Why Is the Developer Experience Important?

Why Is the Developer Experience Important?

Hugo Escafit

The developer experience (DX) has come into focus as an increasingly important aspect of the development process. The course developers must take to deliver new features and functionality consistently can be winding—confusingly so. As processes expand to accommodate business needs, the developer experience grows more and more complex. If this situation is left to work itself out, DX can quickly sour, plunging developers into a veritable world of hurt. Who really wants to work with a litany of poorly integrated systems and processes with no rhyme or reason? DX doesn’t need to be this way, though.

From Thoughtworks

With consistent guidance and planning, DX can be great. Developers can keep their cool and their focus, devoting time and energy to their tasks instead of going hand to hand with an unruly hodgepodge of tools, techniques, and policies that simply are not serving them.

What makes DX great? 😍

Great DX stems from quality tooling, sensible policies, and simplified collaboration between team members. Each of these factors benefits from a unique set of optimizations and they collectively make it easier for developers to get more done in less time, with minimal frustration along the way.

Choosing and using the right tools 🔧

Tools that are tailored to developers' needs are now all the rage as these allow for productivity improvements that were previously inconceivable and, hence, unexplored. The experience developers have with a tool or service has now become a much more prominent motivator for it to be adopted by a given team. The best tools leverage automation and abstraction of complex details to offer devs simpler pathways from point "A" in their projects to point "B."

Providing the right policies 🙅‍♂️

Solid developer experience policies are borne of inquisitive outreach to—you guessed it—developers. Asking about needs, interests, and pain points can shed enough light on the plight of your dev team's daily obligations to guide you through your planning efforts.

With this information in hand, creating a compelling DX for your team should be reasonably simple, and aligning everything from tools to your physical workspace to match your objectives should be fairly straightforward to accomplish.

Encouraging collaboration 🖖🏼

The best DX delivers on tooling and technique, but also on inviting individuals to work well with their teammates. Collaboration is key in development—and difficulty in working together does not bode well for your DX.

What does great DX do for developers? 👀

A great developer experience does more than put smiles on your teammates' faces (though it should definitely do that too). It actually improves productivity, reduces errors, minimizes delays, and generally helps everyone focus on what they are actually trying to do more often. Great DX offers many tangible benefits for businesses that pursue such a seemingly lofty goal. In fact, the benefits are much more multifaceted than you might initially think. Here are a few top benefits in a bit more detail:

Way better onboarding 🎉

New devs looking to get started within your team and organization must first learn the ropes regarding your current stack of systems as well as your collaborative culture. Amazing DX ensures this process is as simple and painless as possible, allowing fresh faces within your company to contribute in a meaningful way from day one.

Reduced errors 📉

With great DX comes great automation, especially where unit testing and other security measures are concerned. Code quality is essential to your company's growth, as is code safety. Frequent, comprehensive tests are pivotal in providing assurance that both quality and security standards are being upheld. However, such tests are tedious to perform manually and come at the cost of your team members' collective focus.

Enter automation to save the day.

By automating these parts of the development process, you can quickly create a culture of continuous productivity. That is precisely what continuous integration and deployment are meant to accomplish.

A boost in development speed 🏎

Distractions detract from speed in development and nothing distracts developers quite as much as truly abysmal DX. When the developer experience is handled with care, devs can get on with their work and meet milestones much more efficiently.

In contrast, a carelessly planned developer experience leads to developers getting tied up in complex system inconsistencies, spiraling dependencies, and error-prone processes that leech their energy for more pressing concerns.

Mergify makes for great DX 🥰

Great DX certainly takes time and attention to achieve, but there are plenty of resources available to simplify the process of producing the kind of experience that encourages your developer team to do their best work. With Mergify, you can greatly reduce the types of tedious, repetitive GitHub tasks that take up so much of your team's day, and rest assured that these same tasks will be performed to your specifications at exactly the right time, every time. Set up a merge queue that manages itself, automatically assign reviewers to pull requests, and much more. Get started with Mergify today by scheduling a demo.