As costs and competition for developers soar, companies are more focused than ever on retaining and maximizing the effectiveness of their developers.
Although engineering tools and practices have evolved significantly in recent years, developers still face persistent obstacles in their work. Their days are broken up by interruptions, information is difficult to find, and inefficient tools and processes cause breakdowns. Leaders, meanwhile, have limited insight into what’s slowing down and frustrating their developers, resulting in features getting delayed and developers leaving.
As a leader at GitHub, I experienced this problem firsthand. Tasked with accelerating our engineering velocity organization-wide, I needed to know what was slowing down developers and how we could help each team improve.
Although I had metrics about our lead time and deployments, I didn’t know what was impacting or driving these numbers. To find out, I began interviewing leaders and developers across the company to ask them what exactly was slowing them down. I discovered that many of our inefficiencies were under the hood and different from our assumptions.
DX is a completely new way for engineering leaders to understand the friction affecting developers, and make informed decisions about how to improve. Unlike traditional tools that analyze developer activity from tools like GitHub and Jira, DX captures perceptual and behavioral insights that are self-reported by developers. Leveraging our ongoing research into developer experience (led by our Chief Scientist, Dr. Margaret-Anne Storey, co-author of the SPACE Framework, and our Head of Research, Dr. Michaela Greiler), we help engineering leaders and developer experience teams measure and improve top predictors of developer productivity and engagement.
Companies like Chime, Cruise, and Lucidchart found DX because they were looking for better ways to understand how to help their developers be happier and more productive. “DX shows us where developers are experiencing inefficiencies and enables each team to make changes and see their own trends,” said Andy Hurd, Senior Director of Engineering at Lucidchart.
Whereas traditional engineering metrics only provide surface-level information on developer activity, DX captures the challenges developers are facing “in the trenches”. Aaron Suggs, Staff Engineer at Lattice said, “We’ve known that developer experience is crucial to the team’s engagement, retention, and productivity. I’m thrilled with how DX is bringing scientific rigor and empathy to measure and improve developer productivity.”
With DX, insights are analyzed and prioritized so leaders and teams can make informed improvements to their tools and processes, allowing developers to move through their tasks with minimal friction and deliver greater outcomes for their companies and customers.
Software is eating the world, and the lifeblood of our modern economy is the developer. As a developer myself, I know that blissful feeling of being ”in-the-zone”, solving meaningful problems and shipping exciting features with the best tools possible. It’s why I fell in love with software development in the first place.
From the beginning, our mission at DX has been to enable this same experience for all developers, no matter the size of your organization or the industry you work in. We’re grateful for our early customers, and to be backed by industry leaders who care about developers as much as we do, including Nat Friedman (CEO of GitHub), Guillermo Rauch (CEO of Vercel), Gergely Orosz (Pragmatic Engineer), and Max Stoiber (CEO of Stellate).