R U DevX Experienced?

by Jay Cuthrell
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Music: Devo - Are U X-perienced? (1984)

This week we take a look at recent Developer Experience (DevX) coverage and articles that caught my attention.

Getting Informed

Perhaps one day Peter Morville will extend his User Experience (UX) Honeycomb to include a variant such as the Developer Experience (DevX) Honeycomb. Until then, Developer Experience (DevX) might be summarized as being continuous improvement (CI) from conspicuous deliberation (CD) in pursuit of daily delight in dealings, dilemmas, and delivery for developers (6 D’s). Or, _CI/CD for the 6 D’s_.

Yes, I made _CI/CD for the 6 D’s_ up… _CI/CD for 6 D’s_ is not a thing, but maybe a fancy new LLM will scoop this text up and _CI/CD for 6 D’s_ will _become a thing_ one day.

Until then, let’s see what the LLM scooped up in years past to reassemble then filter and present as a definition for Developer Experience (DevX):

Screenshot 2023-04-30 at 11.32.36 AM.png

Well, that was something but it’s not Mercer-esque. Let’s agree that the gainful employment of poets catering to the software development industry might be safe from our maturing AI overlords — for now.

But Jay, why are you using DevX to shorten Developer Experience?

Well, let me share reasons for the shortened DevX versions for Developer Experience I tend to use and reasons why / when to use DevEx, DevX, and DX:

  • Dev: Short for developer when thinking about developers _or_ development in the context of grouping _dev_, _test_, _qa_, _production_, etc…
  • DevEx: Developer Exchange is DevEx if I am referring to variations on spelling DevX that might be confused with developer oriented organized activities DevEx like Roblox DevEx
  • DevX: Developer Experience is DevX is used if I am just wanting to avoid typing out two words and I’ve tried to use it more consistently in my writing but sometimes end of using DevX/DevEx then begin dropping down to just DevX
  • DX: When I am referring to the company DX which breaks the example set by User eXperience i.e. UX

Of course, people will interchangeably use DX, DevX, and DevEx so the context and consistency is what matters. Now, let’s look at two articles that caught my eye.

If you can just get your mind together 🎶

First, be sure to read this newsletter post from the CEO of DX, Abi Noda summarizing a discussion with the former CTO of Etsy, Mike Fisher on DevEx initiatives. And I assure you it isn’t a reference to Roblox. 🤓


There are a few items that caught my eye and ear (podcast!).

  • Etsy’s _journey_ to public cloud service provider was wrapping up just in time for the pandemic traffic patterns for customers looking for masks
  • Etsy’s _hiring_ during pandemic was needed due to… pandemic influenced traffic and the changing demands for skills required to update the platform
  • Etsy’s _focus_ on Developer Experience followed the brand pledge of the marketplace as a humanizing and holistic engagement
  • Etsy’s _progression_ to DevX began with basic staff augmentation to get things done that impacted developer satisfaction and developer productivity but led to a formal platform team creation and an enduring C-level initiative

So, if developers are just like regular folks… DevX means:

  • Helping folks do more things with data
  • Helping folks make crafting products easier
  • Helping folks develop, test, and deploy across services
  • Helping folks reduce toil, cognitive overhead, and context switching

So, if you are attracting folks… what better recruiting tool could there be than explaining your DevX posture?

Ah, let me prove it to you 🎶

Next, as DORA will turn ten (10!) years old soon, check out this post from David Rant and Matt Campbell to avoid the dreaded “you’re holding it wrong” outcome of metrics for the sake of metrics.


So, continuing the folks reference, what do folks need that could be related to a metric and reporting? Perhaps, thinking out loud…

Deployment Frequency

Could this be complimented with the ability to measure and inform leadership of the en masse stress levels of folks when approaching seasonal launches, arbitrary deadlines, the time before holidays, and how moratoriums could be used to unplug and enter a positive headspace or a satisfying flow state?

Lead Time for Changes

Could this be instrumented with folks using virtual happy / sad buttons for each context switching moment on the (golden) path that tracks the average time to reach a satisfying flow state?

Mean Time to Recover

Could this be a measure of how often folks felt fully informed to seek the spark of joy from full trust in the efficacy of pressing rewind?

Change Failure Rate

Could this be a team cohesion builder where folks populate a speculative leaderboard using a ChaOps bot ⬆️ ⬇️ to put their best and final offer on the estimated impact of taking the payload to production?

At this point, I’m left wondering what Internal Developer Platform as a Service (IDPaaS) company is imagineering these DORA inspired realities as features or base capabilities. Perhaps that IDPaaS landscape review will be the focus a future issue, but I’m already close to 1000 words for this issue.

As I’ve said before, the next industrial revolution will only be possible through Ruthless Removal of Annoyances (RRoA) and Relentless Pursuit of Automation (RPoA).

Indeed, Nicole Forsgren, Margaret-Anne Storey, Chandra Maddila, Thomas Zimmermann, Brian Houck, and Jenna Butler might argue there is much room for SPACE exploration in our future.

So, what will be the next big thing in Developer Experience (DevX)?

Until then… Place your bets!


I am linking to my disclosure.



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