Elevating the Developer Experience: A Forrester Study on How (and Why) to Improve DevX

June 27, 2022 Denise Martinez

Last month, we discussed how investing in developer happiness is not just a trend, and that, in fact, your business depends on it. In parallel, VMware commissioned a study by Forrester Research to examine the business impact of developer experience (DevX). This study helps identify the ways in which DevX affects business outcomes, determine obstacles to developer productivity, and outline how DevX can be improved. 

To explore this topic, Forrester conducted an online survey with 651 respondents, including IT and engineering leaders and line-of-business (LOB) leaders in predominantly large enterprises.

The results indicate that organizations that prioritize and invest in the developer experience stand to realize significant IT and business benefits that can improve their competitive positioning and profitability.

The business impact of DevX

Results showed that developer experience can affect business strategy execution, market competitiveness, and customer satisfaction, to name a few critical areas.

As shown in the diagram above, more than two-thirds of respondents believe that improving DevX will positively impact business objectives such as customer attraction and retention, customer satisfaction metrics, revenue growth, and profitability.

One director-level telecom leader in India noted, “A good developer experience increases team morale, productivity, and speed.”

Obstacles to developer productivity

When it comes to significant obstacles to developer productivity, leaders highlighted some of the same, technology-related blockers:

  1. Legacy platforms/developer tools

  2. Difficult integrating new tools

  3. Too many manual processes

Ways to improve DevX

Yet another compelling finding was that specific organizational processes and capabilities can make a significant impact on developer experience.

According to these decision makers, the most positively impactful capabilities are:

  1. Application deployment automation

  2. Easy access to open source software

  3. Application templates (e.g., reconfigured service bindings, dependency injection, libraries, etc.) 

So how do we make these insights actionable? How can leaders create change and ultimately improve business outcomes through a more streamlined, enjoyable developer experience?

Learn best practices from industry leaders

Another major finding from the study was that good DevEx uncomplicates the complicated. Enterprise level considerations such as cybersecurity, Kubernetes, multicloud, and open source software have a complex impact on enterprise architecture, along with software development tools and processes. Having a pleasant DevX and a robust developer toolset to navigate these considerations is imperative.

To get a deeper dive into these best practices, download the full thought leadership paper, which explains:

  • How to measure the benefits of a better developer experience

  • Tools to improve the developer experience

  • Reaping the returns of developer experience investments

You can also join our upcoming webinar, on June 30, to hear from industry leaders who are actively modernizing and improving their developer culture. Attendees will receive early access to our Executive’s Checklist to Fostering a Strong Developer  Experience for Business Growth—to help you start making change today.

Lastly, check out VMware Tanzu Application Platform to help your team overcome many of these common DevX challenges. VMware Tanzu Application Platform is a modular, application-aware platform that provides a rich set of developer tooling and a prepaved path to production—to build and deploy software quickly and securely on any compliant public cloud or on-premises Kubernetes cluster. Our customers say that Tanzu Application Platform is helping to keep their developers happy!

About the Author

Denise Martinez

Denise Martinez is a product marketing manager for Tanzu Application Platform at VMware, and is based in San Francisco.

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