The Role of Developer Experience Testing in Developer Marketing

Marketing to developers is hard. The audience often has an aversion to standard marketing tactics, existing embedded technologies are sometimes difficult to unseat, and your product may be solving a problem the developer doesn’t even know they have yet. And yet, despite these challenges, you have succeeded in getting a net new developer to register and try out your product.


And there the journey ends. Your new developer registered, looked around a bit, read some docs, maybe, just maybe, created a version of Hello World, then nothing. Crickets. 


What happened? 


Chances are the root of this problem lies in the developer experience – the journey a developer takes from first registration to becoming a daily active user. Your marketing had worked hard enough to get the developer to your site, was interesting enough to give up precious identity information, but it didn’t translate to a user. 


Sometimes this creates a point of friction in a company, marketing says they have done their job and conversely product management says they are the wrong type of user. Developer experience testing is a great link tool that mends this disconnect and can bring results for everyone.


Of course, there are some best practice design principles for developer experience which emulate those used for general web user experience guidelines such as clarity and simplicity, balancing functionality with creativity, knowing your audience; desired outcome, visual hierarchy, contextual flow, and being human. However, it’s nearly impossible to apply these general principles to sites when they’re up and running – that’s where Developer Experience Testing comes in. 


By asking real third party developers to solve customized challenges and problems using your product, and recording and monitoring them while they do it, Catchy is able to bring fresh insight into your developer journey. Pulling from a network of developers, we ask a small number (usually 5-10) to work on a challenge that we create jointly with you. Each developer gives feedback on the experience and then gives a score for the experience against pre-determined attributes. We record the developer’s screen and audio during the whole session. Finally, we wrap it all up into a DX score and a set of recommendations, smoothing out the developer experience journey and leading to greater traction and developer retention.