Time for Developer Summer School?

When the Northern Hemisphere enters the summer season, developers might head out on vacation to take a break from the 24×7 world we live in. To keep developers interested and active in your community companies often offer “summer school” and other events. For Southern Hemisphere locations, you can do the same six months from now (you’ll be ahead of the date curve). There are many events you can create that will help developers catch up on latest technologies, APIs, and methods.

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Qlik Summer School 2017

One recent example is Qlik’s Summer School 2017. Qlik says that the summer school offers “webinars covering in-depth technical sessions, best practices updates and even a glimpse into Qlik’s product future. It’s an incredible opportunity to boost your analytics skills during the summer months. The Qlik Summer School presents a customizable program of webinars designed to help you unlock your organization’s data-driven possibilities. Save your spot today, and then join at anytime from anywhere with an internet connection.” Check out the agenda for the 3 tracks.

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Other Ways to Help Developers Keep/Catch Up

There are many other ways to allow developers to keep up and catch up. Here are a few ideas that are sure to help developers carve out a few hours during their summer schedule.

  1. Create a list of past webinars and links that are available on-demand. You might find that some developers were too busy with work to attend some of your events from the Winter and Spring quarters.
  2. Organize a self-study reading list of blog posts, quick start guides, eBooks, and white papers. It’s very possible that developers will have some time on airplanes, early mornings and late evenings to catch up on their technical reading.
  3. Write up a list of software development “challenges” with prizes for those who complete them. Create a series of short programming contests throughout the summer that will let developers do some quick coding and learning while they are on vacation.
  4. Schedule a developer conference or meetup at a “destination” location. If you want to attract developers with families (Evans Data research shows that 77.9% of developers are married), hold events at some of the top vacation locations. Schedule short developer sessions in the early morning or late evenings to allow for time with family during the day.
  5. Plan maker fairs and hackathons while students are out of school and able to spend time with your products, services and devices.
  6. Record audio podcasts, interviews and thought provoking technology information that can be listened to while relaxing poolside or during car, train and airplane parts of summer trips.
  7. Have your Developer Relations team members hit the opposite hemisphere where developers are still working. Schedule meetups, customer meetings and events in the Southern Hemisphere. Developers down under, Brazil, South Africa and other countries are still at the office and working.

Your Developer Relations Team Members need Time Off Too!

While your developer community members are taking time off and using the time to catch up on some reading and other technology fun, remember that your developer relations team also needs to take a break. Make sure your team members have reading lists, thinking items, and technology exploration areas. There’s always a few spare minutes when your team is not white water rafting, swimming, touring, scuba diving, hiking, biking and sightseeing.

If you’re not sure what to read each summer, check out Bill Gate’s “5 Good Summer Reads” on his Gates Notes site. Before the start of summer, Bill has been listing five books you should consider reading. Check out his summer 2017 reading list.

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One other way to give you developer relations team members a break is to allow them to help out at a programming summer camp or hold a camp at your offices. There are many programming camps for elementary school, high school, college and adults. There are also cruise ships that offer programming education including CoderCuise (July 16-23, 2017) sailing out of New Orleans. Your DevRel team members can be presenters and/or attendees 😀

Do you have other ideas for how to keep your developer community active during summer vacation months?

If you have your own summer schedule of developer outreach activities, send me an email with what works best for you.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

I just got back from Cisco Live in Las Vegas, Nevada

I spent the past few days in Las Vegas for the Cisco Live 2017 C-Scape industry analysts meetup. I had two days (thankfully in air conditioned rooms and buses) of meetings with executives, leaders of product groups, and customers in general sessions, round table discussions and one on one meetings. I also attended the opening keynote with Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and had the pleasure to witness his sit down conversation with Apple CEO Tim Cook. There is plenty of news about Cisco’s announcements, products, and technologies in the news, so I won’t repeat those sorts of things here. This DevRelate blog post is focused on how Developer Relations outreach can be multiply integrated into a company’s in-person conference.

 

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Best Practices for an Integrated Developer/User Event

At most technology company conferences, you already have most of your executives, product managers, marketing specialists, and technology gurus. Combining partner, analyst, partner, ecosystem and press meetings into the same location makes a lot of sense. Cisco did a great job of bringing us into the middle of their conference including meetings with customers who talked about their success stories. We had plenty of time to ask questions during the meetings as well as during informal conversations during dinners later in the evening.

I got to hear from customers during some of the general sessions and round table discussions. While it is always good to talk with members of the teams, it is a special pleasure to be able to listen to and ask questions of customers and their experiences.

I really enjoyed the discussions with Michael Giresi, CIO of Royal Caribbean about how extended teams work closely together to enhance their customer’s experiences with project teams that include IT, DevOps, Business, Product, and Developer members. From my notes he said “it is about the team being accountable for the complete solution – embedding accountability for the complete experience versus just the application experience. Assign ownership for the performance of the whole solution – assign the right people to the ‘whole team’. The concept of applications and infrastructure being separate is nuts! The old way doesn’t work anymore.”

I also got to talk with Michael Sherwood, Director of the Department of Information Technologies for the City of Las Vegas about the implementation of their Smart City plans to include IoT, Open Data and Developer APIs. Michael even sent me a follow up email yesterday with additional information and links.

It was very clear that software, developers and APIs were front and center in just about every hardware and software product presentation and demonstration. Integrating a very active Cisco DevNet Zone in the convention center with class rooms, hands on workshops, and cool developer solutions also reinforced the theme of developers at the center of everything. While developers often think of APIs for platforms, frameworks and services, Cisco also demonstrated the openness of programming at the ASIC level.

When you are planning  your conference, you can leverage your company and team members investments to the maximum by integrating your whole “extended” ecosystem – technology, marketing, research, partners, analysts, experts, authors, consultants, developers, thought leaders, trainers, educators, and others to orchestrate a complete event. For those technology and software companies that integrate and add value, you can also be a part of the larger story during the event. I am probably already preaching to the choir, but piggy-backing on an event to reach out to a larger developer audience is always a good thing.

 

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Just before I left the Cisco DevNet Zone and the convention center, I stopped by the Cisco DevNet Opportunity Project pod. Cisco DevNet is encouraging developers, companies and others to get involved to “unleash the power of data and technology to expand economic opportunity in communities nationwide. To create solutions that help families, local leaders, and businesses access information about the resources they need to succeed.” Find out more about the US Department of Commerce Opportunity Project at https://opportunity.census.gov/

 

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While it was extremely hot outside in Las Vegas this week (glad to be home in the cool environment of Monterey Bay), it was also extremely beneficial to see the awesome team at Cisco and the wide array of tech companies and developers working together to move our industry forward. I hope that you all have success in your future events whether they be small, medium, large, extra large or XXXXL.

What are your Best Practices for a Completely Integrated Developer Event Experience?

If you have your own best practices where you integrate multiple audiences, partners, press, analysts, users, developers and others in your events, send me an email with what works best for you.

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David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

Do you provide Swagger YAML and JSON files with your APIs?

Every developer has their own swagger based on their background, education, coding style, programming language used, etc. In this blog post I am talking about a different kind/type of Swagger.

When developers are interested in using an API provided by a operating system, platform, service, cloud, or device vendor, I’ll bet that one of the first things they will search for is to see if there is an API binding for their favorite programming language. Or, maybe your developer program members are the type of developers who just need the REST/JSON calling information? Where possible, I like to use client and server language bindings, components or frameworks for my development projects. Wouldn’t it be great if all APIs included great documentation and also YAML and/or JSON files for the APIs?

Swagger to the Rescue

With the Swagger YAML and/or JSON files I could use Swagger’s CodeGen tool to create bindings for more than 20 server side languages and more than 40 client side languages. That would be awesome. With Swagger supporting a range of tools, both the API developer creator can build their APIs using their programming language of choice and the API developer consumer can use their favorite programming language.

My one simple statement is “If your API supports REST and JSON then you can Reach out to Every Developer“. The text statement on the Swagger site say it succinctly – “Swagger is the world’s largest framework of API developer tools for the OpenAPI Specification(OAS), enabling development across the entire API lifecycle, from design and documentation, to test and deployment.” While most developer program APIs support some common languages including Java, C++, C, C#, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby and Python, there are many other programming languages that also support REST and JSON web services. Why would you intentionally make it harder for developers that use other programming languages?

REST/JSON based APIs work with just about every programming language

My REST/JSON and APIs blog post on the Evans Data DevRelate community site includes links to REST/JSON supporting information for additional programming languages. It’s time for more developer program APIs to make it easier for developers,  using all programming languages, to build applications.

The statement on the Swagger CodeGen tool site says it so well – “Build APIs quicker and improve consumption of your Swagger-defined APIs in every popular language with Swagger Codegen. Swagger Codegen can simplify your build process by generating server stubs and client SDKs from your Swagger specification, so your team can focus on your API’s implementation and adoption.”

Do your Developer Program APIs include Swagger support?

Do you provide you developer program APIs with Swagger YAML and/or JSON files? Send me an email if you do and I’ll be very happy to pass along the word to developers.

 

David I

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://devnet.evansdata.org/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99

 

FinTech in the Payments Spotlight at Transact 2017 in Las Vegas this week

Transact 2017 takes place this week in Las Vegas, Tuesday to Friday, May 9-12. Transact “is the one show focused solely on the business of payments. Powered by Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), the world’s largest payments industry trade group, it’s the place where innovators gather to make the deals that shape the industry”. The who’s who of FinTech companies will be on hand participating in keynote presentations, technical sessions, committee meetings, the exhibit hall and other special events.

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FinTech companies at Transact 2017 along with links to their developer programs

Here is a partial list of companies participating at Transact 2017. The conference site has a complete list of exhibitors and presenters.

 

ETA Star Awards – Wednesday, May 10

On Wednesday night, the ETA Start Awards, sponsored by Visa, will showcase individuals and companies that impacted the payments industry in the past year. You can see the list of 2017 Star Award finalists and Innovation showcase awards.

Payments Pitch-Off & E-Pay Innovation Award – Thursday, May 11

Payments startups will demonstrate their products in front of a panel of judges. Sponsored by Vantiv, The selected startups will try to impress the judges with their new electronic payments technology product or service. The presentations will take place in front of an audience that will include the judging panel, FinTech media, investors and possible industry partners. The best new technology, product and/or service will be awarded the E-Pay Innovation Award of $25,000.

 

Meeting Developer Demands for Your APIs

It used to be that only a very few specialized software companies cared at all about developers – and usually because they were selling programming tools or platforms. Now every company needs to be connected and to work interactively with their clients, their partners, their suppliers, and their customers and to do that they publish APIs. Evans Data’s recently released Developer Program 2017 survey report found that formalized programs have become a necessity for companies wishing to have their APIs adopted.

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Developer Programs and APIs

Your developer relations program needs to have close participation and cooperation with your engineering team in order to inform, educate, and support community members for the lifetime of your APIs. Your company’s success and your program’s support of developers depends on:

  • how you prepare for the release of  the APIs,
  • the types of technical content you create to support an API,
  • how you prepare community members for the impacts of API changes,
  • and how to help your community members get ready for API deprecation and shutting down of an API.

 

You and other members of your company might wonder what the eventually payoff will be for all of your hard work. A recent preliminary report on “The Impact of APIs on Firm Performance” by Boston University Questrom School of Business says that “firms adopting APIs see increases in sales, net income, market capitalization, and intangible assets. API use also predicts decreases in operating costs in some specifications.API adoption leads to a 12.7 percent increase in market capitalization”.

Ten years ago less than half of all developers were in a developer program. Today more than 80% belong to one and 62% of developers say they don’t use APIs that aren’t supported by a Developer Relations program. Evans Data’s recently released Developer Program 2017 survey report found that formalized programs have become a necessity for companies wishing to have their APIs adopted.

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“Today companies need to be interconnected and to take advantage new innovations. This often means they need to publish APIs and once you publish an API you have a platform. Once you have a platform you need developers, and that means you need a program to support them”, said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “We see the proliferation of developer programs throughout all places and industries.”

The Developer Relations 2017 report is the 18th annual survey of developers focusing on developer relations programs. Topics include Developer program features, ROI and Program Measurement, Developer Outreach, Training, Spurring Participation, Resources, App Stores, Tech Support and Documentation.

View the complete Developer Relations 2017 report Table of Contents and Methodology.

What does your developer program provide to support your APIs?

Send me an email if you provide your developers with additional API information and how you handle API versioning, deprecation, and shutdown.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/

The question most critical to your company’s and developer program’s future…

In conversations with developers and research surveys developer relation professionals ask a lot of questions of developers. Developers are asked about what versions of products they are using, what technologies they care about, what new features would you like in products and programs, etc. All of these questions help to improve products, developer advocacy, developer messaging and more. During his Evans Data Developer Relations Conference 2017 keynote, Scott Apeland, Director of Intel’s Developer Network, was discussing the many different customer insight inputs that Intel uses to improve their developer program. One of the areas that Scott mentioned that the Intel team really works on is one piece of specific feedback they get from their developer program members. This part of their planning is based on one simple and important question. This is the same question that all developer relations professionals should ask their program members. Asking the question periodically and analyzing the results, you can plan your next round of content creation, activities and outreach. You can continue to measure, analyze changes and update your plans and actions. If you’re not asking this one important question, you will miss a key factor in your developer program success. What is this most important question?

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How likely is it that you would recommend the developer program to a friend or colleague?

Asking members of your developer program this one simple question will help you understand the health of your outreach. It will help you understand how happy and loyal your members are. This one question comes from business loyalty guru Fred Reichheld introduced in a Harvard Business Review article in December 2003 titled “The One Number You Need to Grow“. The one question was later covered in more detail in his book “The Ultimate Question“, now in its second edition. From the Amazon book description: “By asking customers this question, you identify detractors, who sully your firm’s reputation and readily switch to competitors, and promoters, who generate good profits and true, sustainable growth. You also generate a vital metric: your Net Promoter Score. Since the book was first published, Net Promoter has transformed companies, across industries and sectors, constituting a game-changing system and ethos that rivals Six Sigma in its power.”

Intel NPS Scale

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Ask your developer program members the one question and give an answer choice range of usually zero to ten.  Zero on the left allows members to tell you they are “not likely” to recommend your developer program to a friend or colleague. Ten on the right lets your developer program members tel you they are “very likely” to recommend your program. In your analysis you break the choice range into three sections:

  • Detractors – those who answer in the range of zero to six
  • Passives – those who answer in the range of seven to eight
  • Promoters- those who answer in the range of nine to ten

To calculate the Net Promoter Score you will first calculate the percent of program members who are detractors and those who are promoters. To get your final Net Promoter Score you subtract the percentage of detractors from the percent who are promoters. Note: those members who are categorized as passives are included in the total number of respondents that is used to calculate the percentages of promoters and detractors and have an effect of moving the NPS towards zero.

Intel NPS Calculation

Using NPS and Additional Feedback to Improve Your Program

Scott Apeland went on to detail how Intel’s developer relation team takes the NPS score and additional developer member feedback from developer members who would and would not recommend the program to their friends and colleagues. Using the results they create an action plan, execute the plan, measure NPS again, gather newer feedback, and evolve the program. NPS is just one part of a complete developer program success measurement regimen.

Thank you Scott for a great keynote presentation.  DevRelate members (it’s free to join) will find the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference presentations on the DevRelate site.

What Satisfaction Measurements do you use for your Developer Relations Program?

Send me an email if you have additional satisfaction measurements that you use for your developer relations program. I would also love to hear if you use NPS as part of your program success measurements.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
davidi@evansdata.com
Blog: https://www.devrelate.com/blog/
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidi99/