The Christmas season is upon us, and everyone that I know is out trying to cross people off their gift buying list. Being an IT Director in my day job, there are always IT related items that I like to ask for every year. From extra dongles, new network testing tools, to the latest training manuals, here are gifts for IT professionals that I can recommend.
CWNA Study Guide
The new study guide for the Certified Wireless Network Administrator exam was just recently released. It was written by David Coleman and David Westcott. The book has been overhauled from the previous edition to make studying for the exam a lot easier.
I’ve got a copy of the book, and it’s big. If you have an iPad or a Kindle, you might want to pick up the digital edition, so it’s easier to carry around. The book is the essential reading for passing the exam, and learning more about managing enterprise Wi-Fi is something all IT people should aim to do. The paperback edition is $46.94.
Amazon Echo Dot
One of the vendors I use at my school (Aerohive Networks) just launched a new integration with Amazon Alexa. If you have an Echo Dot (or are using the Amazon Alexa app for your smartphone), you can monitor and interact with your Aerohive Wi-Fi network.
I am looking forward to using this every morning after Christmas to check on the status of my network as soon as I come into the building. You can grab an Amazon Echo Dot for $29.99
One of my most used hardware tools is Netool.io. With this device, you can plug it up to an ethernet port and get a lot of information about what is on the other end. You can see what IP, gateway, DNS server and subnet it’s receiving.
You can also learn all of the information about the switch you are plugged into (port, hostname description, etc.). For how tiny and affordable it is, it’s really a must-have in my opinion. It pairs with an iOS or Android app, and then it just goes to work making your life easier. You can buy Netool for $175.
Honsky Cable Pouch
Over the past few months, I’ve ended up with countless dongles. I still have a Mac with Thunderbolt 2, so I am still carrying around the ethernet and VGA adaptors. I just recently picked up an 11-inch iPad Pro, so now I am carrying around the USB-C to HDMI and USB-C to VGA adaptors. I decided that I needed a way to organize them in my bag.
When traveling, I am usually pulling them in and out of my bag for presentations, so I am always worried I am going to lose one of them. I picked up the HONSKY accessory travel pouch for $13. It has two relatively large pouches that include an inside zippered pocket and plenty of room for all of your dongles and cables.
Back in November, I reviewed the new Kindle Paperwhite for 9to5Toys.
Before I get into my Kindle Paperwhite Review, I want to give you some backstory on where my life has been headed over the past few weeks. I’ve been pondering the role technology plays in our lives. It all started when my wife and I spent a weekend away for our anniversary, and I purposely didn’t keep my phone with me for an entire day. I knew she had her cell phone in case of an emergency with our children, so I just left it at the hotel. One of the main reasons I didn’t want it with me is because it was the day of the Georgia vs. LSU college football game, and I didn’t want to know the score until it was over. For the first time in many years, I went 12+ hours without picking up a cell phone to check e-mail, respond to a text message, or visit a website.
When I type out that previous sentence, I am genuinely horrified. Technology has become so ingrained into our lives that if we don’t respond to a text message within five minutes, we get a follow-up message: “hello?”. We are so accessible that we need our phones to send an auto-response while we are driving. How did we go from “it’s awesome having a smartphone” to “WHY DIDN’T YOU RESPOND TO MY EMAIL WHILE YOU WERE DRIVING?”. I came away from that weekend knowing I needed to strike a better balance in my life with technology. By abstaining from technology for an extended period, I had realized how it affects my mood when I use it frequently.
I’ve fallen more in love with my Kinder Paperwhite every day since I purchased it. After I put the kids to bed, I make it a point to read for at least twenty minutes. I’ve found that it clears my head and helps me wind down after a long day of working and being a parent. If the IT person in your life needs a way to help detach from technology, I highly recommend the new Kindle Paperwhite. It can be purchased for $130.
If you want a book recommendation, I just recently finished Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL, and I loved it.
Tech Support Checklist Shirt
If you want a funny gift for the IT professional in your life, check out this Tech Support Checklist Shirt. It comes in all sizes and for men and women.
As an IT person, I act like I am irritated when a problem is as simple as plugging something up or turning it back on, but I secretly love it because it’s a simple problem to fix. Don’t tell anyone my secret, though.
iFixit Pro Tech Toolkit
This kit brings together all the industry-standard tools you’re likely to need when opening up a phone or laptop. It’s a great gift for anyone who likes to tinker with electronics (or has to repair them). It includes:
- 64 Bit Driver Kit
- Anti-Static Wrist Strap
- Small Suction Cup
- 3x iFixit Opening Tool
- iFixit Opening Picks x6
- Nylon Tipped Reverse Tweezers
- Angled ESD Tweezers
- Blunt ESD Tweezers
- Halberd Spudger
- Metal Spudger
- Magnetic Pad
- Tool Roll
It can be purchased for $65 on Amazon.
Gifts for IT professionals Wrap Up
Did I miss any items that are on your list? Let me know in the comments, and I will get them added. Check out more 9to5Mac gift guides below:
- Making the Grade: Teacher gift guide for 2018
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Smart Home picks – Siri and Alexa voice control, mesh Wi-Fi, NAS, more
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Audio picks and more for the music lovers in your life
- 9to5Mac Gift Guide: Apple Watch picks – Series 3 vs 4, bands, chargers, and more