It’s pretty hard.
We’ve read 39 articles with the ideas for gifts for software engineers and, unfortunately, very few of them are good. Most of the stuff falls into “cute but useless” category.
- Gadgets: you never know what exactly they need. For example, there’s a million different types of mechanical keyboards, so unless you know for sure which one they want it’s going to be hard to guess.
- Books or subscriptions are very similar, likely will just be a waste of money.
- T-shirts, stickers, etc. usually has some silly phrase on it that makes them embarrassing to wear.
We believe the best gift is a unique and memorable experience.
On this site you’ll find digital puzzles. It’s a fun and challenging chain of problems to solve. For example, decrypting a message, cracking a password and beating AI on a remote server.
The challenges are hard but not too hard—it’s a lot of fun to solve them.
However, Hacker Gifts puzzle is not for everyone. People who do coding only at work and don’t truly love it as a craft, won’t enjoy the puzzle either. It’s also probably too easy (but still entertaining) for professional security researchers who win Capture the Flag competitions.
How it works
Head out to the Space Invaders puzzle page, specify their name (or nickname) that will appear on the card. Type in a secret message that’s going to be revealed to them after they solved all challenges.
After you place an order, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with a link to the puzzle image. Go to that page and download the puzzle. You can print it or send as-is via e-mail or any messaging app.
If you decide to send it anonymously, don’t make it look like a recruitment attempt or spam. Experienced software engineers get a lot of emails from recruiters and some might think it’s one of them.
That image is a puzzle that will lead them to another puzzle, and so on and so forth. After solving the last puzzle the hacker will see the secret message you specified when placing the order.
We also provide a list of hints in case they get stuck.