How FLYR uses DX to build the ideal developer workday

FLYR
About

AI-powered total revenue management software for airlines, travel, and transportation.

Key results
Chose DX for its ability to get a holistic picture of developer productivity
Connects the Platform team's work with business outcomes
Automatically delivers data to teams so they can view and action their own data

FLYR’s platform engineering team began with a vision to ‘build the ideal developer workday’ by optimizing developers’ tools and processes. However, they recognized early on they didn’t have a way of identifying what the most high value problems to solve were.

Nathan Toups, a key member of FLYR’s platform team, recognized the potential for a path forward with DX. “I saw that there would be immediate value for us to use DevEx 360 and Data Cloud, which would give us clarity into where to focus and the ability to measure our impact,” he says. “This would help us say ‘we put this idea in, and now look how much less time it takes to go from creating an idea to shipping it in production. Or, ‘look how much faster ramp-up time is for new hires now.’”

I saw that there would be immediate value for us to use DevEx 360 and Data Cloud, which would give us clarity into where to focus and the ability to measure our impact.”
- Nathan Toups, Platform

The team first learned about DX through a paper on DevEx, but initial discussions were met with skepticism. “There was a lot of worry among those who had seen DORA metrics integrated at previous companies,” Toups shares. “They felt those metrics lacked depth.” To address these concerns, Toups led an internal presentation that helped others across engineering understand what DX measures and how it gives a more holistic picture.

During their evaluation, FLYR recognized there were other vendors offering quantitative metrics like the DORA metrics. But DX stood out for a few reasons:

  • Qualitative insights. “The qualitative piece makes a huge difference,” Toups explains. “There’s a lot of context that can’t get captured in a set of quantitative metrics.”
  • Transparent results. “This is a transparency-first tool. Any of this data is available to the whole team.” Before DX, whether data was transparent wasn’t something FLYR had considered. They soon came to realize it as a powerful tool to build trust, as well as to multiply the impact a platform team can have within an organization.
  • Ability to test hypotheses. FLYR’s platform team sees DX as a way to test their hypotheses: they can formulate an experiment, have qualitative and quantitative measures of success, and then track outcomes.
  • Connection to business outcomes. Toups compares what DX provides for his team to what a product manager can provide for an engineering team. “A good product manager will help engineers do meaningful work. It’s easy to get lost in the idea of working on some cool feature, but product managers make sure we’re actually returning value to the customer. I look at DX as a way for us to use product thinking in platform engineering,” says Toups.

Soon after starting with DX, Toups had leaders from other product verticals reach out to see if they could get the same insights with their teams. “It’s a bit of FOMO,” he says. “These are unanswered questions for them too, because they’re also trying to make sure we’re building the best work environment and not losing productivity gains.”

Good product managers make sure we’re actually returning value to the customer. I look at DX as a way for us to use product thinking in platform engineering.”
- Nathan Toups, Platform

Looking forward, FLYR intends to continue using DX as they work towards building a world-class developer experience.

 

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