Developer Relations at a Global Scale

At Ticketmaster, our focus this past year has been on building the best API integration experience, and at the same time, building relationships through face-to-face time with the developer community. Our journey so far has been absolutely tremendous, and rife with both learnings and triumphs. In January, we launched our revamped, self-service developer portal as well as a fun developer event series we’re calling devjams (see below).

Images from our devjam events: Hollywood (top), Québec City (lower left), Austin (lower center), Seattle (lower right)

To deliver the best open platform in the marketplace, we’ve made the Developer Experience, or DX, a critical KPI to measure for three main reasons:

  1. Feedback: Actively seeking developer feedback on the platform is critical in ensuring the reduction of entropy, or instability, of the platform. This ultimately results in a stable platform. Case in point: At our very first developer event in Scottsdale, AZ, the 75+ developers in attendance unearthed 20 subtle issues in our API in just under 10 minutes! It’s amazing what happens when we let a fresh set of eyes look at our products and give feedback early on in the process.
  2. Community: The platform is as strong as the community contributing to it. We’re stronger together and that’s something to be cherished. Building a community that’s passionate about creating unforgettable moments for fans is critical to the evolution of the platform.
  3. Innovation: With a self-service developer portal and fully open Discovery and Commerce APIs, anyone with an original idea can get started on a demo or a prototype right away. This removes so many barriers in the face of passionate, driven and creative people who want to make their own dent in the live events universe. Case in point: a few days after we launched our Discovery API, one of our own interns registered for an API key and went on to create an Alexa integration with Uber’s API in less than two days.

Devjams and Developer Engagement

This year, we’ve also embarked on the 2016 Devjam World Tour.

A devjam is a day-long event where developers meet and greet the team, learn about our platform and APIs, use those APIs in real-time, and give us feedback on what we could improve upon. It’s informal and fun, and always involves a ton of beer :) We’ve already held 7 devjams across the US and Canada, with 4 more coming down the pike, including one in London (see below).

The 2016 Devjam World Tour

Our very first devjam in Scottsdale, AZ, was a sold-out event with a developer Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 65! Attendees included college students, partners like Amex and ScoreBig, and startups looking to leverage our APIs to build out their unique fan experiences.

All subsequent devjams in Durham, NC, Austin, TX, Québec City, QB, Hollywood, CA, and Seattle, WA, have shown the same high level of enthusiasm with an overall NPS score of 72, which is pretty high.

If you’re interested, we have more devjams coming up. Register TODAY!

We’ve also seen great innovations come out of the devjams. From chatbots to IoT integrations, the creativity the community brings to these events is absolutely refreshing. Some of the standout integrations we’ve seen so far were the Pebble Watch integration, the Universal Chatbot, and the Amazon Alexa integration. You can find the rest on Github :)

innovations across many platforms and channels because of the open API

Throughout our devjams, we’ve received a substantial amount of feedback from the developer community that’s helped us make our APIs simpler and more robust. Here’s what developers had to say about our open platform:

“The whole platform is very clean and simple. It’s very easy for any developer to jump right into it.”
“Easy to find the information.”
“Clear documentation with a lot of examples. And an interactive way to test it out.”
“The API Explorer is the best thing about the portal!”
“Great to have API descriptions along with request, response and code examples.”
“Don’t stop the devjams and organise more events for developers.”
“Thanks to the APIs, we got an Amazon Echo app integration up and running in about 30 hours at a USC hackathon!”

What’s in Store for 2017?

We’re working hard on finalizing our 2017 schedule right now. We’ll be taking the developer experience to a whole new level with clear focus on disruptive innovation. To stay abreast of our journey, you can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and here on Medium.