If you’re not especially into tech and computers, it can seem like a whole different world. And computer science majors can be a little unfathomable. I say this with the greatest affection as I married one! So, if you’re struggling to buy a gift for the computer major in your life, we’ve got a great list of suggestions for you. My top pick is this Mechanical 3D Wooden Puzzle. It’s a really cool toy with no tech involved at all. It’s something that’s interesting for anyone with a logical mind, but it also gives them something to do away from their screens.
Related post: Best Build Your Own Robot Kits for Adults in 2021
- Best Gifts for Computer Science Majors in 2021
- Best Overall – Mechanical 3D Wooden Puzzle
- Best Robotics Kit – Freenove Hexapod Robot Kit
- Budget Option – Infinity Cube Fidget Toy
- Best Coding Keyboard – Redragon Backlit Wired Mechanical Keyboard
- Best for Gamers – Razer Naga Trinity Gaming Mouse
- Best Drone – Ryze Tech Tello
- Best Book for Those Who Like to Cook – Cooking for Geeks
- Best for People Who Design Mobile Apps – Mobile UI/UX Design Notebook
- Best for Eye Protection – Blue Light Blocking Glasses
- Best Intro to Ruby Book – Mazes for Programmers
- Best for Adults – Adult Achievement Stickers
- Best for Creative Geeks – MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
- Best for People Who Give Free Tech Support – Novelty Mug
- What to Consider When Buying a Gift for Computer Science Majors
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Gifts for Computer Science Majors in 2021
Best Overall – Mechanical 3D Wooden Puzzle
This Mechanical 3D Wooden Puzzle is a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of their time staring at a computer screen. It’s an opportunity to work with your hands to make something pleasing that you can play with once it’s complete.
The completed wooden puzzle is a hand-cranked marble run. Which is really enjoyable to watch and use.
This is an excellent gift for computer science majors because it’s an interesting mechanical device that will appeal to anyone who likes to know how things work. It’s well made and pleasing to put together.
If your computer major is especially interested in hardware, then this is likely to appeal even more. This is an opportunity to use their hands to build something a little different. While there is no tech involved, this project has enough similarity to many computer and coding based projects that it should be appealing while still offering something different.
Best Robotics Kit – Freenove Hexapod Robot Kit
The Freenove Hexapod Robot Kit is a really great little robot kit. It’s also something a little different and a little more technical than many other robot kits you can find.
The robot itself is a six-legged creation that has two different modes of walking. Putting it together offers an interesting challenge. The only thing to be aware of is that this kit does not come with batteries or a charger. So, they will need to be sourced separately. They are slightly specialized, so it’s best to use the recommended ones.
Once the robot is put together, it can be controlled in a variety of ways. There is a remote control included, or you can use an android phone or computer. This gives lots of opportunities to play with code to make it do all sorts of cool things.
Budget Option – Infinity Cube Fidget Toy
The Infinity Cube Fidget Toy is a great option if the computer major in your life is a fidgeter. Many of the computer programmers that I know have a tendency to pick up and play with anything they can find. The harder they’re thinking, the faster they fidget. This is why this is a really lovely gift.
This is the kind of fidget toy that will quickly become a favorite. It’s well made and durable and can be manipulated in many different ways. This is ideal for turning over in your hands while you’re staring at lines of code on a computer screen.
Best Coding Keyboard – Redragon Backlit Wired Mechanical Keyboard
This Redragon Backlit Wired Mechanical Keyboard is an excellent option for any computer science majors who don’t have a nice keyboard yet. When you spend a lot of time using a computer, the quality of the keyboard can make a world of difference.
This keyboard has mechanical switches. This offers a pleasing tactile experience, which makes typing more pleasant. These ones are brown switches. That means they are reasonably fast but are also a quieter switch. In keyboard terms, that makes them a middle man option. They are suitable for both gaming and typing.
The keyboard also has light-up LED backlights, which can be controlled and programmed from the computer, which is a nice little extra. But what this keyboard really offers is a great user experience. If you are buying this for someone who is currently using a standard keyboard, they will immediately notice the improvement.
Best for Gamers – Razer Naga Trinity Gaming Mouse
The Razer Naga Trinity Gaming Mouse is a really high-quality mouse. It has mechanical switches and high-quality parts. So using it is an absolute pleasure.
With this mouse, you can choose which of the side pieces you want to use. This gives the user either 2, 7, or 12 buttons on the side of their mouse. They can program these buttons to be shortcuts for any keys or combination of keys they want. For anyone who is into gaming, this is a great gift.
The only thing to be aware of is that this mouse is only in a right-handed configuration. So, if your computer science major is a lefty, you’ll do better to keep looking for another option.
Best Drone – Ryze Tech Tello
It has two antennas, so it can stream video really well. Even if you don’t know how to fly the drone, it has EZshot settings, which allow you to capture excellent videos no matter your skill level.
The drone is VR compatible, programmable, and quite simply fun to fly. This is a great gift for anyone, but it should be right up the alley of someone who has chosen to major in computer science.
Best Book for Those Who Like to Cook – Cooking for Geeks
Cooking for Geeks is a fascinating book. It’s a cookbook with a difference. While it does contain recipes, it also includes explanations of the science behind why these recipes produce the flavors they do.
This is a great gift for anyone who likes food and wants to know how to get the most flavor possible out of their food. It will make you look at cooking in a completely different way.
Best for People Who Design Mobile Apps – Mobile UI/UX Design Notebook
If your computer science major spends time developing mobile apps, then this Mobile UI/UX Design Notebook is an ideal gift.
Each page contains 6 mobile phone templates. Within the templates, there is a grid to make planning the layout easy. This is the perfect pad on which to tinker and plan their next incredible creation.
Best for Eye Protection – Blue Light Blocking Glasses
If you spend a lot of time staring at computer screens, it can lead to eye strain. It can also cause sleep disruption and headaches. Some of this is due to the amount of blue light that monitors emit. These Blue Light Blocking Glasses screen that light out.
So if you’re looking for a gift to boost your computer science major’s wellness, then this is a good option. They come in a range of designs, but most are fairly ‘retro geek’ in design. Which is another way of saying that they look a little like Clark Kent’s glasses, which for the right people, is definitely a plus.
Best Intro to Ruby Book – Mazes for Programmers
A lot of people get into coding because it’s a fascinating way to use simple instructions to generate something complex. Mazes are a great example of this. Mazes for Programmers is a book that delves into the world of mazes and will take a lot of computer science majors back to the joy they first found in coding.
The book introduces 12 key algorithms that allow you to generate mazes. The algorithms are in Ruby. However, because the ideas behind all the algorithms are well explained in the book, it’s easy to convert them into any other language. It’s a good introduction to Ruby for anyone who is new to the language.
Best for Adults – Adult Achievement Stickers
Adult Achievement Stickers are a great light-hearted gift. If your computer science major needs a bit of a pick me up, this is a lovely gift idea. They celebrate all of the things that you need to get done as part of being an adult but don’t normally get any recognition for.
So if you know someone who would appreciate a sticker for doing the dishes, this is a fun little gift. After all, who doesn’t like stickers – they’re not just for kids.
Best for Creative Geeks – MYNT3D Super 3D Pen
The MYNT3D Super 3D Pen is a great option for any computer majors who also like to flex their creative muscles every now and then. This is a great tool for creating cool 3D models.
This kit comes with some sample ABS. However, it might be worth getting some PLA filament as well, This is the less smelly option, and it is likely to be of more use. You just need standard 1.75mm filament, which is easy to get hold of.
This 3D pen can be used to create all sorts of cool things and is sure to appeal to many people. It does help if you’re good at drawing if you really want to get the most out of it. This is an easy to use option that is a pretty solid alternative to a 3D printer.
Best for People Who Give Free Tech Support – Novelty Mug
As soon as anyone in a family begins to show some interest in computers, they inevitably become the person everyone goes to for tech support. If this sounds familiar, then why not give you beloved tech support this Novelty Mug.
The slogan on the mug was made famous by a cult British TV show called the IT crowd. However, it is also the cliche advice given to anyone when they have a computer problem. Any computer science major will recognize the quote and will likely find it amusing. Besides, when you’re first starting to live away from home, you can never have too many mugs.
What to Consider When Buying a Gift for Computer Science Majors
Computer Related or Not?
When you’re buying a gift for someone who has such a clear preference, it can be tempting to choose gifts that align with this. However, you also don’t want to only ever give them gifts related to computing. So, on this list, there is a selection of options. Some are directly related to computing but may be things you might not have considered. There are also some options that should appeal to the kinds of people who tend to pursue computer science majors but aren’t directly related to computing.
Fun vs Practical
When choosing a gift, you often have one big decision to make. Should it be something fun or something practical? Which you go for will likely be based on a combination of what you know about the person and what they want.
Practical gifts tend to be more expensive, but they will be used more. More light-hearted gifts are often cheaper but might not see as much use or last as long. We’ve tried to give you a range of options that fall on this spectrum and should also see a good amount of use.
There is nothing worse than buying a gift and finding that they already have one. When it comes to some of the more expensive items on this list, like the Redragon Backlit Wired Mechanical Keyboard or the Razer Naga Trinity Gaming Mouse, it’s worth checking if your computer science major is happy with their current set up or not.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best gift for computer science majors?
Gifts are such an individual thing that there is no one perfect option that will work. Speaking as someone who married a computer scientist, I can tell you they do tend to have some interests in common. They tend to like things involving logic and science, and things that many people might consider nerdy. They’re interests are certainly not limited to computers, but many of them do like to tinker with computer adjacent projects, especially things that involve making things.
How do you pick the perfect gift?
The perfect gift often comes from knowing someone well. If you pay attention to what they say and do, you’ll soon realize that they most likely have a lot of unconscious habits that can point you towards something that would enrich their lives. For instance, if they have a habit of fidgeting while they are coding them, they might appreciate something like the Infinity Cube Fidget Toy. It will give their hands something to do while they’re focused on programming.
When it comes to finding the perfect gift, a good idea is to look at a lot of different gift ideas. Then comes back to them a few days later. If you are still drawn to the same option, then it’s probably a good idea. Sometimes gifts look like a good idea at first, but the more you think about them, the less they fit. This is why it’s a good idea to take some time over your choice rather than rushing into anything.
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Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API