What DX means to its end users
Developer Experience is a self-explanatory phrase — the experience of developers — but like with ‘User Experience’ it evades the definition in a way that people mention it for different reasons, at different times, and regarding different things.
And so job positions like DX Analyst or DX delivery manager can be seen posted over job portals. Proof that DX is real. But is it that simple to comprehend? Let’s diagnose more and understand various others ways we think about it and use this term.
People think of minimal load (to take)
It’d be great to have tools that remove as much cognitive load off of a developer as possible. Stuff like auto-complete and error-response are small things that save developers' brains from having to "think" about those things because they are given. It's like automation and AI working for users, allowing them to create more and worry less.
For a good DX to manifest, the best tools, in that case, aren't something you decide to use or not use, rather it's something that comes in use organically without the user knowing it, but by simply integrating it.
People think of tech
It’s common to see DX surfacing when comparing technologies. For example, some users claim that Vue offers a great developer experience versus Choreo. The claim must be about things like APIs. Perhaps it is about work management on one vs. the other. Or do they just think of more plugins and integrations? API builders Vue and Svelte have animation helpers built-in whereas Choreo gives more governance during the dev lifecycle. But Vue also has hooks that devs love a lot because it allows them to call their own code under certain circumstances.
Here, the DX is governed by the aspects of the available technologies and its use case for a developer.
More tech comparisons
Devs also speak about their feeling about the tools around the core technology. Well, when it comes to working on java codes, React app is widely beloved, but so is Momentsjs. React Router is hugely popular, but Moments has a pro team with quick solutions that make it more personalized and trustful. Take your pick.
People think of core coding
The most instant DX for devs will be about how quickly (and smoothly) they can access the coding interface so they can create and build fast. That’s coding and it is what devs want readily available with minimum fuss. So no prizes for guessing why devs take this core experience so seriously and are on a quest to improve it for themselves. Look at the smooth experience at VS Code and why devs made it so popular so quickly. But so is the recent growth with Choreo where coding gets ultra simple and devs love it too.
So how users code is the crux of their DX on that particular platform.
Honestly, people don’t think about DX much
They say the best websites are the ones that guide users to their goals, without them really noticing if the aesthetics are great or whether the navigation is smooth. The same is true with DX. Platforms with the finest DX just work and users don’t notice the tools or the technology behind it.
Sublime DX is about accomplishing your job rather than battling with the platform.
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