers’ conference,” it’s packed with code-heavy sessions ranging from new functional programming languages to big data to building large scale distributed systems.
Present like a Pro
Being able to code is one thing. Being able to communicate your ideas both verbally and visually is also part of being a great developer. Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery is a great book on how to do presentations to groups in a fun, engaging and enjoyable way.
Bladepad for iPhone 5
Designed for gamers who like to play on the go, the Bladepad is a low-latency gaming controller that slides out from your iPhone when needed with illuminated joysticks and buttons.
21 Day Cleansing Program
All developers should know how to write great code. Robert Martin’s Clean Code describes the principles, patterns, and practices of writing great code including refactoring techniques, naming best practices, error handling and unit testing. Cleanse your code without starving it on juice drinks or extreme diets.
Fund Their Favorite Project
Fund your special developer’s favorite idea or project on KickStarter. There are thousands to projects to choose from and fund – ranging from consumer devices to games to movies. Who knows, it might even inspire them to go out and do their own startup some day.
Developers spend a lot of time sitting at a desk on their laptop. Keep them motivated to stay fit with a Fitbit Force. It gives you real-time statistics on your wrist on steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned. It even tracks your sleep and can wake you up at your optimal time when you are in your lightest sleep phase.
These robots paid a visit at our recent company conference in Paris and were a big hit. Every developer’s dream, the NAO is a 2 foot tall programmable humanoid robot that moves with human-like precision. They have tactile sensors, gyroscope, accelerometer, infrared sensors, voice synthesizer, 2 HD camera, 4 microphones, Intel Atom chips, WIFI, Bluetooth and an API you can program to. And they can walk, talk and dance. If you’re feeling especially generous, you can buy one for around $16,000.
The Gift of Creativity
Developers love problem solving. If given a challenge, developers will stay up until sunrise to solve it, especially if it requires a particularly creative solution. There are a number of things out there that they can sink their teeth into from mobile to big data to cloud to smart machines. Give a developer a great technical challenge this holiday season and watch their creativity go wild.