When springtime arrives, developers and developer relation professionals know that it is major developer conference time in the US and around the world. Of course it all started with the annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, this year in Palo Alto California at the end of March. Most of you know that there are developer events and conferences throughout the year on every continent. At the same time, some of the most important and influential conference,s that impact developer programs and developers, are all scheduled during the months of May and June.
The Grand Slam of Springtime Developer Conferences
Facebook started things off on May 1 & 2 with their F8 conference in San Jose California. This week we have Microsoft Build 2018 in Seattle (from May 7 to 9) and Google IO 2018 in Mountain View (May 8 & 9) in the same week. It was fun to hear Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, Corporate Vice President of Operating Systems, tell developers during his day 2 keynote that he would end at 10am so that some developers could switch over to the Google IO opening keynote. Apple will complete the grand slam with WWDC 2018 in San Jose from June 4th to 9th.
But Wait, there’s even more for Developers this Spring
Ciscolive! happens in Orlando Florida June 10-14. You might think that Cisco is a networking and hardware company, but they also have a great developer program with DevNet. I attended last year’s event in Las Vegas and the DevNet Zone has a huge exhibit and workshop space and loads of developer sessions during the conference.
DocuSign’s Momentum developer conference takes place in San Francisco on June 20-21, just before the end of Spring. “If you thought replacing paper with eSignature was a win, get ready to go further. It’s time for the modern System of Agreement. Get the insights, inspiration, and networking to take advantage of all that’s possible, next, and new with DocuSign.”
So Much New Tech to Learn. So Little Time. Tons of Developer Fun!
So much development tech to digest in such a short period of time. Let’s summarize them all with: more AI, more cloud, more services, more devices, more IoT, compute at the edge, more serverless, more APIs, more tools and more fun for developers of all types, sizes and locations. I’ll try to cover more in coming DevRelate blog posts.
If you are having a developer conference that starts before the first day of Summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), send me an email with the details.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
It’s commonly thought that IT professionals and MIS Managers make the decisions when it comes to Cloud purchases, but a recent worldwide survey of software developers who are actively developing in and/or deploying to the Cloud shows that it is the software developer who is most likely to call the shots when it comes to Cloud infrastructure or tools. When asked about this, 58% said they are the primary decision makers, while another 22% are on a committee that makes those decisions. Only 20% have little or no influence.
When it comes to finding out about IaaS offerings, developers are most likely to go to search engines and search engine ads, however they most likely to gather information about PaaS offerings directly from vendors via websites, white papers, advertisements, etc.
“Developers absolutely have a great deal of influence in which Cloud platforms and technologies are being adopted,” said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data Corp, “After all, they are the ones that will be using the tools and infrastructure and they always have strong opinions about what will work best for their circumstances.”
The biggest obstacle cited by 38% of these developers in their hunt for information to guide their Cloud purchases is that the technical information available assumes they already have Cloud knowledge. The next most often cited obstacle is that the technical content is often buried in marketing material (33% cite this).
The new Cloud Development survey is exclusively focused on developers who develop in and/or deploy to the Cloud. The 205 page reference covers topics such as; Motivations for Using Cloud, Building an Environment for cloud, Understanding Terms and Services, Approaches to Building in the Cloud, Cloud Services Evaluation and Implementation, Containers and Containerization, BlockChain, and other topics. Margin of error is 4.5%
See the complete Table of Contents and Methodology here: Table of Contents
Lessons Learned for your Developer Program
Using the results of the recent Cloud Development Survey report and other Evans Data developer focused research, you’ll know what to focus on for your developer program deliverables, “The Four T’s”, Technical Support, Technical Information, Training, and Tools & SDKs. Developers tell Evans Data that they stay in a developer program for the same reasons they joined. This also means that you need to ensure that you provide multiple entry points, based on experience level, for developers to learn how to use your tools, SDKs, APIs, devices, platforms and services.
About Evans Data Corporation
Evans Data Corporation provides regularly updated IT industry market intelligence based on in-depth surveys of the global developer population. Evans’ syndicated research includes surveys focused on developers in a wide variety of subjects.
Copyright 2018 Evans Data Corporation. All other company names, products and services mentioned in this document are the trademarks and property of their respective owners.
This week, I am presenting a DevRelate webinar, “Developer Relations and your Company’s APIs” on Wednesday (May 31) and Thursday (June 1). This blog post contains additional information and links covered in the webinar.
APIs and Your Company
Developer Relations and APIs
API Documentation Examples
API Versioning – Overview
- Request parameter
- Media type (aka content negotiation & accept header)
- Custom request header
- Domain name
- XML namespaces and XML comments
- UDDI version aware service registry
Shared Code Files
- Version resource
API Resource Links
API Documentation Generation Tools
Additional Swagger Resources
The following Swagger related links were provided by SmartBear Software (thank you Keshav and Tracy)
- [Blog] API Design Best Practices – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-design/api-design-best-practices/
- [Blog] What is API Design, and Why it Matters – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-design/what-is-api-design/
- [Webinar] Scaling your API Design Process – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-design/scaling-your-api-design/
- [eBook] Optimizing the Swagger collaborative workflow using SwaggerHub – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-resources/optimize-your-swagger-api-workflow/
- [Blog] Design first or Code first approach to APIs – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-design/design-first-or-code-first-api-development/
- [Webinar] API Developer Experience (DX), and good documentation practices for good DX – https://swaggerhub.com/blog/api-documentation/api-documentation-and-developer-experience/
API Versioning – Examples
Facebook / Parse (BaaS) API Shutdown Example
Evans Data Developer Program Workshops and Assessments
If you have additional API links, best practices, tools, tips, tricks, thoughts and questions, send me an email.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
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
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.