Top 5 Reasons You Need to Invest in a DX Program

1. Developer Experience is User Experience

In 2021 there has been a noticeable trend in companies investing more in developer experience programs (DX). As the market becomes more technologically literate, we see a rising demand for companies to have tools available to technologists that enable customers to get more done without having to submit feature requests and wait for a whole sprint cycle or two before they can see a problem solved.

If you’re not on board with the DX revolution yet, here are 5 reasons you need a DX program so you don’t miss out on the next wave of how business will be done in the 21st century.

5. Enable Customers to Build Their Own Solutions

First on our list, the most direct and tangible outcome of having a solid DX — Enabling customers to build on top of your services. Having a great DX program enables customers to extend your platform to tailor solutions to their exact use case without requiring your own resources. For example, OneLogin Smart Hooks were designed to enable customers to address their own unique challenges without the overhead of cross-company collaboration. Now customers can focus on what they care about in your product and your engineers can focus on building a great platform.

4. Build Community & Trust

If you have a DX program you should build a community around it so customers and potential customers can share their solutions and be your most powerful advocates. If a customer solves a key industry problem because your platform enabled it, they’ll be eager to share their solution and others with the same problem will look to your company for the answer. Developers, and people in general for that matter, are looking for 2-way relationships with content providers. That’s one of the reasons people tend to favor YouTube or Twitch over cable TV. Building in a community channel enables you to take your traditional 1-way marketing campaigns to authentic 2-way communications that people love to engage.

3. Reach a Wider Audience

Marketing directly to developers won’t work the same way it does for non-developers. You’ll want a solid DX program to augment your marketing team and reach people who don’t deal with sales funnels. New companies tend to be software or tech companies as with companies in emerging markets. You can reach a this wide audience in the greenfield space by establishing yourself as an industry thought leader in an existing market and enabling those tech companies to use your solution easily. For our case in the Identity & Access space, we know everyone needs ID & Access or Authentication, even the people building self-driving cars, so we have to make it easy for them to implement Authentication with our platform so they can focus on building the future.

2. Discover New Opportunities

Every good product manager knows that customers typically don’t know what they want until they get it. Enabling everyone to play around with your platform and ideas unlocks new problems and areas of opportunity for your business. For example, when I was building OneLogin’s Terraform provider and because HashiCorp’s code is open source and well documented with helpful content explaining how Terraform works, I was able to develop new software using Terraform that enabled customers to take snapshots of their Identity & Access Management (IAM) infrastructure.

1. Developer Experience is User Experience

Finally, in 2021 with so many people using technology to solve problems, developer experience is user experience. Think back to any time your boss bought into some new software that wasn’t intuitive, requiring a 12 hour course to understand how it all works. All that lost productive time troubleshooting and combing documentation has huge impacts on timeline estimates and ultimately your bottom line. When developers need to integrate your product, you do not want to be a bottleneck in planning or execution. Good DX should enable developers to get more done without adding friction to the sprint.

Bringing it Together

If your shop is truly an agile one, then you understand that customer/seller relationship is a joint adventure and a DX program is another tool you can use to enable your customer to do more. Generally, customers like to solve their own problems with the detailed complexity abstracted out.

As more people become technically literate (e.g. learning some entry level javascript) more process efficiencies will get discovered, sparking more demand for base technical knowledge, which fuels the need for an intuitive and supportive developer experience program.

DX is a delighter now that will rapidly move become a “must have” so consider these points and don’t miss out on the DX movement.

Software Engineer | Product Leader