Christmas is fast approaching, but unsure of what to buy for a loved one or to treat yourself with? We’ve polled the Seldon team to list the topic gifts for techies this year:
1. A guaranteed fun day out
Booking an experience to enjoy with someone is always a great choice during the holidays, and an escape room is fantastic for a data scientist who is analytical and enjoys solving problems. It’s also a great team activity, encouraging a team to work together and think outside the box. Here’s a list of the top 10 escape rooms worldwide, but they can be found in any major city. Pictured above is the Crystal Maze escape room experience in London.
2. Something to keep you hydrated
With so many of us trying to turn over a new health leaf after the festive period, hydration is an easy one to tick off! Having a large waterbottle at your desk will encourage you to drink more water, more frequently as well as ensuring you can hit any targets you set yourself. We recommend the Hydrojug, from £8.49.
3. Something to provide the essential soundtrack
Whether you’re trying to get some peace on the morning commute, or need the focus when you’ve got a couple hours of coding to do, a proper pair of noise cancelling headphones can make the world of difference. We recommend either the Airpods Pro 2nd Gen (https://www.apple.com/uk/airpods-pro/) for an in-ear option (£249) and the Sony XM5 for an over-ear alternative (circa £300).
4. Something to keep the caffeine coming
With so many of us working from home or in hybrid working, making sure your home is stocked with the appropriate amount of high-quality caffeine to keep you powering through those January projects. A coffee subscription is a great way to not have to worry about running out, and sustainable options like Pact coffee mean you can be sure your beans are responsibly source. Bags start at just £7.95.
5. Something to touch up those morning Zoom calls
As we battle with the January blues and the tyranny of ‘camera on’ meetings, the only way to truly elevate your Zoom call look is with better lighting. USB lights like the ‘Logitech Litra Glow’ flatters the complexion and ups the production value, a necessity if delivering a conference presentation or hosting a webinar. Circa £57.
6. Something to boost your bookshelf game
The Guardian Shelf Improvement subscription is the book gift that keeps on giving. Each month the lucky recipient will receive a book in the post, handpicked by the Guardian Bookshop’s expert team. Choose from three- and six-month subscriptions in fiction, current affairs, poetry and popular science. The science subscription is in particular a favorite in our data science team! Starts at £45 a month.
7. Something to set the perfect ambience
The Moodo tech bar can simultaneously purify the air and act as a diffuser, allowing you to create bespoke aromas all from an app on your phone. Perfect for those who aren’t keen on the hassle of candles but want a great smelling home or office. Starter kit from £169.
8. Something to ‘smart’en up your home
Philips smart bulbs were top of the list for a lot of the Seldon team this year. Use them indoor or outdoor, have them sync with any music you’re playing, and automate them with other smart devices in your house. Control them with a remote or your voice, it’s another way of making your life a bit easier.
9. A cliché but a classic
Walk into any tech office and you’re normally hit with a wall of slogan tees. It may be a cliché but our team agreed a good tee is a safe bet for the techy in your life. We definitely had a few in the Seldon secret santa! Hit up Etsy or Redbubble for a range of favorites.
10. Give a gift that does good
Christmas is a time for exchanging gifts, but also a time for charity. There are some fantastic schemes where you can pledge on behalf of loved ones, such as the Christmas dinner parcel from Refuge that provides a Christmas meal for women and children escaping domestic violence. You can find some life changing donations, such as WaterAid’s ‘Bog Builder’ that can build a family toilet for £54 to help tackle water access crises amongst many more at the Good Gifts directory. Lastly, if you want to donate on behalf of the data scientist in your life, there are plenty of charities connected to tech. Our favorite is Girls Who Code, and donating to them is a great way to help bring more girls, young women, and non-binary individuals into computer science.