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Developer program metrics – how do you measure RoI?

Andreas Constantinou · November 01, 2018

Now that the dust has settled it’s time to celebrate. And share some data and insights.

In September 2018 we ran our third Future Developer Summit in Menlo Park, California. It was an unprecedented success, bringing in a net promoter score of 80. We hosted 60+ leaders in developer marketing and relations, hand-picked at Director level and up, from nearly 40 companies, from Amazon and Arm to Salesforce and Samsung. They gathered to debate best practices in developer marketing, learn, and design better developer strategies.

Like all things at /Data, we never sit still. Our 3rd Summit was twice as large as our 2017 event, with more innovations on the format (including an investment session with ‘monopoly’ money!), more interactivity, more companies represented, and a pre-event networking dinner.

future developer summit 2018, slashdata summit, developer marketing, developer programs, developer marketing leaders

David Bryant, Fellow at Mozilla, captured the atmosphere of the event as follows:

“Future Developer Summit was a fabulous event that managed to combine outstanding speakers, a creative and engaging agenda, and dynamite topics at the leading edge of developer programs and outreach.  So many great opportunities to exchange ideas and learn!”

The day was packed with data and insights, with presentations from Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Facebook, Twilio, Mozilla, Wikimedia, Digital Ocean, Pivotal, Twitch, and Arm.

Some of the most tantalising insights came from the developer program leader survey which we ran during the Summit. 46 developer program leaders participated, allowing us to capture an up-to-date view of developer program resourcing spend, RoI and priorities, for all major developer programs represented at the Summit (see list of companies represented at the Summit here).

Technology-driven developer programs represented at the Summit ranged from small (1-5 headcount in developer marketing/relations) to medium (11-50) and large (250+). The median developer program budget was in the range $2M-$5M. Developer programs have significant budgets and resources, but still small compared to their enterprise counterparts.

developer programs, developer program sizing, future developer summit 2018, slashdata

More importantly, we measured the most popular RoI metrics for developer programs, based on the business function – marketing, relations or tooling – which produced wildly different results. Developer marketing teams prefer page views, unique visitors, or social media mentions as a metric of developer RoI, i.e. metrics directly related to traction and traffic. Relations teams favour developer satisfaction, active users and Net Promoter Scores: their focus is mostly on quality. Finally, developer tooling or engineering teams opt for SDK downloads and telemetry-type data as a measure of RoI, i.e. actual, real-life usage of their products. Less popular metrics were omitted from the graph.

developer program metrics, developer marketing, developer program ROI, future developer summit 2018, slashdata

At the Summit we also launched our Developer Marketing: The Essential Guide, a book co-authored with the leading practitioners of developer marketing, working for the top platforms, from Accenture and Amazon to Unity and VMWare. The first of its kind, the book is designed to spread knowledge, currently held behind closed doors, to the broader audience of developer marketing practitioners based within thousands of platform companies around the world.

We also held our 4th Developers’ Choice Awards, celebrating the leading software platforms, based on the independent and unbiased opinions of over 20,500 developers from 165+ countries. Run twice a year, the Developers’ Choice Awards reflects the results of /Data’s semi-annual global Developer Economics research program.

We’d like also thank our partners – Catchy, Accenture, Developer Media and Gerson Lehrman Group who supported the Future Developer Summit with their presence. Until the next Future Developer Summit – watch this space. If you’d like to be considered for next year’s Summit, please let us know by emailing chris@slashdata.co 

 

Andreas