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Developer Segmentation Canvas.

Clarity on your target audience is a key to your Developer Relations success.


One sure way to make us grimace is to say you are “targeting developers.” Even saying, “we’re targeting enterprise developers,” will raise an eyebrow. You are setting yourself up to fail.

Here’s Why.

There is no single definition for “Developer.” Rather, the term “developer” refers to millions of individuals, all with different skill levels and purchasing authority, who use different technology stacks and programming languages. They speak different languages and live in different geographic regions. They belong to different types of companies, are at different stages of their education or professional career, and are working on different use cases. The sheer variety of traits that make each developer unique quickly adds to a combinatorial explosion of attributes that create colossal diversity.

Because of this diversity, you can’t expect the same message to resonate with them all. You can’t expect to find them all in the same place. Nor do they all want or need your product. Indeed, your product was likely designed for a specific audience. It’s not effective or necessary for you to target ‘all developers’, and you likely don’t have the resources to attempt such a feat even if you wanted to.

Segmentation is About Focus and Alignment.

That’s where Segmentation comes in. Focus is required because the alternative is unrealistic. To succeed, you must pursue targeted opportunities rather than the entire market.

By creating your segments (or target groups) and, subsequently, developer personas, you will be able to:

  • Craft more precise and tailored messaging

  • Create a more effective go-to-market strategy

  • Optimize your Developer Experience

  • Enhance your product

  • Nail down your product/market fit, and

  • Decide on the type of support to offer


Start creating your Developer Segmentation by first understanding several key attributes of developers, including:

  • Their motivation – why do they do what they do?

  • Their skillset – what tools and resources do they currently use, and what gaps do they have?

  • Their goals – what do they want to achieve?

  • Their mindset – how do they evaluate and make decisions?

  • The demands on their time – where and how do they need support? What type of projects are they working on?

  • Their limiting factors – skills, budget, existing infrastructure choices, corporate culture?

  • The demands on their attention – who are you competing with for mindshare?

  • And where to find them?


We’ve used and reviewed many segmentation models over the years but always found them lacking effectiveness for Developer Relations. So we created our own.

How to use the Framework.

To start your segmentation, you’ll gather several sources of information. This will include qualitative sources like feedback from your community, colleagues, peers in the industry, and the tech press. And quantitative sources like your CRM, product analytics tools, and surveys, including your own and those published by Stack Overflow, SlashData, and others. And don’t forget to talk to your product team too.


The Framework contains some suggested discovery questions for you to answer in each filter category, which sharpens your focus. We suggest you add your own questions specific to your company and product to create even deeper insights.

As you fill out your Developer Segmentation Canvas with your priority criteria, ensure each of your criteria can pass the following tests:

  1. Is the segment relevant to our business?

  2. Is it a large enough segment?

  3. Is it a valuable enough segment?

  4. Can we target this segment based on our resources?


This Developer Segmentation Framework and Canvas 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.

Download your own copy of The Developer Segmentation Framework with sample and blank versions of the Developer Segmentation Canvas with instructions on how to use them to create your own Developer Segmentation. 

If you would like us to assist with creating your segmentation, learn more.

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Read and Download The Developer Segmentation Guide

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