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.
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 Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
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?
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.”
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.
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 Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
In the recently released Evans Data Developer Marketing 2017 survey report, the median age of today’s software developers has decreased overall on a worldwide basis and the number of women developers has increased. “There has been a concerted effort among major industry leaders to reach out to women in the science and technology innovation fields and encourage them to participate”, said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. “That effort is really paying off.”
The overall age decline is largely due to an increase in younger Latin American developers, where the median age is now 35 as well as to the APAC region where the median age is 34. Developers in the EMEA region, typically the oldest developers have also gotten younger with a median age of 40 – down from 42 last year. The median age of developers in North America remained steady at 39.
The real change that has been occurring is the rise in number of women developers. That number has quadrupled in the last ten years, with sharp increases over the last few years. Today more than a quarter of all developers are women. It’s interesting to note that much of the growth in female developers is happening in the APAC region.
Back in November, I wrote a blog post, Top 10 Developer Relations Outreach Tips for Women in Computing, to encourage developer relations programs to reach out and encourage more women to enter computer and technology fields. That blog post included links to many resources and organizations that can help your developer outreach program. The many company, university and organizational efforts are helping to prepare women for entry into our industry. The results are showing positive signs with an increase in Women in Computing. The Evans Data developer research is also seeing the positive outcomes for Women in Computing.
Last year saw the release of the movie, Hidden Figures, “the story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.” The movie, released on December 25, 2016, starred Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, and Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson. You can watch a NASA video about the movie and listen to some of the cast and crew discuss the contributions of the team. In 2015, at age 97, President Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor. NASA has a series of articles and videos titled, “From Hidden Figures to Modern Figures“. Former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said: “Embracing diversity and inclusion is how we as a nation will take the next giant leap in exploration.”
While we see continued improvements in computer industry gender, diversity and inclusion, most technology companies and organizations will agree that there is much more work to be done. Here are a few recent articles and interviews showing that more work is required. Developer Relations outreach can help in many ways including within our industry and also by helping educational outreach at all levels.
Developer Marketing Survey 2017 Report
The Evans Data Developer Marketing Survey 2017 Report is the 19th annual survey of developers focusing on developer demographics, psychographics, and tactical marketing approaches and methods. It is designed for professional marketers and also covers Developers Purchasing Authority, Outreach, Motivations and Influences, Trade shows, Social Media, and other forms of marketing.
Susie Wee, VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems, gave a presentation at our recent 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference. The following is a recap of her session, “Our Journey to a Growing Developer Program”. [David I note: the graphics used in this blog post were not part of the presentation slide deck]
Susie started her session by asking the audience a few questions to understand who was attending and what they wanted to get out of her talk. A great way to start any presentation in order to make any “course corrections” to help the audience.
Susie mentioned that the Cisco DevNet developer network started about 3 years ago. Before that time Cisco had a series of APIs and SDKs for developers but no real developer program and community. What Cisco had was more of a partner community to resell Cisco products. Certifications were offered for the partners. You could ask a couple of questions about the early outreach to developers: why does Cisco have a developer program and isn’t Cisco a networking hardware company?
She explained that Cisco DevNet is a developer community and an innovation ecosystem. Technologies that are available to developers include: Internet of Things, Software Defined Networking, Cloud computing, Collaboration technologies (many developers will recognize Cisco Jabber), Security solutions, Data Center offerings, DevOps solutions, Services and Open Source.
As part of Susie’s talk and also the main focus on the upcoming DevNet Create Conference (May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco, CA), one of the main themes follows the sentence template of “Where Applications Meet xxx”. Developers who build applications should be able to easily fill in the “xxx” with some of the following: Infrastructure, Things (IoT), Places, People, Design, Architecture, Microservices, Deployment, Security, Analytics, etc. Between the apps that are developed there are interfaces to connect those apps to, well, everything! That is part of what Cisco provides beyond their traditional networking solutions.
Susie explained how Cisco DevNet focuses on helping developers:
She mentioned that DevNet has more than 415,000 members, who work in more than 24,000 companies, provides 252 learning labs, provides 80 active APIs and more than 170 yearly developer outreach events.
Key to the success of Cisco DevNet are a laser focus on solving three key challenges: how to operate as a developer program, provide a clear value proposition for developers, and continue to grow a fiercely loyal developer community.
One of the stories that Susie mentioned was how DevNet attached itself onto the popular Cisco Live conferences that are help throughout the world. They put together all of their developer learning materials and created a DevNet zone on the side of the main conference. Attendees walked past the area and started telling their friends that there are cool learning labs over in this corner of the conference area. The buzz started to spread among attendees that there was a lab where you could develop software to integrate with Cisco technologies. John Chambers and his Cisco management team stopped by and saw what was happening in the DevNet theater and hands on lab. Now, at Cisco Live, the DevNet zone is the busiest section – Cool!
DevNet – 5 Lessons Learned
Susie shared the 5 lessons that they’ve learned during DevNet’s journey:
5) Operate like a startup and build up your developer credibility
4) Play to your strengths and build a technically talented “extended” team
3) Make your developer members heroes inside their companies and also in their communities
2) Help your team be wildly successful and ensure that your community has a heart
1) Innovate, Innovate, Innovate.
Innovate or Be Left Behind
Developers have to solve big problems. A developer program’s mission is to help developers build innovative solutions for their companies and their customers. Your developer program has to continue to provide innovative features, content and tools that will help your developer members create innovative applications. Our industry moves forward, fast. Developers move forward, fast. If your developer program does not innovate to keep up with developer needs, your company and your developer program will be left in the dust.
Thank you, Susie Wee and Cisco, for being a part of our 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference.
Cisco DevNet – https://developer.cisco.com/
DevNet Create Conference (May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco, CA)
Susie Wee’s session live stream replay is available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ciscodevnet/videos/1962907540605184/
Session Title: DevNet: Fostering innovation where applications meet infrastructure
Session Description: How did a networking company start behaving like a software company and build a thriving developer community? How is DevNet achieving scale by engaging a broader internal and external community? The mission of Cisco DevNet is to provide developers with the tools, resources and code they need to create innovative, network-enabled solutions. But it’s more than just the technologies – DevNet is fostering innovation to help developers create seriously cool stuff. Join Susie Wee as she shares the successes, challenges and lessons learned in building a successful joint developer and innovation program, as well as what’s next for the DevNet community.
Susie Wee – VP and CTO of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems
Susie is the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of DevNet Innovations at Cisco Systems. She is the founder of DevNet, Cisco’s developer program for infrastructure and application developers, which catalyzes innovation by the developer ecosystem. DevNet covers the breadth of Cisco’s portfolio including networking, cloud, data center, security, collaboration and IoT. The innovations from DevNet improve end user experience, the operational experience and developer experience with the network. Under her leadership, the DevNet community has grown to over 400,000 developers in less than three years.
Prior to her current role, Susie was the Vice President and Chief Technology and Experience Officer of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group where she was responsible for driving innovation and experience design in Cisco’s collaboration products and software services, including unified communications, telepresence, web and video conferencing, and cloud collaboration. Before joining Cisco, Susie was the founding Vice President of Experience Software Business and CTO at Hewlett Packard, and Lab Director at HP Labs. Susie was the co-editor of the JPSEC standard for the security of JPEG-2000 images. She was formerly an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Circuits, Systems and Video Technology and IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. While at HP Labs, Susie was a consulting assistant professor at Stanford University where she co-taught a graduate-level course on digital video processing.
Susie received Technology Review’s Top 100 Young Innovators award, ComputerWorld’s Top 40 Innovators under 40 award, the Red Dot Design Concept award for augmented collaboration, the INCITs Technical Excellence award, the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame award, and was on the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. She is an IEEE Fellow for her contributions in multimedia technology and has over 50 international publications and 57 granted patents. Susie received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.