Developers are vital assets for IT companies, as often they are behind the product, coding away solutions that make life better. But their work can only shine when their experience is healthy and constructive. Good DX or developer experience benefits include increased developer productivity, job satisfaction, and innovation.
More and more companies are focusing on DX. There are two sides to this coin: internal DX, which concerns your development teams, and external DX, which concerns the developers who happen to be your end-users. The first one refers to a developer’s experience working on a project or overall experience in an organization. The easier it is for developers to do common tasks like deploying code or making changes, the better experience they have. Better experience results in better performance, which is what organizations want. The second is all about how easy it is to discover, understand and use your product.
What Makes a Bad Developer Experience?
These are the factors that can result in poor DX. Some factors spring from within the organization, while others are external. Let’s discuss both:
3 Main Causes of Poor Internal DX
👎 Poor communication and lack of collaboration
The most common threat to an optimal DX is the team's lack of communication and collaboration. It can get pretty frustrating for developers when requirements are unclear or they must follow lengthy procedures for minor changes.
👎 Inadequate technology
Software development tools that increase productivity and simplify tasks are necessary for developers. If an organization doesn’t invest in tools to empower its developers, it limits their ability to do their job and do it well.
👎 Lack of recognition
If the developers don’t receive the support and recognition they deserve, their morale goes down. That negatively impacts their experience and, subsequently, their productivity.
3 Main Causes of Poor End-Users DX
👎 Poor documentation and support from third parties
When working for third parties, if the developers don’t get adequate documentation and support, they simply can’t do their work at their best. There will be unnecessary bottlenecks and delays.
👎 Security vulnerabilities
Too many security weaknesses, from poor security policy to outdated software, can expose code and infrastructure to attackers.
👎 Legal and regulatory compliance
Legal compliance and regulations can directly impact DX. Developers may have to adapt to changing compliance standards. They may be liable for flaws in critical aspects of applications like user or data security.
Why Should You Focus on Improving your DX?
You’ll see that addressing the internal and external threats to DX results in the realization of many benefits, internally and externally.
Main Benefits of a Good Internal DX
🎯 Improved productivity and efficiency
Good DX automatically translates into higher productivity. Their work becomes efficient with better communication, clarity, and the right tools.
🎯 Enhanced creativity and innovation
With positive experiences, they’re not bogged down with problems. They’re free to come up with innovative ideas and find creative solutions.
🎯 Increased job satisfaction and retention
Developers’ overall job satisfaction increases, which increases their likelihood of staying.
Main Benefits of a Good End-Users DX
🎯 Better customer experience and satisfaction
If developers are happy, they work better. If they work better, they produce better products. And those products result in customer satisfaction, and they keep returning for more.
🎯 Competitive advantage in the market
With positive DX, developers grow with the company. As they become better developers, they give the company an edge over the competitors, especially in a tight talent market.
🎯 Stronger brand reputation
With fewer hurdles, developers deliver continuous success with projects. That creates a strong brand name for the company in the industry.
Strategies for Improving Developer Experience
To achieve those internal and external benefits of DX and also address the threats, here are the recommended strategies:
How to Improve your Internal Developer Experience
✅ Foster a culture of collaboration
Encourage team collaboration among developers and other team members with the help of workshops and easy-to-use communication tools. Create dynamic teams with varying levels of expertise.
✅ Invest in tools and resources
Find the right tools and resources for your developers that help them automate menial and repetitive tasks.
✅ Recognize and reward success
Reward effort whenever you can. It can be a monetary reward, especially for bigger projects. However, even a personalized email can show gratitude for their contributions.
How to Make your End-Users DX Perfect
✅ Prioritizing documentation and support
Develop policies to ensure any external third parties provide proper documentation and support for the developers. At the same time, make it easier for those parties to submit their requirements.
✅ Invest in security and compliance measures
Avoid expensive security and compliance blunders by educating developers on security and regulatory requirements.
✅ Developer community engagement
Actively engage with the developer community to learn about the community's concerns. Host or attend DX seminars and workshops. Share what you’ve implemented in your teams with others.
Developer experience benefits aren’t just limited to the developers but are also for the company and the industry. By addressing internal and external threats to DX and implementing the right strategies, companies can create a productive, collaborative, and innovative work environment for their developers.
One of the key ways to empower developers and improve their experience is to invest in the right tools. GitHub is a right of passage for every developer. Tools that help them get the most out of it can resolve issues and increase productivity.
Mergify is one such tool that makes it easier for developers to send pull requests and automate workflow. It makes continuous integration an easy objective. Sign up for Mergify for free to see for yourself!