Developer Experience is Dead
Getting new tools is like that moment when you were young and would get a new toy. You tore open the packaging, tossed the instructions aside, and for the next few hours, the only thing that mattered was this awesomely new and enthralling object in your hands.
For me, the toys that transported me into another world were Legos. Even now, I will sometimes order a set on a whim just to feel the rush to build something new. While many others have more impressive collections like AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr, I have a decent collection of sets, especially the City Architecture series.
The need to build, probe, take apart, and rebuild is innate in those of us that self-identify as techies. That process is even better if we have good tools to help us along the way, like a trusty Swiss Army Knife or those sets of mini Torx screwdrivers.
The same goes for writing and deploying software. The better the tools, the better the results, at least in theory. This led to greater interest around tools and methodologies focused on making the lives of developers easier. The term coined for this is developer experience.
The developer market has exploded in popularity. With the rise of DevOps, increasing pace of digital transformation, and a massive glut of free capital being poured into tech startups, the past decade has seen a Cambrian explosion of tools.
How big is the market? There are 1004 companies in the developer tools market that ship 1286 product lines for developers. Of the startups, they raised $37 billion USD in VC funding. Of the 117 new startups in the developer market, they collectively raised $1 billion last year.
The approach to selling tools to engineering teams during this period got flipped on its head. No longer were developer tools sold top down by salespeople to IT leaders. In startups, developers were making the tool choices. Even developers in bigger companies were gaining more say in tooling decisions as leaders realized how it helped with productivity and recruitment.