The pandemic accelerated a shift toward digitization, enabling more people and processes to move online. As organizations move forward with new digital initiatives, improving Developer Experience (DX) can unlock opportunities to enhance security, deliver quality products, increase engineering productivity, and increase engagement.
We have all heard and worked for customer experience and employee experience, but DX has become an essential aspect in this digital era. Great DX improves the performance of developers and empowers them to deliver on digital transformation promises with sustainability. Typically, developers take care of deployments, testing, security implementations, infrastructure upgrades, integrations, and maintenance. And they face many challenges, including bottlenecks from business processes.
For a successful digital strategy, prioritizing developer experience should be on your agenda.
How Does Prioritizing DX Help Your Organization?
Talent Attraction & Retention
Developer roles have gone mainstream in every company, which has changed work culture expectations for them. As a result, developers are now looking for companies where they can thrive, upskill, and build meaningful things without being lost in traditional corporate culture.
Moreover, attracting talent is not enough. If your organization does not keep up with market trends and provides enough opportunities for developers to grow, they will leave. The continuous evolution of DX is a must for your organization to attract and retain talent.
Productivity is no longer associated with work hours. Great DX can positively impact developers’ productivity, enabling them to deliver better products faster.
DX has proven to be a high ROI investment. It saves costs on cumbersome developers’ tasks and minimizes the need for manual maintenance, monitoring, and remediations.
DX empowers developers with tools and technologies that help them maintain the quality of the software to a certain standard and make continuous improvements. With a positive feedback loop, developers can consistently deliver quality products that further reduce your IT costs.
Security & Compliances
Security and compliance measurements should be integrated with developers’ processes to ensure no hidden vulnerabilities and business risks. A good DX integrates security testing and compliance monitoring with regular developers’ tasks without making them seem a burden.
Essential Elements of DX
"It doesn’t matter how good your engineering team is if they are not given something worthwhile to build." - Marty Cagan
To improve developer experience, organizations need to understand developers’ needs and solve their challenges in getting things done. The more empowered the developers are, the more distinctive your DX is.
Platform, Infrastructure, and Tools
Developers require access to various technology platforms and tools to enhance their productivity. Organizations should make it easier for developers to focus on delivering value from readily consumable infrastructure to easily integrated productivity tools.
Psychological safety allows developers to share ideas, raise concerns, and expose defects without fear of reprisals or humiliation. Making mistakes is integral to learning. Developers need to work in an environment that accepts mistakes and encourages them. Psychological safety enables developers to take risks and think of innovative ways to deliver value.
developers want to provide value through the software they build. Organizations should help developers solve customer problems and be value-focused instead of feature-focused by providing the necessary training and access to product managers.
Security and Operations are important aspects of a product lifecycle. Organizations should encourage and support their developers’ DevOps and Security tools requirements to ensure these are built-in. An effective Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline is crucial to improving developer experience because it streamlines the software development lifecycle and enhances developers’ daily activities.
Organizations should implement comprehensive asset access, tracking, and management so that their developers can focus more on building great products rather than wasting time figuring out and fixing software updates, integrations, and management.
How to Adopt DX and Improve It?
Treat It Like User Experience
The way organizations focus on end-user experience, they should focus on developer experience too. Great DX will automatically translate into greater UX.
Organizations should promote independent thinking, continuous development, and freedom to deploy the best of open-source and commercial software while having guardrails to ensure security standards are followed.
Impact & Reward
Organizations should have a way to measure the impact of developers’ work and reward them accordingly, along with continuous improvement in DX.
Redefine The Culture
DX has been evolving positively in recent years, and organizations should take the extra step to instill a culture of innovative engineering and DevOps.
Deep technology penetration has put developers in a central role in scaling the business and staying relevant. For many organizations, DX might seem intimidating and have investment overhead, but it is worth it in the long term as it positively impacts IT operations. Organizations should keep a close watch on how the DX is evolving and keep up with it to attract, retain, and empower talent in the company.