How to Boost Productivity by Optimizing the Developer Experience (DevX)

Definition: Developer Experience (DevX) is everything a developer goes through on a daily basis to deliver a unit of code. This includes everything from setting up or upgrading their development environment, to documenting, deploying and reporting, not to mention the actual act of slinging code.

The ultimate goal of focusing on DevX is to reduce time spent on any activity except for problem solving and writing code. Today a lot of a developer’s time is spent on activities other than problem solving and writing code.

Today’s Developer Experience

Enterprises today have adopted agile methodologies in order to make their development processes more efficient and effective at delivering software. A key metric of efficiency within the agile methodology is velocity, which measures the amount of work developers can get done in any sprint.

Ideally, developers want to devote 100% of their velocity to coding, but there are typically many things that get in the way on a day to day basis. This includes everything from managing their development environment to writing internal documentation to investigating security issues, patching and updating older libraries, and so on.

I believe there’s a better way — a more optimal DevX — that enables the developer to spend more time writing code and less time managing it. I believe any activity that a developer isn’t coding is time wasted.

The more we can kill the pains that are blocking developers, coders, programmers, engineers, etc. from getting coding, the more blockers we remove for developers. This means developers can spend more time on solving interesting problems, more time creating meaningful change and more time producing valuable intellectual property (IP).

This means everyone wins. Enterprises get new products into the markets faster, consumers receive more benefits and developer’s passions aren’t destroyed by minutia.

Making an awesome DevX

The shift to creating an optimal DevX is part of the broader shift that’s going on in the world. As we move from an economy of production to a service-based economy — as enterprises digitally transform — business becomes synonymous with delivering software to help improve efficiencies. The people that can help create that software are highly valued and sought after because they’re the means for enterprises to realize the next level of gains and efficiency.

As development managers, it’s our job to remove blockers so developers can focus on creating valuable IP. How ActiveState is automating many of the tasks that negatively impact DevX is the subject of a future blog, but for now, realize that the shift to creating an optimal DevX is part of the broader shift that’s going on.

DevX is directly tied to gains and efficiencies we need in the enterprise. Join ActiveState in helping us define what an optimal developer experience can be.