2015 Gift Guides

It has become a bit of a time-honored tradition for me to do gift guides around the holidays. This year I decided instead of making yet another post, I’ll create this page and child pages that I can update each year. I have some big plans for when I (finally) redesign this site, but for now, check ’em out:

What other gift guides do you want to see? I was thinking about putting together one for cigar smokers as well as some stuff I use every day. Have an idea for a guide I could make? Leave it in the comments!

Creating a Wedding Registry

Over the weekend, Erin and I started shopping for our wedding registry. We decided on 3 stores – Macy’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We made it to the first two. We went in with no plan and were a bit overwhelmed, but it was a good experience! We have a good starting point, but I think I’d do things a little differently from the beginning.

Quick Tip: Turn off Amazon Wishlist Spoilers

While talking to my mother, whom I sent my Amazon Wishlist to for gift ideas, she told me to not check Amazon until Christmas because she bought stuff off of my list and didn’t want me to see what she got. Luckily, Amazon has thought of this, and there is a really simple way to make sure that you don’t see when people buy things off your list.

  1. Go to your Amazon Wish List.
  2. In the List Actions drop-down (towards the top of the list, on the right), click Update list profile.
  3. Check  “Don’t spoil my surprises.”
  4. Click Save.

That’s it! You can now view your list without worry of spoilers.

2014 Gift Guide for Web Developers

I recently published a new gift guide on this site- one for Remote Workers (as a matter of fact, there’s some good stuff on that list that could be on this list). I think it’s a pretty good one, so you should check it out if you haven’t already. Today I’m giving you my slightly more annual list: theGift Guide for Web People. There are some constants on the list that I’m going to list at the bottom, but I’m going to try to add mostly new stuff for this year. Check out the list after the jump.

2014 Gift Guide for the Remote Worker

Working remotely/from home is not only something I started doing this year, it’s something that’s becoming more and more popular. Big companies are allowing it, there are books published on it, and it makes a lot of business sense too. I thought in addition to my regular gift guides, I’d put something out there for all the remote workers and their family and friends.

Why Kickstarter is bad for Christmas Gifts

Don’t get me wrong. I love Kickstarter. I spend too much money there. I almost buy something everyday and have 2 projects I’m patiently awaiting the arrival of. But now that Christmas and the season of gift giving is upon us it’s important for people, especially first-time Kickstarter users, to know that the release dates are not always reliable. It’s nothing against the creators or the products. It comes down to something that people seem to forget: Kickstarter isn’t a store where you buy things. It’s a place where you show your support for projects and you get rewarded for that support.

The 2013 Gift Guide for Web People

Here’s a little secret: I love these lists. I love writing them, I love reading them, and I love buying stuff, so I love researching them. Plus, 2013 is a great year for web development and technology. Responsive Design is now in full swing as it’s pretty much standard practice to build a responsive site by default now. Great people like @wilto are pushing the standards fight forward for responsive images, there are great podcasts, and more. Shopping for web people shouldn’t be a difficult task, but I’d like to narrow it down for you. This list isn’t just going to be a list of books, or even a list of computer things. It’s going to be a list of stuff I like, and that I think other web people will also like.

Gifts for Web Developers / Geeks 2012

Thanksgiving and Black Friday officially kick off the Holiday, and subsequently the gift-giving, season. I often like to publish lists like this, that will help you shop for the web nerd (or just nerd) in your life, and 2012 is no different. With all kinds of new services, gadgets, and toys, 2012 is a great year to be a nerd! Here are some of my recommendations.

The Google Nexus Family

I recently purchased a Nexus 7 and absolutely love it. It’s small enough to use with one hand, but really great for watching videos. I use it more than my iPad (3rd generation). However, if you are looking for a bigger tablet, Google also released a Nexus 10, and a Nexus 4 smartphone to boot. These devices are great and the price points are fantastic. Plus, they are great for testing, reading, or just geeking out.

Alternatives: iPhone 5/iPad Mini, Kindle Fire

The A Book Apart Series

I cannot recommend these books enough. I have all of them, and still need to read a couple, but I’ve learned an incredible amount from them. You can pick up the whole series using the link above or pick and choose the ones you want to start with. These are a necessity for any web developer’s bookshelf.

Related: Don’t Make Me Think | Adaptive Web Design | .net magazines Top 50 Books for Web Designers

Ugmonk Premium Wrap Journal

Everyone needs a good place to keep their ideas, sketches, and random thoughts. Ugmonk (@ugmonk on Twitter) makes really fantastic things and this journal is no exception. I got one for my brother last year and his exact words were, “This is so nice I need to find something really good to use it for.”

Alternatives: Moleskine | Field Notes notebooks

.Net Magazine Subscription

This is bar-none the best web development magazine in the world. For us stateside it’s a little pricy but well worth it. You’ll get the latest news, recommended tools and techniques, interviews, and more. My favorite section is the website build-off, where 3 designers get a type of site (college, ebook, etc) to build. They then explain their decisions.

Other Formats: Kindle Version | Zinio (works on Android and iOS)


Over-Ear Headphones

The ones I link to/picture above are the V-MODA Crossfade LP Over-Ear Noise-Isolating Metal Headphones, which I picked up in August and I love them. I can’t hear anything while using them, they fit comfortably, and include a really nice carry case, as well as interchangeable wires for standard headphone jacks and amplifiers.

Alternatives: Audio-Technica ATHM50S Professional Monitor Headphones | Buying Guide

Related: A good pair of earbuds is a must too! I’ve been loyal to Skull Candy, but have been considering these by Klipsch

Messenger Bag

As a web developer I usually carry around a bunch of gadgets, my laptop, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc. so I, like most developers/designers, need a good bag to lug that stuff around. I just picked up the one above and I love it. It’s reasonably priced, durable, and there is a ton of room. This makes for a great and thoughtful gift!

Alternatives:  If you’re looking for something more high end, I’m a Fossil faithful and would recommend the Fossil Estate Messenger.

Spotify Premium (and other Entertainment)

I really can’t recommend this enough. Access to new music every week, no commercials, and mobile support to boot. This is absolutely perfect for anyone who sits at a computer all day.

Alternatives: Pandora One

Related: Taking a break once is a while is a good thing too. Netflix and Hulu+ (includes a free 2 week trial) are both really good for that.

Design Inspiration

So this one is a bit more abstract as everyone gets inspiration from different places. I saw a fantastic talk by Meagan Fisher (@owltastic) recently where she mentioned where she gets her inspiration and it lead me to buy some none-web related books to use when looking for that stroke of genius I so desperately need. Meagan recommends Posters for People: Art of the WPA. Lately I’ve been looking for inspiration through architecture, but in general, here are a couple of books I would recommend.

Gadget Accessories!

I love accessories for my gadgets. Here are some that I would recommend for varies devices.

Wrapping Up

I hope this list is helpful! If there’s anything recommendations you’d like to make or anything you think I left off, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section!