Digital technology is enabling unprecedented connection between people, companies, and devices. Connecting them all lies at the hands of the developer, a role with increasing power in an organization. In the age of open banking, simply providing access to APIs, documentation, and a sandbox is not enough. Developer engagement builds long-term bridges between a firm and a development community, which survive longer than any individual project or product — relationships that can persist as developers move between firms. Everything from the language you use to the design of the API influences the developer experience and the ecosystem community.

Build For The Builders, And They Will Build For You

Within financial services, astute digital business leaders recognize that a developer portal is actually a shop window to entice collaboration and innovation with the developer community — the ultimate builders of ecosystems. Firms such as Stripe recognize the developer as a critical lever in their business model and have developer experience (DX) as a core tenet of their business. Banking application architectures are evolving into connected constellations of platforms, marketplaces, and ecosystems. To ensure that your firm sits at the heart of its own vibrant ecosystem, you need to engage with and promote the success of the whole community that is integrating with or extending your business.

How To Build A Thriving Developer Community

My latest report, written with my colleague Jost Hoppermann, examines leading developer engagement programs in financial services companies. We uncover the crucial features that help you win, serve, and retain your external developer community to help you position your firm for success. Developers are your route to collaboration with partners — so give them the tools to do the job well.

In “Build A Thriving Developer Community,” we examine:

  • How developers and engineers wield increasing power and are fast becoming the route to senior decision makers.
  • The common components of successful engagement strategies.
  • How engagement needs change at different stages of the developer lifecycle and according to the maturity.
  • How leading financial services firms such as BBVA, Capital One, and Stripe build a culture that has developer experience as a competency within the firm.

A Successful Ecosystem Is A Designed Environment

This doesn’t happen by chance. Developer engagement means supporting and marketing your products — APIs, software development kits, and components. The firm’s engagement strategy fulfills several business objectives: marketing, brand building, community building, communication, education, involvement, signaling intent for innovation, and open participation. When investing in developer engagement, you need to look to the broader ecosystem, identifying and delivering to the needs of different stakeholders in and outside the firm.

How easy it is to connect to you will define how easy it is to do business with you — so make it simple!