top of page

Putting names to faces - Developer Personas

Updated: May 28, 2023

Congratulations, you have finished your segmentation exercise.

Next up is creating your personas.

Personas are a way to personalize your targets (i.e. put a name and face) to help you and your teams think more personally about your users.

We typically recommend you create three or four personas, although this may vary based on your product range. When putting together your personas, you’ll use the criteria you gathered from your segmentation exercise and add additional personal descriptors.

Our Developer Persona Canvas helps to visualize a developer’s needs, on a single sheet of paper. Create one canvas for each persona. We have seen Developer Persona Canvases printed off and taped up on office walls. Then marketing and product teams alike can look directly at the person they are creating for and think:

Would this work for “Mark”?

Developer Persona Canvas

You’ll see our Developer Personas are more specific than typical B2B, or B2C personas. There is minimal focus on demographics and a greater focus on creating actionable insights. The canvas covers their Skills and how those skills relate to using your product. Their educational and vocational training, qualifications, and where they go to stay up to date on their skills. Next, we measure their Awareness of your company and product.

In Business, we assess their influence on purchasing new tools and products. This is, of course, vital to understand for sales and marketing. Firstly, we categorize their influence on searching or scouting for new technologies in the market and secondly, their influence on making the purchasing decision.

Personal Development captures how and where they learn new skills. Examples could include peer learning, self-paced online training, books, conferences, or formal training courses.

Community assesses which communities the developer self-identifies as a member of. This may include active participation or lurking in online communities, attending meetups and conferences, making open-source contributions, etc.

In the far right column, we look at understanding their Pain Points and any problems they need to solve. This information will be vital to take forward into the development of your messaging, to ensure it resonates with the persona. Use Cases identify relevant examples of how your product could be used by them to solve one or more of their pain points.

Using a Persona makes your messaging powerful and specific.

Product provides an opportunity to tag which of your products the developer is using today and, based on your knowledge of them, which of your products may be of interest to them in the future.

Finally, we map “Mark” to his own Developer Journey to indicate where he goes to research information on new technologies and the particular elements of your Developer Experience, such as sample code or video tutorials that will most resonate with him.

Spending quality time on these personas informs your Go to Market plan, and when combined with quantitative and qualitative research, helps you build a picture of your customers and prospects. Knowing where they go to learn new skills and which communities they participate in helps you understand what to sponsor, where to advertise, and what to attend (on-line and off-line). Understanding the programming languages and frameworks they use helps to optimize your technical documentation and support channels.

Don't miss new posts. Get email notifications by subscribing to our blog.

bottom of page