Welcome to The Modern Coder’s 2022 holiday gift guide!

I have beef with these “gifts for programmers” lists - they’re horribly cliché. Binary code socks, circuit board keychains - who actually wants that stuff.

Presented below are high-quality gifts that programmers actually want. I’ve either used these items personally, recommended them to others, or have friends who love them. Without further ado…

Non-cliché gifts for programmers, software engineers, and coders under $150

Unlike the USB power strip I recommended in my under $50 guide, this one adds another USB-C port, 3 standard outlets on the back, and doubles the max charging wattage to 67W. This makes this station a good choice for a desk or living room.

If you’re looking for more power and faster charging, I’d recommend this 100W one for about $100.

Kindle Paperwhite

I don’t know if we as a society collectively forgot about e-readers, but it’s time for them to make a comeback. You can’t beat an e-reader for convienience, and many libraries allow you to borrow e-books which easily sync with Kindle. 8gb of storage is all you need. Plus this Kindle is less than $100 for Black Friday - so if this sounds like a good gift, you might want to grab it now.

I personally use a Kindle Oasis which is slightly more expensive with an aluminum case and glass screen instead of plastic. Aside from that, this Kindle Paperwhite is virtually the same under the hood for a much better price.


This smart mug gives you the ability to set exact liquid temperature, and has a smaller, sleeker footprint than a hotplate-style coffee warmer. You’re locked into using their propietary mug, but if your gift recipient is passionate about technology and coffee/tea, this might be the perfect gift.

Of course, you could pick up a pretty decent hotplate-style coffee warmer that works with any mug for about $25.

Add ambiance to any desk. This is the lightstip I have personally used for about a year, and I love it. If your gift recipient doesn’t already have any smartlight technology, Philips Hue is a solid bet. Plus this lightstrip integrates with Apple Homekit and Google Home, so compatability with other smart technology will be seamless.

Some of the links above are affiliate links which means, at no extra cost to you, I will make a small commission if you click them and make a qualifying purchase. Thanks for checking out my guide!