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The Developer Journey.

The Developer Journey Map is a visualization that identifies the path a developer follows and experiences.

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What is The Developer Journey Map?
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Like a customer journey, The Developer Journey Map is a visualization that identifies the path a developer follows and experiences. As they move left to right across the stages, their level of interaction increases with your brand, team, and product. It’s one of the most valuable tools in Developer Relations in that it helps you think holistically about the experience from the developers’ perspective, while providing a very practical guide for you.

Your goal is to progress your developer from left to right as quickly as possible to increase product adoption and revenue potential.


Those interactions, called developer touchpoints, map a developer’s experience along the way - how they engage, what and whom they engage with, how it makes them feel, and how they react. Organizing these touchpoints into a map shows you the shortcomings or friction you can then optimize to create a better overall experience.

The Five Stages

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The five stages of the map indicate significant changes in the developer’s intent and actions. They do not imply elapsed time. 

For example, a developer may complete the first three or four stages on the same day if they invest the time, and you have provided a friction-free experience. Conversely, the adoption cycle to become a user could take a year if you piqued a developer’s interest but they haven’t yet found the right use case or project to build with your product. Also, the type of developer product matters. For example, an API typically has a faster journey time than an IOT hardware board.

Note that each stage has a stated goal for the developer. If the goal is achieved, the developer will move on to the next stage of adoption. Each goal has key questions you need to answer for the developer to achieve the overall goal of the stage in question. The goals and associated questions may be different for your program. This is fine. What is critical is that you have identified them and can provide the answers necessary for the developer to progress.

As a Developer Relations leader, it’s your job to develop and optimize each of the “touchpoints,” ensuring you answer all of their questions and meet the goals for each stage of the journey.
 

Touchpoints

Owned and Earned

Owned touchpoints are the properties and content that your company owns and controls. You have complete control over what a touchpoint is, what it does, and how it contributes. Examples include your website, developer hub, documentation, your messaging on social media, your advertising, pricing information, code samples, support, etc.

External touchpoints are the opposite. You do not have direct control over them, however, they are key resources and channels to reach both your existing users and your potential future customers. Ensuring your brand and tools are visible, discussed, and supported on these properties is absolutely vital to ensure awareness grows, reputation is positive and adoption rises. Examples include developer focused media, industry analysts, 3rd party communities, external forums, etc.

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How to use it

On the Developer Journey Map, we included 42 touchpoints to consider. We have also placed them where they are typically first encountered. Of course, touchpoints can be relevant in more than one stage of the journey. Don’t feel constrained by what these are or where they are situated in our example - do what is right for you. We encourage you to iterate on our example.

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Your Developer Journey Map is one of the most important documents you will create. It can be used to document and level set the understanding of your Developers’ interactions and their experience with every facet of your company.

The Developer Journey Map is shared under a CC:BY:SA license, so let us know what you think, and feel free to adapt it to keep improving its utility.

We recommend you create your own Developer Journey Map at the initial creation of your program, and periodically, to audit the effectiveness of your journey with ongoing reviews and tests. The key is to remove all the friction from your journey.

Here are three ways to identify friction in both quantitative and qualitative ways to understand if your journey is working optimally:

 

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Read and Download The Developer Journey Map Guide

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