There’s around 22 million developers to satisfy. That is the size of estimated software developer population. You might think that crafting great developer experience brings money in as more satisfied customers. That is not the only source of funding Developer centric thinking can enable. Even the investors have woken up and some have strategies in which developers are in the focus. Kurzweil from Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) which has funded for example PagerDuty, SendGrid, npm and Auth0 writes that “Today developers may be the most important decision maker in the technology space with more control over spending than ever before.[…] Our team at BVP strongly believes in the power of developer-centric platforms to drive innovation.” The firm has over $5 billion under management and invests globally.
Developer platforms are empowering these decision makers in entirely new ways, allowing them to bring products to market much faster. BVP has crafted 8 laws of investing in developer platforms (updated 2019). One of the example companies in this 100 Days DX series Twilio is one of those which has followed the laws.
- Developer platforms based on granular and metered units of measure have more pricing power
- Well-designed developer platforms have natural upsell triggers inherent to the product
- Developer platforms tap into an existing budget or maximize engineering resources
- Developer platforms strive to be as frictionless as consumer products
- Developer mavens are usually the first and best marketing channel – their authentic evangelism drives adoption and sales
- Developer platforms demonstrate network effects through community, collaboration, and data
- Developer platforms enable companies to focus on product differentiation and unique competitive advantage
- Developer technologies empower all workers in an enterprise to contribute to product development, freeing up precious developer time
According to BVP, Business to Developer (B2D) will create the next wave of breakout startups:
- those building platforms for developers to use in their work (Twilio, Stripe, AWS, Auth0) and
- those that democratize development by giving business users powerful tools to have business impact without requiring any coding skill.
The latter are better known as no-code platforms. No-code is fundamental part of the citizen-centric approach in smartcity movement. Ccitizen-centric approach, offering to end-users the possibility of creating their own Cloud services and share them with other citizens, as well as involving other city stakeholders ranging from municipalities to service developers and application integrators.
Zero-code brings APIs to the desktop
Low-code and no-code/zero-code platforms are expected to “bring APIs to the desktop”. According to Forrester low-code development platforms are emerging as a key strategy to accelerate app delivery to support digital business transformation. A side effect or not no-code platforms have the potential to make software development as much as 10 times faster than traditional methods. For platform owners the issue of no-code offering is even more important. Lack of no-code support will result to limiting the network effect of that platform.
At this point I started to think that DX is not going to be just for the traditional code level developers, but also for business developers. API providers should take no-code trend into account while designing and implementing APIs. In the future your APIs might be the fuel for next generation of apps created by non-developers. Dispite the possible success of low-code and no-code platforms, your primary customer is still the developers since they build the easy-to-use visual tools for non-developers.
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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