Holidays can be weird when no one in your family understands what you do. Trying to catch your parents up on the latest coding trends can be slightly headache-inducing.

When it comes to gift-giving, developers are used to being inundated with gifts like touch screen gloves and ergonomic desk pillows. We polled our students, alumni and teachers to compile a holiday dev wishlist to share with tech-challenged gift-givers!

So, whatever holiday you celebrate this year, consider some of these gifts for the developer in your life.

Rubber Duck

image Did you know that "rubber duck debugging" is a real thing? The premise is that programmers have a rubber duck nearby to debug their code by explaining the process step-by-step to the duck. Of course, you can do this with a co-worker but the advantage of having a duck is that you aren't bothering anyone in the office.

Oh, and if you want a rubber duck of your own, come out to one of our events and you may come away with free swag for yourself, or possible re-gifting.

Ergonomic or mechanical keyboard

Developers put some serious mileage on their keyboards. There is no greater satisfaction than the clickity-clack of a solid mechanical keyboard. Alternatively, an ergodynamic keyboard puts comfort first and can help with wrist pain, shoulder discomfort and carpal tunnel.

Eat, Sleep, Code mug


Whether it's for the dev in your life, or for someone you know attending one of our programs (we have free coffee and tea in the office!), the Eat, Sleep, Code mug is the perfect gift.

Raspberry Pi

If you know someone who's just getting into programming, a Raspberry Pi could be a go-to gift. The device, which teaches the basics of computer science, is a small and affordable computer that you plug into a monitor and attach a keyboard and mouse.

Light-therapy lamp

Winters can be long, and the days short. Sunlight is a hot commodity when working indoors. Light therapy lamps are intended to mimic sunlight. Typically, they're small enough to sit on the desk and don't take up much room. The lights can help improve your mood and eliminate some of the winter blues that we've all experienced at one time or another.

Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit

The fun learn-to-code all-ages resource is geared towards anyone who wants to get into coding. The kit involves building a wand, more than 70 step-by-step challenges using JavaScript and the ability to see instant effects on screen when you wave the wand. This is the gift for the Harry Potter fan who has an interest in coding in your life!

Computer glasses

Staring at a screen all day? Consider giving your eyes a bit of a break, especially if you experience blurring or eye soreness. Alternatively, there are some web apps, like f.lux, for example, that affect the tint and colouring of the computer screen.

Bonus: Tech education

Just can’t handle when your parents call you to ask why YouTube isn't working on their iPad? Solution: give the gift of digital literacy with one of our part-time programs.

Bonus: laptop stickers

Rarely will you find a naked laptop in the Lighthouse Labs classroom. Devs and staff splatter their computers with their favourite brands, companies, cartoons and programs.

Have something to add to the list? Tweet at us @lighthouse_labs!