Growing the Developer Experience

Submitted by Chris O'Dell

Talk Abstract:

When building software, we almost always think of our customers - the users of our product. But, what about the software we use to build our product? The tools the engineer uses for the job? Regardless of whether you adopted “off the shelf” solutions, or built tooling in-house to support your unique operational use-cases, they’ll often be put together by someone who had an itch to scratch or was tired of doing the task manually.

These tools build the Developer Experience of your engineers. This is an oft-neglected aspect of the software building process. Bottlenecks and ease of use for these tools tends to be overlooked as it is generally only visible to the engineers themselves.

At Monzo we gathered metrics around our development and deployment process to try and find the bottlenecks. We also turned to our UX experts for guidance and applied their discovery techniques to our engineers so we could learn about and improve their development experience. It’s an ongoing process as new bottlenecks and improvements can always be found. By sharing our experience, I hope to inspire you to grow your own Developer Experience by treating it as a product.

About Chris O'Dell

Chris has spent nearly 15 years as a backend engineer, primarily with Microsoft technologies, but recently with Go on a large microservices platform. She has led teams delivering highly available Web APIs, distributed systems and cloud based services. She has also led teams developing internal build and deployment tooling with the goal of improving the developer’s experience. Chris currently works at Monzo helping to build the future of banking. Chris is a regular conference speaker on the topics of Continuous Delivery and development practices. She is a contributor to the book Build Quality In and co-authored the book *Continuous Delivery with Windows and .Net. *