Stripe in cooperation with research company Harris Poll did a large scale survey among C-level executives and developers. The results were published 2018 for all to read. One of the most interesting headlines in the report was ”the economic impact of ‘bad code’”. According to the results Global GDP loss from developer time spent on bad code annually is 85 Billions. Sounds like throwing money on the fire.
Adding developers is not the best remedy.
Lack of skilled developers is what hinders development of companies and new products. Remedy has been offered and that is to train more developers. Brooks’s law in famous Mythical Man-Month says that ”adding human resources to a late software project makes it later”. Adding more people to fiddle with hard to learn and use tools, does not help much. We need to do something else too.
APIs rule despite the AI hype
APIs are one of the most important technology to have greatest impact on companies. AI and IoT have been in the topics for a couple of years, but still APIs are seen as one of the key technologies. C-level people have swallowed the AI hype messages better than developers. Another interpretation might be that developers are more down to Earth people with practical approach to focus on technology that can solve their problems today. C-level bosses might be (and should be) looking at the future. Nevertheless, accordign to this survey (among around 2000 participants) C-level seems to underestimate the role of APIs.
The average developer spends more than 17 hours a week dealing with maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring. On top of that developers spend approximately 4 hours a week on “bad code,” which equates to nearly $85 billion worldwide in opportunity cost lost annually.
Thus it looks like Bad Developer eXperience is the Joker of API Economy, burning billions of dollars while just watching the flames.
In most cases raw efficiency shouldn’t be the main goal. Ease of development and maintainability are far more important in most business scenarios. Reduced efficiency in many cases is a good tradeoff for ease of development and ease of maintenance.
Even if skills are counted out, the better DX with tools (APIs) make it faster and easier to get things done also for the more experienced developers.
API providers’ oblication not to waste your time
Better Developer eXperience equals more productive developers. Your oblication as API owner is to ensure that developers don’t waste time and resources with your API. We at Platform of Trust do not want to waste your time and resources. We want data to flow as easily as possible. Thus (almost) frictionless developer experience is important for us in Platform of Trust.
Your oblication as API owner is to ensure that developers don’t waste time and resources with your API.
Some more to read from 100 Days DX
- #85 - Great Developer eXperience requires fluent internal workflow
- #84 - Theory of Economics of Developer eXperience
- #83 - The Space of API Design Decisions is missing
- #82 - Purpose of API Evaluation Framework
- #81 - Should We Move to Stack Overflow?
- #80 - Four data driven ideas for improving API documentation
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