Customer stories

Boosting developer productivity by removing ‘paper cuts’

One Medical
About

One Medical is a membership-based primary care service.

Key results
Streamlined data collection for identifying paper cuts
Identified and improved issues with local dev environments, tech debt, and more
Facilitates team-level improvement and knowledge sharing

One Medical, a primary-care clinic operator, recognized that the quality of their developer experience directly impacts their customer experience. For that reason, the company’s DevEx team, led by Jason Kennedy, was tasked with improving the developer experience by identifying and eliminating ‘paper cuts’, or the minor points of frustration that developers face daily.

“[Leadership] recognizes the importance of developers having a good experience and how much that contributes to certainly the overall employee well-being, but also we’re going to have a better product if engineers feel better about working on things,” says Kennedy.

Initially, Kennedy’s DevEx team employed various methods to gather insights on these paper cuts. They started by virtually shadowing engineers to observe their workflows and identify areas of waste or unnecessary cognitive load. They also introduced a weekly Slack poll asking developers, “Tell us what impacted your productivity this week.” Additionally, the team conducted a quarterly NPS survey. While each tactic provided valuable insights, they had trade-offs regarding the breadth and depth of the information collected.

“We began to ask ourselves, ‘How do we want to improve this feedback mechanism? Do we as a team want to put effort into building out our own surveys, really investing in an internal way of getting this feedback?,” recalls Kennedy. “Or do we want to go buy something off the shelf that we know that we can just operate?’” This led One Medical’s DevEx team to DX as a way of systematically collecting qualitative feedback from developers, while pairing insights with quantitative metrics from their systems.

Since adopting DX, One Medical’s DevEx team has effectively identified and improved “paper cut” issues such as with developers’ local development environments, codebase experience, and cognitive load. DX’s products have also been useful in other ways, particularly in demonstrating the impact of these issues to leadership. Additionally, DX has helped identify teams that excel in certain areas, enabling the DevEx team to connect them with teams looking to improve in those areas.

Read the full story about how One Medical improves developer productivity here on The New Stack.

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