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Gifts for the beginning developer

Whether you've just started writing your first lines of code or you've just moved over to the Mac/iPhone platform as a developer, this guide is sure to please.

Books
Cocoa Programming in Mac OS X ($31.49 on Amazon)
There are really two excellent books that should be on every Mac developer's bookshelf. First is a book by the magnificent Aaron Hillegass. Aaron not only teaches at the Big Nerd Ranch, but he also wrote a Cocoa (Objective-C) programming book that some would consider to be the Bible of Cocoa development; he has also been programming for over 18 years. His book, Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X is an excellent place to start for anyone looking to develop on the Mac; he covers topics from the history of Cocoa, to classes, to creating custom views -- it truly is all there.

iPhone Developer's Cookbook ($26.39 on Amazon)
Written by former TUAW Blogger, Erica Sadun, this book helps anyone with previous Cocoa programming experience begin to program on the iPhone. This isn't the standard programming book in which the author tries to teach you something through instruction. Rather, Erica has designed this book so the reader can learn through examples. If you have been waiting to jump on the theoretical iPhone application bandwagon, then this book can definitely help you master iPhone development.


Hardware
It doesn't take a developer to want Santa to bring hardware, but most of the time being a developer means you need certain hardware. One such piece of hardware is external hard drives. Who couldn't use a little extra storage now and then? I personally recommend the Western Digital MyBook hard drives for their cost and storage options.

Always being able to view your code is a must, therefore most developer's like to code on a huge display. There's truly nothing bigger than the Apple 30" Cinema Display; however, if you're pressed for money, you can find Dell monitors with bigger screens for a lot less dough.



Apple Developer Memberships
If you are not already a member of the Apple Developer Program, then you really should consider it. While it can be a little expensive, the experience that you can get out of it might just be worth the cost. They offer memberships for online, students, select, and premier.

The online and student memberships are basically the same, with the exception of the price. The online version is free and offers limited access to Apple's developer tools. The student membership costs $99 and includes a hardware discount.

The select membership gives you a ton of resources including: joining in Apple's software seeding program (meaning you'll get a copy of Apple's pre-release software like Snow Leopard), code-level technical support, coding head starts, ADC videos on iTunes, and the opportunity to attend the compatibility labs. However, the select membership costs $499 (US) per year.


Stocking Stuffers That Programmers Will Love.
  • If you've been looking for geeky clothing, then look no further than the wonderfully designed T-Shirts and other clothing from ThinkGeek.
  • It's no secret that programmers (and geeks alike) love caffeine, therefore most programmers would love to just have a gift card or bag of coffee from Starbucks or other coffee company. Also, a pack of Mountain Dew might also work just as well.
  • Just because we're programmers doesn't mean that we can't rock out ... just like anyone else, we would gladly accept iTunes Gift Cards.

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