I have been giving a fair bit of thought lately to app developer segmentation. Considering how much money is poured into developer relations, its surprising just how little solid segmentation work has been done in terms of understanding developer roles or personae. I am currently working on a project for a client, and began some rough segmentation work for an internal report I am writing. Then it struck me I should ask the Internet what you think. The list below is not designed to be comprehensive- in fact its more like a first cut. What to call the types is certainly a challenge – on another call with a developer relations client, yesterday, they referred to “bedroom developers” – is that an insult or a compliment?
So here are some types. Please File under “Work In Progress” and please suggest improvements/ideas/more types.
- the “hobbyist” – deeply interested in tech, learning and coding at home. May code in environments related to their daily work, but just as likely to be working in another environment entirely.
- the enterprise timeserver – codes in Java or .NET at work. Switches off at 5:30pm. Only interest is tools that can help get the job done. But not experimental- not polyglot.
- the ISV timeserver – as above, but works at an ISV which is more likely to be interested in current and future, rather than earlier versions of products and technologies.
- the independent web developer – like the hobbyist, but a much closer alignment between “work” and “play” in terms of target environments. Consultants, small agencies, and Shoreditch Roundabout types tend to fall into this category.
- the Big Web Company web developer – again – close aligment of work/play. lives the job. Web companies are increasingly looking at more “enterprise”-like environments to improve QoS.
- the ISV – a software company offering products or services to end customers. Likely to make technical direction decisions on the basis of market and company dynamics, rather than technical factors.
- the Systems Integrator – whether global or regional, this is an important developer type. Developer go to markets for all kinds of firm look to SIs as a crucial channel – its been interesting to see the growth of open source practices in these businesses over the last few years.
- the Agency – often from a design background, expect a lot of Flash skills and talk of user experience