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What makes a great developer experience

Published: August 29, 2022

Leaders can’t stop talking about the developer experience. For good reason. A good developer experience establishes a strong cultural foundation, increases the likelihood you maintain top talent and drives increased velocity of software delivery.

Gartner recently released a report titled A Software Engineering Leader’s Guide to Improving Developer Experience in which they lay out their own concepts for providing a positive experience for your teams. These include holding space for creative work, assuring your work is part of the wider development community, and streamlining workflows. 

The key structural factor to both Gartner’s report and your organization’s developer experience is communication. From the moment a new employee joins your team throughout their entire career, the essential way to keep them satisfied and productive is communication.

Communication is more than daily stand ups and slack messages. It’s assuring new hires have proper login information. It’s strengthening feedback loops to reduce lag time. It’s building camaraderie through mentor programs. Every aspect of the developer experience can be improved with deeper communication

Onboarding and beyond – The moment an employee accepts your offer, communication needs to begin so they can hit the ground running with their onboarding process. Assure they have the necessary hardware and software credentials before day one and provide necessary documentation and training videos to shorten ramp time. 

When an employee is brand new, it can be extremely time consuming to figure out how to get necessary access if it’s not provided for them initially. These hours can be spent learning your processes if they have proper access from the jump–thus leading to greater developer productivity faster.