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Best Christmas Gift You Can Give to Your Career as a Software Engineer

Posted on 
December 24, 2021
Abhinav Rawat
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About The Author!
Abhinav Rawat
Abhinav Rawat
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The skilled and experienced mastermind behind several successful product designs for upscaling the ed-tech platforms with an outcome-driven approach for skilled individuals.

This Christmas special post for software engineers will help you give yourself the gift of upskilling, personal growth, and health this holiday season! Your technical and non-technical skills, along with your habits as a software engineer, largely determine how valuable a resource you become in your career. This holiday season, give yourself a gift that’ll last a lifetime. Let’s jump right in!

If you are preparing for a tech interview, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! Also, read Amazon Coding Interview Questions, Facebook Coding Interview Questions to Nail Your Next Interview, and Google Coding Interview Questions for specific insights and guidance on Coding interview preparation.

Having trained over 9,000 software engineers, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging tech interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have been landing lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 49%. The highest ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $933,000!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies.

Want to nail your next tech interview? Sign up for our FREE Webinar.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Top Software Engineering Skills to Gift Yourself This Christmas

Here are some software engineering skills that are in high demand to help you become more valuable as a Software Engineer:

  • Java
  • Python
  • C#/.Net
  • Mean
  • Ruby
  • Object-oriented design
  • SOLID principles
  • Data Structures
  • Algorithms
  • Redux
  • Docker
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Kubernetes
  • Spark
  • React.js
  • Jenkins
  • Debugging
  • Software testing 
  • Problem-solving 
  • Logical thinking
  • Communication, both written and verbal
  • Teamwork
  • Kafka
  • Ansible

If you want to learn more about this, check out our article on Software Engineering skills

Best Software Engineering Books Your Future Self Will Thank You for

Investing in your future as a software engineer can look a lot like investing in your education, experience, and upskilling often. Books are a great way to do that. Gift yourself a book this Christmas that your career and your future self will thank you for! Here are some suggestions from our article on Best Books That Help You Land an SDE Job at FAANG+ Companies (you can check out the article for the full list):

  • Data Structures Through C in Depth by S.K. Srinivasan and Deepali Srivastava 
  • Cracking The Coding Interview by Gayle Laakmann McDowell 
  • Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems by Martin Kleppmann
  • The Pragmatic Programmer: 20th Anniversary Edition, 2nd Edition: Your Journey to Mastery by David Thomas, Andrew Hunt
  • Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
  • The C Programming Language by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie
  • Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm 
  • Clean Architecture: A Craftsman's Guide to Software Structure and Design (Robert C. Martin Series)
  • Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time by Titus Winters, Tom Manshreck, et al
  • A Common-Sense Guide to Data Structures and Algorithms, Second Edition: Level Up Your Core Programming Skills by Jay Wengrow 

Habits to Gift Your Career and Your Health this Christmas

Our habits affect our physical, mental, and emotional well-being and inevitably support or become a hurdle in our careers. Here are some healthy habits you can gift yourself this Christmas for a happier, healthier, and more prosperous future:

  • Look into and learn from the source code of excellent projects.
  • Write code as often as you can, preferably every day.
  • Write clean, scalable, and maintainable code and document well.
  • Take small breaks every hour or so and stretch.
  • Learn a new high-demand programming language
  • Exercise regularly, meditate, eat healthily, and get some sun.
  • Keep learning new things regularly.
  • Keep track of the leaders in the industry and any significant events.
  • Learn from mentors and peers and teach them as well.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Respect each opportunity and learn from it.
  • If appropriate, take up open source/side projects outside work.
  • Practice, make mistakes, learn from them, and then move on.
  • Learn effective written and verbal communication, whether it’s about tech or non-tech, occurring within or across domains or teams.
  • Use Google effectively and efficiently, don’t copy-paste.
  • Keep a career journal.

Vital Non-Technical Skills to Gift Your Future Self this Christmas

Did you know that improving non-tech skills improves how you handle technical tasks? Check out these crucial non-tech skills this Christmas that’ll help you in many areas of your life, including, but not limited to your career as a Software Engineer:

  • Verbal, written, and non-verbal communication skills
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills and a team player’s attitude
  • Ability to handle ambiguity
  • Staying solution-focused and composed during a crisis.
  • Time management skills
  • People management skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Empathy
  • A sense of humor
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills
  • Ownership and accountability 
  • Patience, trust, adaptability, and cooperation
  • Organizational skills
  • Self-learning and growth mindset
  • Adaptability and self-learning
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Accountability
  • Business acumen

Best Christmas Gifts for Software Engineers 

We can’t really end this article without sharing some items you can gift yourself and other software engineers to make their life easier! You can look into:

  • Ergonomic chair
  • Sit-stand desk
  • Blue-light filter glasses
  • A career notebook or journal
  • A whiteboard
  • Ergonomic keyboard
  • A course/book on a high-demand skill
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • A one-touch or an easy-to-make coffee machine
  • Heat sensitive/self-heating mug 
  • Geeky apparel 
  • Water bottle with hydration tracking
  • Software Engineer Christmas Ornaments

Hope you enjoyed our article. Happy holidays!

FAQs on Best Christmas Gifts for Software Engineers 

Q1. What are some good Christmas gifts for a Software Engineer?

Noise-canceling headphones, laptop accessories, an ergonomic chair, self-heating/heat-sensitive mugs, and other such items that make the life of a Software Engineer easy are some good gifts for them.

Q2. What are some skills Software Engineers should definitely have?

Communication, object-oriented programming, coding, teamwork, multitasking, attention to detail, some mathematics, and problem-solving skills are some of the skills Software Engineers should definitely have.

Ready to Nail Your Next Coding Interview?

Whether you’re a coding engineer gunning for a software developer or software engineer role, a tech lead, or you’re targeting management positions at top companies, IK offers courses specifically designed for your needs to help you with your technical interview preparation!

If you’re looking for guidance and help with getting started, sign up for our FREE webinar. As pioneers in the field of technical interview preparation, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the most challenging coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

Sign up now!

Last updated on: 
September 22, 2023

Abhinav Rawat

Product Manager @ Interview Kickstart | Ex-upGrad | BITS Pilani. Working with hiring managers from top companies like Meta, Apple, Google, Amazon etc to build structured interview process BootCamps across domains

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