As always, when the year begins to come to a close, I think back on the year we are about to leave behind – the events, challenges, fun, and people that have made this year so great. It’s a great feeling. But if you’re like me, you don’t get too far into the festive seasonal holidays before your fingers start to itch to be at the keyboard. With a nice egg nog in hand, it’s easy to get inspired to pick up a forgotten or sidelined project, or start something totally new. Maybe it’s an excuse to try out that new tech you asked Santa for, or test out how it feels to hammer out some funky fun code in a fresh brand new dressing gown/bath robe. We have all been there… right? TMI? 😉

Looking for the inspiration? Look no further. Step right this way as here for you (for the third year now) is the popular DevNet Gift Guide. This year with a twist – in addition to gifts, we’ve included some project ideas contributed by DevNet’s Developer Advocates. Do you know someone who would like a project or gift idea? Why not pass this blog along in a tweet.

Fun Holiday Project Ideas

Python Coding for Minecraft, Learn to Program with Minecraft is a fun, interactive introduction to programming in Python that will teach you how to customize Minecraft Pi – a free version of the popular game that runs on the tiny Raspberry Pi computer.

Advent of Code  – Advent of Code is an Advent calendar of small programming puzzles for a variety of skill sets and skill levels that can be solved in any programming language you like. People use them as a speed contest, interview prep, company training, university coursework, practice problems, or to challenge each other. You don’t need a computer science background to participate – just a little programming knowledge and some problem solving skills will get you pretty far. Nor do you need a fancy computer; every problem has a solution that completes in at most 15 seconds on ten-year-old hardware.

Wonder Workshop Dash – A cute robot where you can learn how to program. Ages 6+.  Connect with the Dash coding apps to teach your robot to do activities, such as dancing, moving directions, etc. You can also teach it to respond to voice commands.

Knit your own Dr. Who Scarf –  Fun fact: The original Dr Who scarf only lasted a few episodes, then was altered, replaced, and subtly changed as the show went on. There were stunt scarves for stand-ins!

Using Your YubiKey with Google and GitHub. Follow these easy instructions and you’ll be protected with the simplicity of YubiKey two-factor authentication in no time!

Cool Gift Ideas

Oura Ring – What’s the big deal with sleep? When you sleep better, you’re more ready to perform. Oura will help you do both.

The Synth-A-Slider is a monophonic digital synth with an open-source firmware, as well as a four-fader class-compliant midi controller. Sliders control FM Intensity, LFO, Pitch, and a digital Low-Pass Filter! Throw heavy bass to put under your next skratch beat!  Grab one and start making some noise today!

PO-33 K.O! micro sampler with 40 second sample memory and built-in recording microphone

Throughout 2018 we’ve added a ton of new content on DevNet – new learning labs, videos, sandboxes, Code Exchange, and Ecosystem Exchange.

If you haven’t already done it, please join our community. Get your free DevNet account for access to all these resources, plus all the fun and professional growth that goes along with learning new skills and putting them to good use.

Happy Holidays to all in the DevNet Community!  Cheers!


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Stuart Clark

Senior Developer Advocate Of Community, AWS