By Sarah June Fischer December 11, 2014

Instructor Picks: Gift Ideas for the Developer in Your Life

With the holidays just around the corner, we asked our instructors what stack-specific gifts they would love to find their name on this year.

Here are their top picks:

Python

  1. RESTful Web APIs
    Level: Beginner
    Type: Book
    Price: $30
    Teaching the ins and outs of creating a secure application with the right tools, this guide is a bookshelf staple for any back-end web developer.

  2. Two Scoops of Django: Best Practices for Django 1.6
    Level: Beginner
    Type: Book
    Price: $45
    Learn Django tips from developers who have worked in this Python framework for years. While we’re waiting for an updated version of this book to reflect changes seen in Django 1.7 and the soon-to-be released Django 1.8, this book is a great resource to get started in Django.

  3. Python Projects
    Level: Intermediate
    Type: Book
    Price: $32
    If your favorite aspiring developer has been learning Python on their own from online tutorials, then this book is the next step in their education. This book takes a basic knowledge of syntax and Python fundamentals and plugs them into projects with instructions for application setup, library building and packaging, and more.

Ruby

  1. Practical Object-Oriented Design in Ruby
    Level: Advanced
    Type: Book
    Price: $32
    A great gift for intermediate Ruby developers, this book uses practical instructions to explain how to write solid object-oriented Ruby code and keep code bases clean.

  2. Programming Ruby 1.9 & 2.0 (4th edition): The Pragmatic Programmers’ Guide
    Level: Beginner
    Type: Book
    Price: $28
    Another great option for developers who are breaking into the world of Ruby programming, this guide is a complete reference for the current version of Ruby.

  3. Ruby Tapas
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced
    Type: Screencast
    Price: $9/month
    For more experienced Rubyists who want screencasts on advanced topics and techniques, Avdi Grimm produces screencasts twice a week, with a subscription that provides access to source code, video transcripts, and a full library of content.

  4. Eloquent Ruby
    Level: Intermediate
    Type: Book
    Price: $38
    This book goes beyond Ruby syntax and teaches how to write great code, solve tough problems, and develop the mindset of a professional Ruby developer.

  5. Learn to Program (The Facets of Ruby Series)
    Level: Beginner to Intermediate
    Type: Book
    Price: $17
    This guide starts with the basics and moves to more advanced web applications. With his release of the 2nd edition of this book, Chris Pine provides even more code examples that range from basic to more advanced solutions, so readers can continue to learn as they get more experience in Ruby programming.

iOS

  1. Functional Programming in Swift
    Level: Intermediate
    Type: Book
    Price: $39
    Get the iOS developer in your life the best guide for learning Swift. This book starts with the concepts behind functional programming and shows how the reader can write more expressive code by leveraging what Apple’s new programming language has to offer.

  2. Sketch
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced
    Type: App
    Price: $99
    With Apple’s high threshold on the aesthetics of apps in the App Store, Sketch gives iOS developers an easy way to develop clean icons and attractive graphics for their latest app idea.

JavaScript

  1. Fluent
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced
    Type: Conference
    Price: $645
    Give your favorite developer a chance to learn from the best in the industry. With the tagline, “Put JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, & the latest web tools to work,” this conference is a great networking and learning opportunity for front-end developers. Topics will range from specific APIs and debugging tips to design principles and programming concepts.

  2. Treehouse
    Level: Beginner
    Type: Online Tutorials
    Price: $25/month
    Treehouse continues to produce great content for new developers, and has training videos for learning JavaScript, HTML, CSS, PHP, important development tools, and much more.

  3. Web Design with HTML, CSS, JavaScript and jQuery Set
    Level: Beginner
    Type: Book
    Price: $39
    Available as a two-volume set, Jon Duckett’s introduction to the basics of web design gets new front-end developers well on their way to creating beautiful, well-built websites.

UX

  1. ConveyUX 2015
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced
    Type: Conference
    Price: $395
    Conferences are one of the best ways to meet new people and find out what’s happening next in the industry. With opportunities for networking and learning from experienced leaders, this UX conference is a great gift for front-end developers and UX designers.

  2. JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development
    Level: Beginner to Intermediate
    Type: Book
    Price: $34
    The second half of the two-volume set mentioned above, this is a continued instructor favorite because of the accessibility and clarity of information. While available in both hardcover and paperback, the hardcover version adds a durability to the book that front-end developers will return to again and again.

General

  1. Destroy All Software
    Level: Intermediate to Advanced
    Type: Screencasts
    Price: $40/season
    Gary Bernhardt’s screencasts shed light on topics rarely covered in online training tutorials that focus on the syntax of specific programming languages. This makes a subscription an ideal gift for aspiring developers who want to learn the tools used by professional web developers.

  2. Adjustable Vented Laptop Table
    Type: Hardware
    Price: $43
    An ergonomically sound work station can save a serious coder from a lot of pain. Save your developer from poor posture with an adjustable laptop table.

  3. Wireless solar keyboard
    Type: Hardware
    Price: $60
    This wireless, solar keyboard means the end of entanglement in wires, searching for batteries as your keyboard dies, or wondering how long your keyboard power will last.

  4. Mechanical gaming keyboard
    Type: Hardware
    Price: $86
    A mechanical keyboard delivers more accuracy, a better feel, easier use, and more features for developers who also enjoy PC gaming.


Editor’s note: Prices are lowest option available on Dec. 17, 2014.