What Is Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is a great place to start, because it is so broad, overused and misused (and therefore irritating to many developers whose job is essentially digital transformation.) Digital transformation describes how businesses have to change their internal and external practices in order to take advantage of efficiencies or experiences that can only be given by using the latest digital tools. The motives can be as varied as simply keeping up with the market, improving a workflow’s performance, or improving an internal or external experience with a company’s product or process.
Which Developers Care About Digital Transformation?
A wide swathe of developers are involved in digital transformation. According to a recent TechTarget article,”CIOs looking to drive digital transformation at their organizations will need to embrace a range of technologies; this is certainly not a one-and-done IT project. But at the heart of any digital transformation strategy is a software approach that meets modern needs. In a digital age, software no longer supports the business. Software is the business.” That means a lot of responsibility rests with a company’s development team.
For developers, this often means being asked to take a legacy system and move that to cloud. But, rapidly, they, and their CIO begin to understand that for digital transformation to move a business forward, it has to be more than a “lift-and-shift.” It means transforming workflows, developer tools, and technology.
Examples include moving from waterfall to agile approaches and incorporating security. This can mean a shift to DevOps (moving the developer and operations roles and approaches into a blended role and workflow instead of developers handing off software to the operations team) as well as DevSecOps (again, integrating security into the integrated development/operations workflow and environment).
What Are Their Most Pressing Problems?
Developers involved in digital transformation initiatives are learning a variety of new things.
- Process (like moving from waterfall to agile approaches to programming and operations)
- Incorporating microservices
- Implementing automation technologies
To get more specific, technical topics might include:
- How to do an API-led integration with a specific stack
- How to securely use a cloud service platform with a mobile development platform
- How to use a specific tool (Docker, Kubernetes) to containerize data stored on a legacy platform
How Did We Discover These Problems?
We always begin by consulting our own experience with and insight into developer communities. Beyond that we check our insight by visiting places where we see developers engaging with each other, namely:
- D2D Communities. These are communities of developers, often organized around a certain tool, application, or platform. Select the D2D communities to monitor based on influence and relevance to your content marketing campaign goals. Examples of popular D2D communities according to the developers surveyed by Evans Data Corporation include CodeProject, StackOverflow, CNET, ComputerWorld, and dev.to.
- Developer Influencer Blogs. A developer influencer is a regular developer that walks as a celebrity in the developer world. They have a position, an outlet, and an audience. Examples include developer rock stars like Ted Neward, Jeff Fritz, Scott Hanselman, and Alvin Ashcraft. Ideally, your content is compelling enough to deserve a mention as part of a developer influencer’s blog post or other curated content. It might show up in the comments on these sites. It pays to identify and target the developer influencers your audience listens to, and monitor those comments and content for mentions of your campaign’s content.
- Media Specific Platforms. Here, we define media platforms as platforms that share content based on the media form of the content. Think YouTube (which has developer-specific channels many developers go to to view tutorials and how-to’s) for videos, Twitch for live-streaming content for gamers and developers, Medium and Blogger for text including developer-specific blogs, and Quora for Q&A content.
- Curation Platforms. These are platforms that don’t require new content but allow community members to post existing, attributed content to generate or respond to discussions. They can be completely developer-specific, like Hacker News, or have developer-specific forums like Reddit. The curated items are community contributed to promote conversation, often through controversy.
- Developer Surveys. Trying a data driven approach isn’t as hard as you think. Organizations like Evans Data Corporation and Slash Data offer survey results and analysis about the challenges developers are facing in specific technology areas.
Mind-Blowing or Meh?
Discovering pain points requires listening to your primary audience when they are talking to each other. Hanging out in developer communities, forums, and social media affords you the insight of developer conversations with each other. This points you in the right direction to answer the question, “ Mind-blowing or meh?”, for digital transformation topics you think are most relevant for your brand and your audience.