The Developer Experience (DX) covers a wide range of human factors, perceptions, and elements that impact productivity, quality, and reliability of your product. How can we make it better?

In many teams, DX (developers’ experience) is often an afterthought. There are a lot of resources and emphasis on User Experience (UX) but developers are users, and actually are the first that use your product, frameworks, and tools. As customer satisfaction and happiness are crucial for the success of your product, the same goes for the people involved in the process to create that project. Positive mindset or ‘happy’ developers create exceptional software in the long term. A positive developer experience ensures that your developers are happy, satisfied, and less likely to leave your team. It’s not just a framework but a focus on the importance of autonomy, culture, network, and experiences, both individual, tribal and company-wide.

The factors range from emotional to technical, small details and dynamics that make it or break it, like a line of code. Motivation, environment, tools, and challenges all come into play when it comes to a good DX.  how we can improve it and make it wonderful?

We focus on three main areas:

  • Infrastructure (development, management tools, programming languages, libraries, platforms, and methods)
  • Emotional perception (trust, respect, solidarity, belonging), and
  • Value (personal and project goals, aspirations, contributions, success, and commitment).

1. Infrastructure

Find a compromise between simple and more complex architecture. Simple means more pain later, complex brings more pain now. Consider the size of your project and your team. Good architecture is difficult to break, has short feedback loops and allows better analysis. 

Automation is also the key to high-performance teams, like giving superpowers. The proper tools will help your team to

Deliver value to production fast, anticipate and fix bugs, optimize and build high-quality codebases. It gives teams freedom, skipping allowing more confidence. Also, well-defined processes reduce anxiety, give you discipline and consistent steps that fuels creativity,  clarity, and flow. From QA, deployment, feedback, and even a particular project onboarding.

2. Emotional synergy

Trust, friendliness, and honesty, emphasize sincerity with respect in every detail. Great sense of ownership, responsibility, and success, both personally and within the company.A unified goal creates also a mature and healthy environment, from inside the team, division, and the company as a whole.

Also, this synergy allows for failure and inspires courage. Risks should always be calculated, and developers have to be aware of how interconnected their actions are.  It is crucial to be able to take responsibility. Again, team discipline relieves anxiety, tension and creates space for experimentation. Even when you are busy, small moments of relax can renew individual and team creative energy flow.

As leaders, empathizing with your users, stakeholders, and team means understanding their needs within the project. It also plays a major role when working cross-functionally. A wider background experience enables team leaders to intuit the needs of the internal users involved, improving DX in an epic manner and facilitating communication, feedback with other key stakeholders, and high engagement within their specific roles. A people-driven, autonomous approach for scaling agile by focusing on communication, accountability, and quality will deliver innovation and productivity to teams and organizations.


3. Value & Purpouse

The purpose is very important, in your company, but also in each individual and team. Making money should not be the only goal. A company’s culture itself is the most important brainware. A sense of impact, understanding that their work matters and they are inspiring the world through improving someone else’s life. When I started in Wunderman, one of my focuses was to reverse the high rate of talent churn in development to design teams. Just understanding the impact, reach and influence of the work everyone did,  created a sense of ownership, professionalism that impacted productivity, quality, and reliability of the product but also lead the team evolution to a high-performance autonomous unit. Considering your team’s emotional cost is key to your product success.

Although this brief insight covers concepts and knowledge I use daily on personal and professional projects to ship products or experiences, Im aware that it takes time and effort also from the day-to-day workflow, and will transform positively and happily your development outcomes. Trust me, small changes can deliver huge impact and difference in your team workflow. The next article will cover more technical tips to improve DX. I’d love to see how this could impact your team experience. Hit me up on Twitter and let me know how can we inspire more of this. Be tuned for next updates and thanks for reading!