With Christmas around the corner and a large family, plus friends asking me what I want, we've been putting some thought into things we'd like and find useful. This obviously includes some tools of my trade, which is web development, focusing on WordPress. You would think I'd have a hard time coming up with gifts for your standard WordPress developer, but to be honest a lot of stuff on my wish list applies. So to anyone who asked me, here you go: Over 20 gift ideas for us or any other WordPress Developer!
WordCamps are a great way to learn, network, and more. These mini WordPress oriented conferences help developers stay on top of the latest and greatest going on in the WordPress world, learn new techniques, hone skills, and meet great people. The true definition of a gift that keeps on giving and a must for anyone doing WordPress related work. The link below takes you to a current schedule of WordCamps, and they are always adding more. There are also ones in NYC, Washington DC, Philly, and Denver annually.
Price: $124/year (for the US)
This UK based magazine is far and away the best magazine out there for developers. They have great featured articles with the latest and greatest in the web development world with regular pieces on advice, design-offs, and more. And the best part? They cover WordPress. A lot. For many developers in US, the fact that it's UK based and therefore has a steep price tag deters us from getting a yearly subscription, but this would be the perfect gift for a WordPress developer, and he or she will use it all year!
Price: From $35/month
Starting this year, Adobe is moving into "monthly subscription" plan territory for their top of the line design and development software. This is good news for a lot of us that can't fork over a giant lump sum for the new upgrade every year or two. You can even pick to just subscribe to one product (ie: Photoshop) or subscribe to an entire line (like the Design Suite).
This web development IDE (for Mac only; sorry Windows users) is the best tool I've used for web development. Integrated FTP and shell, code completion and syntax highlighting, and the integration of other programs, like Photoshop, makes this an all-in-one tool that will improve any WordPress Developer's productivity tenfold. Plus, with this plugin, you can add code completion for WordPress functions, which is a gigantic help when you're doing heavy theme or plugin development.
Price: $31.49 on Amazon
There are tons of books out there (including a couple from our sister company, Rockable Press), but the WordPress Bible is an incredibly comprehensive, in-depth for people at any stage of the WordPress learning process. Once you use the book to learn, it can become a very valuable resource and reference book. I've been meaning to pick it up for myself, and the price on Amazon can't be beat as it usually sells for $49.99.
Any WordPress developer that has been through a hard drive crash knows that the moment you lose your data, you begin to freak out and worry whether or not you're going to get your precious work back. Whether you've experienced a crash or not, the Drobo storage unit is the perfect solution to your hard drive problems. With four slots for hard drives, you can just pop in a new drive whenever you need it, and if one fails, it'll pop out automatically, waiting for you to shove in a new one.
I like to hang up inspiring designs to look at when I need to focus or be, well, inspired. There are tons of places you could go to find inspiring prints, but I went with Bit Monsters by Dan Cederholm because he's one of my favorite web designs and authors (plus it looks great hanging on my wall at home; I want another one for my office).
Price: $199 ($99 for iPhone 4)
Packed with Siri, multitasking and a wide variety of useful apps, an iPhone is the perfect resource to flawlessly integrate your personal life with your professional life. Also great for cross-browser testing.
The iPhone is not the only choice when it comes to smartphones. Over the past few years, Android phones have taken the smartphone industry by storm. The new Galaxy Nexus from Google is a fierce competitor of the iPhone 4S.
As a freelancer, I like to work from multiple places, sometimes spending hours at a time in one place. The Kindle is the perfect device for when I want to take a break from programming to read a little bit; plus, I can load all of my WordPress and development related books onto it so I don't have to lug around a bunch of textbooks. The Kindle is ultraportable, easy to use, and can hold hundreds of books at a time on it.
If you don't have Spotify, I strongly recommend it. Access to all of the music released in your particular country, streamed right from the Internet to your computer. Music helps me focus and stay on track when I'm working on a project. With Spotify Premium, you get rid of ads, allow for mobile access, and can listen to songs when you're offline. This is a great gift for any developer in your life!
Price: From $999
I had to include at least 1 big ticket item, right? The MacBook Air is powerful and portable, and oh yeah- really, really fast. Its solid state drive makes booting up programs almost instant and its sleek and lightweight design means you can take it anywhere. This is absolutely perfect for a WordPress developer on the go (much like myself)!
More and more people are replacing their old computers with new, shiny tablets, because they're always on the go and tablets are the way to go. Therefore, having a tablet handy would make cross-browser testing a snap. However, for WordPress coders, this is still a luxury, but with all the great options cropping up, it's hard not to want one.
Coming in a variety of colors, the Bamboo Stylus for iPad from Wacom is the perfect add-on for any designer's tool-belt. This stylus works well with most iPad apps, and even comes with a free app made by Wacom.
Price: $17.87 on Amazon
Even if you're not the biggest Steve Jobs/Apple fan, if you're a computer person (or business person) you're bound to find inspiration and wisdom in Steve Jobs' authorized biography. Steve was a visionary, incredibly smart, and revolutionized the User Experience. Any developer, WordPress or otherwise, would benefit from reading this book just to get some insight into the life and mind of a man who built one great company (Apple) and gave new life to another (Pixar).
Looking for some design inspiration? Just open up this reference book of over 650 beautifully designed websites arranged thematically. Also, having a copy on your bookshelf, makes you look very professional and official.
Have you ever felt the need to distract yourself from your current project so that you can come back at a different angle? Start playing with these balls and by the time you're "done" with them, you can return to your work with a new perspective.
These things look incredibly cool. Not only do they provide protection for your gadgets, they have grids of straps so you can hold extra cables, pens, cell phone, and anything else you might want to carry with you. Just assemble your grid, slip your computer in, and go!
When working on a new theme or finishing up code for a client, the last thing you need is to get distracted. The perfect solution is to put on a pair of headphones and just crank up the volume, allowing you to tune out the outside world and just focus on your work.
Work gets messy sometimes. Keeping everything in order and easily accessible is a constant struggle. The UBOARD Smart is a glass table that just sits over your keyboard featuring 3 USB ports, an iPod/iPhone dock and even a cup holder.
These guys are designed to increase airflow so your computer doesn't overheat. If you know someone who's constantly hacking away at their computer (a WordPress developer possibly?), this is a great affordable gift for him or her. It will also tilt the computer, making it easier on his or her wrists. While you're over at ThinkGeek, you might want to browse the rest of the site for that special nerd in your life, as they have a lot of great stuff to choose from.
Price: From $199
Every developer and designer I know prefers to work off of two (or more!) monitors. Heck I'm doing it right now. It greatly improves development time, testing, and more; plus, it looks awesome. When I'm developing for WordPress, I'll usually have my IDE (see next item) up on one monitor and the WordPress Codex up on the other. I myself have this ViewSonic monitor and highly recommend it. I'm very happy with it.
Being able to take a music collection with you is one thing, but what about movies and TV shows? Netflix has you covered. Give this as a gift to the developer who needs to take a "brain break" from work (we all need it). Netflix allows you to stream a ton of shows and movies right to your computer, wherever you are (as long as you have an Internet connection). Plus, they recently added my current favorite show, How I Met Your Mother, which pretty much sealed the deal for me to renew.
Already jumped off the Netflix bandwagon? Hulu has it's own premium streaming service called HuluPlus that's also well worth checking out as it has an entirely different library of movies/shows.
Both CodeCanyon and ThemeForest are fantastic resources for finding themes and plugins for WordPress, among other things. I check both sites frequently for tools I can use, and usually find something. ThemeForest is the backbone of my "WordPress Quick Site" service. Throwing a developer some cash for these marketplaces with definitely be beneficial, saving him or her lots of time on development!
So these are some of our favorite things/ wish list items. Some are directly WordPress related (like WordCamp. Seriously you should go to one if you're a developer), and some are to help that developer in your life relax. Either way, these items would make great gifts!
I'm sure there are some other great products that aren't on the list. If you know of anything that is exceptionally amazing, please feel free to leave post it in the comment section.
Just a reminder, gifts aren't the only important part of the holidays, so don't forget to enjoy your time with your friends and family! On behalf of everyone here at WPtuts+, I would like to wish you all a very happy holiday season!
Are you a WordPress developer? What's on your wishlist?