HomeNews & InsightsStart Your DX Journey With a Developer Hub

Start Your DX Journey With a Developer Hub

By Matthew Lowry 21st Sep 2022

As organisations scale up their engineering capability, providing a way to share information and structure around governance becomes increasingly important. Without doing so, organisations often find common challenges around:

  • Struggling to drive consistency and standards – Engineers work more independently and use all their own preferred tools and technologies.
  • Increased lead times – As engineers rebuild the same solution.
  • Difficulty facilitating knowledge sharing – As there is no community management or place to share ideas and innovation

A Developer Hub can offer a great starting point to resolve these challenges for growing engineering departments. Building a developer hub can offer significant benefits. Spotify for example saw a reduction of 66% on a developer’s 10th pull request, a commonly used metric for measuring onboarding efficiency.

Building software at scale is complex

You can quickly find yourself in situations where teams begin to segregate and re-solve problems, meaning there is a duplication of effort caused by a lack of available information. Documentation can become hard to come by, of varying quality, and scattered in various locations. Also, it becomes difficult to keep track of the services already available, who is using them, and who is accountable for them.

Eventually, what was once a trivial task becomes complex and tiresome, and as you grow these challenges can worsen without intervention.

So What Can We Do?

Once organisations reach a certain size, we can defragment engineering by investing in Developer Experience. A great starting point for this investment is a Developer Hub. One place where engineers will always turn to for all the tools and information to do their job efficiently.

Developer Hub is a central place where developers, engineers and stakeholders can connect and view documentation around the organisation’s technology ecosystem. Tutorials, API documentation, access to support, key generation, service descriptions and app management are all things that can be accessed from a developer hub.

Although there are no set standards for creating a Developer Hub, we have found that good implementations more often than not provide the following:

A Searchable Service Catalogue

To show each live service, its production status, who owns it, its change-log, any technical documentation and its open API specification.

Technology Radar

To demonstrate governance on which tools and technologies the organisation is preferring teams to adopt, trial, maintain or drop.

Golden Path Templates

For teams to find preferred templates for common problems and automate all the non-value add tasks to get production-ready.

Engineering Principals

A set of agreed and defined foundations and principles that all teams should strive towards, such as tests must be considered upfront before any code is produced.

Ultimately the developer hub aims to help an organisation scale. It does this by:

  • Reducing the time to get started & building – Having searchable and comprehensive documentation helps developers understand systems, APIs and dependencies required to develop & extend applications. Additionally reducing the number of errors caused by incorrect API use.
  • Helps define and endorse developer standards – When an organisations engineers collaborate to define standards, they can be lost in hard-to-find wiki pages and other documentation. A high-traffic developer hub created in the correct way, can direct all new developers to standards where they can understand the requirements and also contribute to them.
  • Increased communication across your organisation – Positive and constructive communication is a key contributor to good company culture. A Developer hub can help developers and stakeholders connect. Project and API documentation can be coupled with the contact details of the team that built it and any other key stakeholders. Focusing conversations and giving the developer community in your organisation a contact directory grounded in context.
  • Creating a true developer community – When done right, organisations will benefit from an engaged, connected engineering community that understands the organisation’s expectations. Set standards will naturally become the default as teams applications are on display and striving for excellence. Communities will organically grow as teams have a much better understanding of who builds what, where and how to connect.

How Can We Help?

Developer Experience(DX) has become a focal point of forward-thinking organisations looking to scale their engineering capability efficiently. At the centre of this new focus on DX are Developer Hubs. They provide a single source of information for all standards and guidelines, tooling, available APIs, dynamic service catalogues and more. Here at ClearRoute, our experienced engineers are on hand to support building, designing and helping teams adopt Developer Hubs.

  • Build and Drive Adoption of a Developer Hub – Establish your new central source of information. Move away from messy wiki pages and provide a structured location for information on existing services and standards.
  • Define Engineering Principals & Technology Roadmap – Outline the principles for teams to adopt. Communicate strategic changes through a Technology Radar, making it clear what is on the way in and what is on the way out.
  • Integrate Golden Path Templates & Reusable Tooling – Encourage reuse by providing a clear supported option for developers to use in the format of a Golden Path.

Also, we offer in-house accelerators that will make it quick and seamless to get set up with your Developer Hub.

Consider building a developer hub if your organisation is struggling to: encourage consistency and reuse, communicate engineering strategy changes or provide a searchable catalogue of services for developers. If this sounds familiar, a developer hub could offer significant benefits.