In today’s interconnected world, companies in all industries need to publish APIs and cultivate a developer community to access and use them. To be competitive today, attracting and supporting developers is essential. The key to cultivating a vibrant developer community that uses your APIs and supports your platform is a good developer relations program. “Developer Programs and APIs in the News” is a series of news items from developer programs around the world.
Developer Programs and APIs in the News
Amazon – October 24, 2017 – Introducing the All-New Amazon Appstore for Android Devices – “Today we’re excited to announce the all-new standalone Amazon Appstore mobile app for Android. The Amazon Appstore is available on millions of Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablet, and Android devices in 236 countries and territories. The new mobile app is redesigned from the ground up, allowing customers to enjoy the same apps and games that they engage with on Fire TV and Fire tablets on their mobile phones.”
Google – October 24, 2017 – Gmail Add-ons framework now available to all developers – “Now anyone can start building a Gmail add-on. Gmail Add-ons let you integrate your app into Gmail and extend Gmail to handle quick actions.”
Apple, GE – October 18, 2017 – Apple and GE partner to bring Predix industrial apps to iPhone and iPad – “Apple and GE today announced a partnership to deliver powerful industrial apps designed to bring predictive data and analytics from Predix, GE’s industrial Internet of Things (IoT) platform, to iPhone and iPad. The two companies unveiled a new Predix software development kit (SDK) for iOS, which gives developers the tools to make their own powerful industrial IoT apps.”
Google, JFrog, Red Hat, IBM, Black Duck, Twistlock, Aqua Security, CoreOS – October 12, 2017 – Introducing Grafeas: An open-source API to audit and govern your software supply chain – “Building software at scale requires strong governance of the software supply chain, and strong governance requires good data. Grafeas is an open source initiative to define a uniform way for auditing and governing the modern software supply chain. Grafeas (scribe in Greek) provides organizations with a central source of truth for tracking and enforcing policies across an ever growing set of software development teams and pipelines. Build, auditing and compliance tools can use the Grafeas API to store, query and retrieve comprehensive metadata on software components of all kinds.”
Google – October 12, 2017 – Introducing Android Instant Apps SDK 1.1 – “Since our public launch at Google I/O, we’ve been working hard to improve the developer experience of building instant apps. Today, we’re excited to announce availability of the Android Instant Apps SDK 1.1 with some highly-requested features such as improved NDK support, configuration APKs for binary size reduction, and a new API to maintain user’s context when they transition from an instant app to the installed app.”
Dialogflow, API.AI – October 10, 2017 – Introducing Dialogflow, the new name for API.AI – “We realized that we were doing so much more than just providing an API. So with that, we’d like to introduce Dialogflow – the new name for API.AI.Our new name doesn’t change the work we’re doing with you or our mission. Our mission continues to be that Dialogflow is your end-to-end platform for building great conversational experiences and our team will help you share what you’ve built with millions of users.”
Apple – October 6, 2017 – Creating and Promoting Your AR Apps – “ARKit lets you seamlessly blend realistic virtual objects with the real world, so you can take your apps beyond the screen. Use these resources to learn how to clearly indicate when the user enters AR, show users what to expect from your AR experiences with app previews, and build Face Tracking support for iPhone X.”
Google – October 4, 2017 – Apps for the Google Assistant: new languages, devices and features! – “As you may have seen, it’s a big day for the Google Assistant with new features, new devices and new languages coming soon. But it’s also a big day for developers like you, as Actions on Google is also coming to new devices and new languages, and getting better for building and sharing apps.”
Twitter – September 25, 2017 – Refreshing and bringing together our developer resources – “Today we are launching developer.twitter.com — replacing and bringing together gnip.com and dev.twitter.com — as a complete reference center for Twitter’s developer platform. The new site will be a hub for all developer resources. Whether integrating with Twitter for the first time, or innovating and scaling solutions for your customers, you can look to developer.twitter.com as a place to learn, to manage tools and APIs, and to engage with the Twitter developer community worldwide.”
Apple – September 19, 2017 – The All-new App Store is Here – “The App Store has grown beyond anything we could have ever imagined. And now, with daily stories by our editors, a dedicated Games tab, lists for all kinds of apps, and much more, this beautiful new design provides an amazing place to highlight your incredible work — and help customers discover new apps and games.”
Telstra – September 12, 2017 – Welcome to the new T.DEV! – “At Telstra we’re embarking on a new journey to connect you, the developer, to our services. We realise the importance developers have in coming up with new innovations, in growing new businesses and by shaping the world as we all move up the stack. Telstra is getting closer to developers in a big way, and in some ways we’ve already been talking with developers for a long time through programs.”
Amazon – September 7, 2017 – Export your Amazon Lex bot schema to the Alexa Skills Kit – “You can now export your Amazon Lex chatbot schema into the Alexa Skills Kit to simplify the process of creating an Alexa skill. Amazon Lex now provides the ability to export your Amazon Lex chatbot definition as a JSON file that can be added to the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). ”
Microsoft – August 28, 2017 – Introducing the Xamarin Certified Mobile Professional Badge – “We’re pleased to introduce a new certification level at Xamarin University, the Xamarin Certified Mobile Professional! This badge will be our initial certification level for developers to demonstrate fundamental competency in Xamarin mobile development.”
Arduino – July 28, 2017 – A New Era for Arduino Begins Today – “This is the beginning of a new era for Arduino in which we will strengthen and renew our commitment to open source hardware and software, while in parallel setting the company on a sound financial course of sustainable growth. Our vision remains to continue to enable anybody to innovate with electronics for a long time to come.”
Samsung – June 21, 2017 – A Must Watch for Game Developers: The Seven Rules of Monetization – “In what was a jam-packed hour, Oscar spoke about the importance of learning through experimentation, failure and data, offering expertise and examples designed to help developers avoid the mistakes he’s seen throughout his almost 20 years in monetization and social freemium game design.”
Send me your Developer Programs News!
If you have news about your Developer Relations Program, send me an email about the news.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
When I started my computer science major back in September 1969, there was a higher percentage of women in my computer classes than you see today. With the advent of PCs, computer gaming and hacking, the percentage of women in computer science, software engineering and computer engineering has declined steadily until a few years ago. Our industry needs more women in software and hardware. Universities (Carnegie Mellon, Harvey Mudd College, Stanford, Cal Poly SLO and others) and companies are working overtime to encourage more women to get involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) studies earlier in life. Once in college, computer science and software engineering departments are working overtime to keep women in their programs. The rise of coding boot camps has also focused efforts to train women for the many unfilled programming jobs (if you’re a tech company in the New York area, check out the Grace Hopper Program at Full Stack Academy). These efforts are helping to prepare young women for entry into our industry. The results are showing positive signs with an increase in Women in Computing.
A 2015 McKinsey & Company report, “Why Diversity Matters“, states “Our latest research finds that companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians. Companies in the bottom quartile in these dimensions are statistically less likely to achieve above-average returns. And diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.”
A National Center for Women & Information Technology report, “What is the Impact of Gender Diversity on Technology Business Performance?“, says “Gender diversity benefits businesses in several ways. Gender-balanced companies: 1) Perform better financially, particularly when women occupy a significant proportion of top management positions. 2) Demonstrate superior team dynamics and productivity.” The report also reports that “gender-diverse technology organizations and departments: 1) Produce work teams that stay on schedule and under budget. 2) Demonstrate improved employee performance.”
Payscale has an interesting report with an interactive graphic that lets you see which tech companies have the highest percentage of female employees. The graphic compares 18 tech companies with 9 data points. Check it out at http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/top-tech-companies-compared. The graphs show that the top 3 companies are eBay (43%), LinkedIn (42%) and Samsung (37%).
Evans Data’s Developer Research shows a growth trend of women in programming
The Evans Data Global Development Survey 2016 volume 1 survey shows that close to one quarter of developers identified themselves as female. Looking at the trend lines over the past dozen years you can also see an upward trend for women in programming. Some of the increased growth is being driven specifically in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region but is also increasing in other regions.
A good portion of this growth, I believe, can be tied directly to the increased outreach by universities, government organizations and industry. Universities are going out to the local elementary and high schools to evangelize the value of a technology focused college degree and the need for more women in computing. Government organizations are investing to get more young women interested in STEM. Technology companies are ramping up their efforts to recruit more women to join their teams.
Yet, there is still more to do according to a 2015 Huffington Post article which shows that while women are entering other STEM fields, there is still more work to be done in Computer Science and Mathematics. The following is a trend line chart that was included in the article.
Top 10 Tips for Developer Relations Outreach to Women in Computing
What does this mean for Developer Relations Programs? What more can your developer outreach efforts do to reach female developers? Here are 10 ideas that will help your developer evangelism reach women involved in software, hardware and technology.
- When you post pictures of your program members and you company’s teams, make sure you show a diverse mix of developers. If the pictures from your developer conferences, hackathons, meetups and teams only show a bunch of guys, you may miss attracting women to your developer program.
- Post articles highlighting successful female members of your developer community. Everyone needs mentors and role models in their careers. Seeing women having success with your products and services, will help you attract more female members.
- Encourage your female members to take active roles in developer evangelism, blogging, video tutorials and other content that you provide. Adding a women’s voice to your content will help attract more female developers to take an active role.
- Send some of your company’s female software and hardware engineers and evangelists to local women in computing and technology meetups. Using the meetup.com search you can search globally and locally for meetings of women involved in computing, technology, data science, programming, startups and more.
- When you are marketing your developer relations programs to developers try using a mix of gender neutral and gender specific messages and see which bring in additional new members.
- Coordinate your developer evangelism outreach with university and industry efforts to recruit more women into computing fields. Look for schools in your local area and partner with them to help each other increase the participation by young women. Look for female professors who teach computer, technology, data science, hardware and related subjects. These faculty members will appreciate your help and possibly invite you to present to their classes and women in software and hardware on campus organizations.
- Think about the sample programs and template projects that you deliver to your program members. Look for opportunities to have sample code topic areas that will appeal to women in computing and technology.
- Take part in the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. This is world’s largest conference/meeting of women in computing that attracts the top technologists, industry leaders and a strong student attendance. Keynote speakers at GHC 2016 included Ginny Rometty (President and CEO, IBM
Chairman, IBM Board of Directors) and Megan Smith (Chief Technology Officer, United States of America).
- Highlight your company’s diversity program and web page. If your company doesn’t have a diversity page, make sure to create one.
- Look for partnerships between your developer relations program and other technology companies that are run by female executives. Partner with code camps that focus on educating women about programming and technology. I’m sure you’ll find mutual business opportunities for both of your companies in reaching out to developers.
Which Companies are doing a great job in reaching out to Women in Computing?
Before you read what some technology companies are doing to recruit more women to join their teams, I should note that some of the links below point to company diversity programs. For those web sites, you’ll can read through the page contents and you’ll find gender specific information and statistics.
- IBM – Advancing Women at IBM: 2012-2013 Executive Research Study (PDF) and Grace Hopper 2016 – Women and the future of technology – “IBMers arrived early to gather at the front of the Toyota arena to support our CEO, who delivered a personal keynote that looked at the history of computing alongside her personal history as a woman in technology. She described her mother’s determination as a single mother to not let anyone else define you. She also shared a moment when she hesitated to take on more leadership, learning that growth and comfort never co-exist. Finally, she challenged us to work on something bigger than ourselves, such as Watson’s Health’s potential to aid in cancer treatment.”
- Intel – Intel Celebrates Women in Technology at Grace Hopper Conference – “Reversing the gender imbalance in the technology industry is a crucial component of Intel’s Diversity in Technology initiative, announced in January 2015. In February 2016, Intel announced 100 percent gender pay parity in its workforce which was maintained as of the 2016 mid-year report. The mid-year 2016 report, released in August, also revealed that an increase of female representation to 25.4 percent in the U.S. workforce (one of the highest figures in recent years), increase of technical female representation to 21.2 percent, and that women represented 42.9 percent of new leadership (VP-level and above) hires in first half 2016. In August, Intel signed the Equal Pay Pledge to commit to take action to advance equal pay.”
- Apple – The Most Innovative Company must also be the Most Diverse. – “Representation among new hires.
We strive to better represent the communities we’re part of. We believe this will help to break down historical barriers in tech. Global Female: 37% new hires, 32% current employees.”
- Google – Women at Google – “Technology is changing the world. Women and girls are changing technology. Creating the right environments, programs and policies can support women in pursuing their dreams and building tools that change the world.”
- Facebook – Facebook Diversity Update: Positive Hiring Trends Show Progress – “Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. In order to achieve that mission, we need an employee base that reflects a broad range of experiences, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and many other characteristics. A year ago we launched our Computer Science and Engineering (CS&E) Lean In Circles program in partnership with LeanIn.Org, LinkedIn and the Anita Borg Institute. This program aims to support women already in college who show an interest in computer science. Our hope is that with additional support, they will stay the course through graduation and we will experience an improvement in the number of women graduating with these critical skills.”
- Microsoft – Women at Microsoft – “We believe that more diverse teams create greater innovations with more diverse approaches, questions and ideas. With this belief in mind, we strive to be a leader in attracting women to careers in high tech. Inside the company, and in partnership with others, Microsoft is involved in a wide range of programs aimed at trying to attract, recruit, retain, and develop women from around the world in the field of computer technology.”
- Amazon – Diversity at Amazon – “Affinity groups at Amazon provide mentorship, opportunity for education and also help identify great talent at external events. For example, Amazon Women in Engineering (AWE) organizes cross-company participation at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. They host career development and social events such as our annual AmazeCon Conference, which provides education as well as an opportunity to expand their networks.”
- Twitter – Women in Engineering at Twitter – “The official page for Women in Engineering @Twitter. Our goal is to share content and resources to inspire girls & women to pursue technical studies & careers.” Also: Twitter Inclusion & Diversity careers page.
- LinkedIn – Diversity and Inclusion – “We believe magic can happen when we create diverse teams in an inclusive work environment, where every person feels that they truly belong.”
- eBay – Damien Hooper-Campbell (eBay Chief Diversity Officer) On Why Tech Has a Shot at Moving the Needle On Diversity – “To be clear, diversity and inclusion for us goes well beyond gender and race. It obviously includes those two things, but it also focuses on how people think, on introverts vs. extroverts, on generational differences, on the fact that we are a Silicon Valley- and US-based organization but have offices all over the world – how do we ensure those offices feel represented at HQ. Inclusion for us is not just focused on under-represented minorities and women, it’s also about making sure that majority stakeholder feel included and safe in the conversations that are often tough to have.”
- Samsung – Empower Tomorrow – Ask any scientist and, chances are, she’ll tell you she is where she is today because another scientist empowered her to follow her childhood dreams. Samsung’s emPOWER tomorrow program is exactly about that: getting young girls excited about STEM. Studies show educators must influence girls at an impressionable age – usually in the fourth and fifth grades – to get them interested in pursuing STEM studies.
- Adobe – Diversity and Inclusion – “Much of Adobe’s success can be attributed to a simple belief that our founders instilled in our culture: Great ideas come from everywhere in the company. In today’s ultra-competitive environment, it’s critical to cultivate a strong, diverse workforce who bring their best ideas to work every day. We are committed to making Adobe a great place to work, where everyone can contribute and succeed. Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO, Adobe”
Resource links to Universities, Industry Groups and Organizations focused on Women in Computing
News and Articles about Women in Computing
Videos About and by Women in Computing
- TED Talks by Women in Computer Science – YouTube playlist – “A collection of TED talks by women with computer science degrees – one of the hottest career paths out there!”
- A Tale of Two Ladies: On Generating Opportunity for Women in Tech (YouTube video) – “Cornelia Davis (Sr. Director of Technology, Pivotal) talks about how she came to technology, the path many other women face, and how we can be good models and encourage women to pursue computer science. Keynote recorded at SpringOne Platform 2016 in Las Vegas.”
- Code: Debugging the Gender Gap (documentary web site) – “CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap. CODE raises the question: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code?” – View the Trailer (YouTube video)
- Women in Computing – Computing Heritage YouTube playlist
- Helping Bridge the Gender Gap in Computing Careers (YouTube video) – Microsoft Research. “By 2018, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the United States, yet at the current rate of job growth, only 29 percent of future computer scientists will be women. In order to build the most innovative technology solutions and solve the world’s toughest problems, we need teams that are diverse. “
What is your Developer Relations Program doing to reach out to Women in Computing?
I’d like to hear more about what your developer outreach program is doing to attract women to your technology products and services. Send me an email and I’ll include links to your women in computing and developer outreach programs.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Evans Data and DevRelate have several social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. I also professionally post developer and DevRel program news, blogs and articles on my Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ pages. I use Buffer as my developer social media tool. When scheduling social media posts, I have the option to post now, add to my queue and schedule at a specific date and time. Depending on the item I am posting, I sometimes choose to post the link and text several times for different global regions and time zones. I’ve listened to Guy Kawasaki (former Apple Macintosh developer relations evangelist and multiple book author) talk about how he uses social media. Guy is coming to Santa Cruz on November 2 to speak at the Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp. Sara Isenberg, the editor of Santa Cruz Tech Beat site and newsletter, posted a recent Jan Jones interview with Guy Kawasaki.
Guy Kawasaki and Social Media Posts
There are two questions you should definitely read in the Santa Cruz Tech Beat article. Guy Kawasaki talks about the importance of reaching as many people as possible. Guy often posts links at several different times to reach audiences who read their social feeds at different times. He relates social posting to television and cable news cycles. He often mentions that NPR repeats important shows every 4 to 6 hours. Guy reminds us that social media is one of your most important marketing vehicles. You can read the complete interview titled “Q&A: Wit and wisdom of Guy Kawasaki on display at “The Art of Social Media – November Tech MeetUp”.
When to social post your DevRel program news?
There are many articles about when you should schedule Social Media posts for your DevRel Program. Evans Data Corporation global developer research reports identify 4 main global regions: North America (NorAm), Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin America (LatAm). Some DevRel programs also slice and dice global regions into other groupings, for example BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). If I think that an interesting developer article is specifically focused on developers in EMEA, then I will schedule my post to appear in the early afternoon GMT and CET (Central Europe Time). If the developer topic will be of interest to all developers, I will schedule the social posts to hit the four main regions in their early afternoon time slots.
Buffer analyzed 4.8 million tweets by users of their app. Their summary showed that the most popular time to tweet was between 12noon and 1pm local time. The data also showed that most tweets were posted between 11am and 1pm local time. Hootsuite reported that “the best times are between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.” on work days. Huffington Post reported that you should post between 12noon and 5pm to get the maximum number of retweets, post at 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. I post articles and repeats on weekdays and weekends. Developers never stop working, reading and thinking. I often post future looking and tech FYI article links on the weekends.
Social Media Posts – Information and Links
Here are a few links to articles and resources about scheduling your social posts for maximum attention.
Social Media Posts – Your tools and times?
What social media sites do you use for your Developer Relations social marketing? What software and services do you use for social media? When do you post? Send me an email and let me know what you are using and doing. firstname.lastname@example.org
DevRelate blog about my Developer Relations Tools of the Trade