Invited Keynote: Engaging Developers Steven Goodwin, Award-winning CTO, author, keynote speaker, and developer.
I’m pleased to welcome Steven as an invited keynote. I can not recommend more highly spending the time to listen to Steven’s presentation. I run TADHack, I help a diversity of businesses engage with many different types of developers around the world. The core issues are well-addressed in Steven’s presentation.
If you have any questions please either ask Steven directly (his contact details are in the slides) or ask in the comments section of this weblog. Don’t be shy, you’ll be glad you asked 😉
The problem: People are not engaging with your product, and going elsewhere. Maybe they try a couple of things, once, and then stop. Or they don’t continue their trial. Or they do something totally convoluted, using up unnecessary bandwidth, CPU cycles, or support tickets. What can you do?
The cause: There is no good onboarding for new developers. We don’t need an encyclopedia of the API’s functionality, but rather a piecemeal approach to solving our problems – and quickly. Because if your API doesn’t let a dev get X, Y or Z working quickly then there’s another vendor out there just waiting to accommodate those developer dollars.
- Treat documentation like its own product
- Outline the vision
- Create user stories
- Build an MVP
- Try before you buy
- Staff it
Steven will go into the hows and whys of improving your documentation for developers. You can read more about what Steven will talk about here.
There are many gems throughout this presentation. The key is a mindset, treat documentation like a product.
Twilio, Google, etc have set the bar on developer expectations, you have to be as good, you have 20-30 minutes to prove this else developers will go elsewhere. There are tools like Postman and Swagger that help you cover most languages, use them. User stories are critical as it helps a developer find in one place how to do X. Not part of X, but everything from sign-up to implementation in their preferred language.
The only thing I’d add to Steven’s presentation is “be human, not corporate.” Developer relations is about helping people, not brand positioning and corporate messaging. Too many corporations have their corporate marketing group manage developer relations, and it shows because its corporate not human.
I know this looks like a large and expensive hill to climb, but with the right mindset, and an incremental approach (focus on specific user stories). You can be successful in engaging your target developer groups.