It’s just a few days till Christmas and that stocking still needs filling. If your shopping list includes someone who loves computers and programming, you are in luck! At The Academy of Code, we compiled a list of the must-haves for the aspiring coder. Use our gift guide to help find the perfect gift for the coder in your life.
Even if they aren’t a coder yet, take a look at some of these amazing gadgets. Who knows? Maybe this Christmas is the perfect opportunity to introduce a someone to the endless opportunities of coding.
All gifts are between €40 and €350, suitable for all ages and coding experience levels.
From all of us at The Academy, have a Merry Christmas.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Robot - €349.99
Combine the timeless appeal of LEGO with cutting edge robotics and you have a fun and educational toy that can walk, talk, shoot weapons, grip objects and just about anything you can imagine. Programming the robot is incredible easy and offers the builder immediate gratification as they can see they creation up and running in a matter of minutes. The software is available for both Windows and Mac and works like a visual diagramming tool. While on the pricey end of the scale, Mindstorms has an incredible reputation for sparking imaginative play. This set is best suited to those aged 10 and older.
For its size, the micro:bit is an incredible educational tool that will let teachers, parents and students have fun with code to create games, wearable tech and other devices. Its small size and built-in sensors make it quick to code and entertaining to use.
Raspberry Pi - €35 - €55 (depending on set)
(take time to look through the sets to figure out what ‘extras’ you need. We suggest this set, as it includes most the cables you will need and a 3inch monitor to display the projects)
The original Raspberry Pi was a work of wonder: For about €35-55, you get a caseless computer with HDMI and analogue composite video output. Now in its third major iteration, the Raspberry Pi 3 is faster, more flexible and set to be more popular than ever.
As a cheap, multi-purpose computing platform, the Raspberry Pi has revolutionised the coding-enthusiast industry. This is great for giving kids their own device which they can use for programming, electronics projects and more! Note that you’ll need a tv/monitor and keyboard.
That said, a little setup and a lot of other parts are required to get it up and running. There is a wealth of resources online to help the aspiring coder get their Pi up and running, regardless of level. We recommend this for ages 14+ and for those with some experience in coding already.
Kano DIY Computer Kit - around €100
Kano‘s grand claim is that it lets kids build their own computer. What that boils down to is plugging in a series of pre-fabricated pieces, following a storybook which offers some context for what they’re doing. Advanced electronics this is not; think of it as a primer to get kids as young as six interested in how hardware works. Hardware is only half of the story. Once you've built the "laptop," you'll learn how to make games like Snake and Pong, manipulate Minecraft using code, and program your own music. The guide is child-friendly and easy to follow.