Holiday Gift Guide for On-Call Engineers

by Clay Smith December 12, 2013 | 3 min read

On-call gift guide

Don’t know what to give your on-call colleague or family member for the holidays? Look no further. Get them something they will actually use. Create an on-call survival bag with these 5 items and they’ll have everything they need to rescue the day.

#1 Extra laptop and phone chargers

Most IT infrastructures have backups for their backups to maintain high uptime. The same is needed for IT equipment. If they lose their charger, give them an extra one to charge them through every incident.

#2 MiFi Mobile Hotspot

Just because they’re on-call doesn’t mean they want to be chained to their desk. A personal hotspot is almost always faster than free coffee shop and airport wifi as well. Add a MiFi so they’ll always be connected to the internet.

#3 Breath mints

This is a bit of a touchy subject, but when help is needed, it’s needed. Keep it fresh and their deskmates will thank you.

#4 Headache remedy

On-call can be such a headache in of itself, but having a migraine on top of it makes things 100x worse. Help them out with an NSAID or tea to alleviate on-call headaches.

#5 Mobile smartphone

We know from our mobile app analytics that some unlucky customers open the PagerDuty app more than 25 times in a normal workday. Upgrade them to the latest and greatest Android or iOS device so they can quickly be alerted via mobile push when something goes wrong using PagerDuty mobile incident management app.

And finally the bag to put all these great items in. Leather, jersey, messenger or backpack this is where you can really customize the gift to match their personality.

Happy Holidays from PagerDuty


If you’re feeling extra generous this season, here are some honorable mentions by category:

EQUIPMENT: A laptop to go with the charger is a nice touch. A big external monitor for the laptop is also appreciated for more screen real estate.

FOOD: We recommend non-perishables items for the bag. At PagerDuty, we stock our kitchens with beef jerky, candy, chips, trail mix, and energy bars. Healthier foods can help stimulate brain function. But giving them a guilty pleasure during a stressful time doesn’t hurt either.

DRINK: An energy boost is a nice to have when if you’re working on a high severity incident. Energy drinks deliver boost of focus to get them through their incidents.

Whether they were naughty or nice this year, give your on-call friends and family some holiday cheer with an on-call survival bag. And if you are an on-call engineer as well, go ahead and treat yourself this holiday season.