CWDN series: Dev-eXperience - New Relic: Elevating full-stack DX for business success

This is a guest post for the Computer Weekly Developer Network written by Jemiah Sius in his capacity as director of developer relations at New Relic.

New Relic is known for its its digital intelligence observability platform built to help software engineers instrument everything, then analyse, troubleshoot and optimise the software stack.

Sius writes in full as follows 

Optimising developer experience (DX) is the first step in empowering software engineers and boosting productivity across the business.

A clear approach to DX elevates productivity by streamlining deployment within a team, accelerating innovation, improving collaboration, increasing efficiency and reducing the likelihood of failures.

It is absolutely crucial to the success of developers as it ensures your product becomes completely invaluable to operations and overall workflow.

For full-stack developers, an elevated DX across their workflows can unlock efficiency, foster collaboration and yield high-quality applications.

The introduction of strong DX principles will undoubtedly lead to a strong user experience (UX), which is a key aim for every business. Especially given the current macroeconomic climate, which means that companies can’t stand to lose any customers and so must strive to provide the strongest UX possible. As such, enhancing DX should be at the top of agendas for all tech leaders.

On top of this, the current macroeconomic climate has meant that companies can’t stand to lose any customers at this time. don’t have the same wiggle room to

Embedded full-stack DX

To embed positive full-stack DX environments, leaders will first need to conduct a thorough assessment of the existing experience across their business. This will likely throw up an array of different areas in need of improvement, based on variations between developer skillsets and work focuses.

This brings us to an important lesson to learn early on – there is no one-size-fits-all for DX. Different teams, and different developers within those teams, will have unique need and goals that all need accommodating. Creating a remarkable full-stack DX that incorporates these needs could include initiatives such as a simple setup, comprehensive documentation, robust error handling, wise application programming interface (API) and software developer kit (SDK) selection, top-notch security measures and a supportive community within the organization. Leaders must approach the implementation of these initiatives with a tailored approach to ensure their developers feel supported and confident to deliver their best results.

New Relic’s Sius: Combine an exceptional developer experience with a user-centred mindset for dovetailed success.

An organisation’s core breadth of focus is important too.

Limiting attention to Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) alone, for example, would be a blinkered approach.

Taking a step back to consider the bigger picture – factoring in APIs, SDKs, third-party libraries and the packages leveraged by businesses – will be far more impactful. Leaders who can evaluate their ease of use, the wealth of documentation and community support they offer, as well as their reliability, will, be more successful. Pairing these considerations with actionable metrics that are agile, can scale well, and crucially don’t overwhelm teams, will help to deliver an exceptional experience to developers across the board.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that while a good DX lays the foundation for better software, it doesn’t guarantee user happiness.

From DX… to CX

There is a multitude of other factors that must come into play to when optimising customer experience.

To truly excel at user experience, leaders must incorporate user feedback, conduct rigorous usability testing, and embrace an iterative approach to meet user needs and preferences. All whilst ensuring that each step is tailored to their team and end-user. By combining an exceptional developer experience with a user-centred mindset, you can increase the chances of delivering a product that meets both technical standards and provides an outstanding user experience. And ultimately improve the overall engagement and success of products.

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