In these stormy days, savvy business captains want to make sure all their employees are happy and productive. They also realize that good software is indispensable if you want to differentiate your business from the competition — and if you want exceptional software, you need a high-caliber crew to build it.

Nobody Does It Alone

One sailor can’t sail a tall ship, and no single person controls how good or bad the software building experience is at an organization. Instead, it takes a multitude. Forrester identified four key roles that can best wield the levers of developer experience to improve developer productivity, enthusiasm, and retention. But that power is uneven. What you can do depends on what role you play on the ship:

  • Leaders represent developers to the organization. People in leadership positions have the most influence on developer experience, from team leads and development managers up to the C-level. Good leadership is essential. However, as a leader, you’re less able to influence architecture and technology than some others. Read Five Levers Of Developer Experience For Leaders to see where you can be most effective.
  • Vendors are experts in technology and processes. If you’re a vendor or involved with developer relations at your organization, you know that you’ve got the tools that developers need. You’ve also seen what your other clients do and can quickly adjust your advice for the next client. What’s your blind spot? You’re on the outside looking in. It’s rare that a vendor ever changed the culture at an organization — and without that, the best tools can lie idle. Take a look at Five Levers Of Developer Experience For Vendors to identify your strengths and where you can excel.
  • Developer advocates are the liaisons between developers and executives. Developer advocates take on many names: platform engineers, developer productivity experts, engineering enablement groups, and engineering excellence professionals. You all have one thing in common: You’re focused on improving the experience of developers within the organization. Most of the time, you have only moderate power — but moderate power can lead to great change. Five Levers Of Developer Experience For Developer Advocates will tell you where to focus your influence.
  • Developers themselves control much of their own experience. Builders of software and hewers of bytes, as a software developer (including testers, architects, designers, and coders) you control more of your own experience than you might think. Although unable to effect much change in organizational culture, you dominate when it comes to the processes of your teams. For you, Five Levers Of Developer Experience For Developers shows where else you can punch above your weight.

Control Your Destiny

It’s important to know your ship’s limits. Trying to make progress when you’re becalmed means frustration and burnout, especially for those wearing multiple hats. Team leaders are sometimes developers. Platform engineers can take on the role of vendors as they sell their platform to the rest of the company. Understanding what you can do and where others can help lets you anchor firmly against the gale when you need to and navigate swiftly around the rocks to reach a new port.

(written with Caroline Bonde)