Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Regaining Developer Trust

I'm sorry it's been awhile since I've posted. Life happens and so does work. I'm going to start to regularly write about life in digital media and beyond. The title isn't appropriate for what I do since I don't just work with media companies, consumer electronics manufacturers, and service providers like Cable and Wireless companies. But it's where I started because life changed after the devices and projects I worked on got one thing - an Internet connection.
Today I spent an hour catching up with a friend who's spent a lot of time working with developers. More than anything, developers are people, like you and I. They aren't an icon. They aren't some source code. They are people. And they are a key part of an organization's success.
I've worked at IBM, Nokia, and Photobucket. At all the companies, figuring out what was right for the developer was always at the center of my projects. But as you roll out new ideas and services, we tend to protect and guard them, rather than poll the masses for feedback. Developers sense that, and it keeps them from investing in your platform because they aren't sure how everything fits together.
It's becoming clear to everything that I do - developers are an extended part of an organization. As a key member of a company that caters to developers, helping them match users with apps in the competitive world of mobile apps, many companies struggle to see how developer trust is key. At lunch, the friend was telling me how some deals were won. It wasn't about how much money was being thrown at the developer. It wasn't about how much marketing or distribution could happen with the platform. At the end of the day, it was about how easy it was to work with the person that represents the company to the developer.
As we all build developer programs, let's try to remember that developers are people. They aren't userIDs; they aren't an app; they aren't a datapoint. They are people that need to be treated as core to your mission. In my mission, developers are key to generating the content that keeps my consumers happy. As we build out these programs, be transparent, exchange ideas, and keep iterating on the products and services that the developers need to continue to create with the products and services they have.

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