Developer Experience Workshop

Elevate Your Developer Experience

Empower your software development team to identify and overcome workflow challenges, fostering innovation and enhancing productivity. Our comprehensive approach to understanding, measuring, and improving Developer Experience (DevEx) ensures your team delivers high-quality software more efficiently and joyfully than ever. In the workshop, we will identify and address some of the most pressing issues that reduce your team’s productivity, innovation, and satisfaction. Additionally, your team will learn about the DevEx improvement cycle and gain first-hand knowledge of tools and methodologies to continually identify and improve core issues that hinder your team’s development success.

How Our Developer Experience Workshops Work

Our Developer Experience Workshops are designed to help your team identify and solve challenges in their workflow, leading to increased productivity and innovation. Here’s how the process works:

First, we do a pre-workshop evaluation. In this evaluation, we gather initial information through surveys or interviews to understand your team’s current developer experience. This helps us tailor the workshop to address specific issues and goals.

Key Activities include:

  • Conduct preliminary surveys or interviews
  • Analyze current developer experience data
  • Define focus group objectives

Based on the first evaluation and discussion with the team, we plan the workshop. Three main key points occur during the workshop: problem identification, finding solutions, and developing an action plan. 

Problem Identification

  • Setting the Context: The facilitator sets the stage by explaining the purpose of the meeting and the specific problems to be addressed.
  • Brainstorming Problems: Team members individually or in groups list the problems they perceive in the current project or workflow.
  • Sharing and Categorizing: Each member shares their identified problems, which are then categorized and prioritized by the group.
  • Identify Key Pain Points: Through guided discussions and interactive exercises, the team identifies the major friction points and challenges in their current workflow.

Finding Solutions

Introduction and Overview: We start the session with an overview of the goals and agenda. This sets the stage for open and productive discussions.

Collaborative Problem Solving: Participants brainstorm and develop potential solutions to the identified issues. This collaborative approach ensures that the solutions are practical and aligned with the team’s needs.

Prioritize Solutions: The team evaluates and prioritizes the proposed solutions based on their impact and feasibility. This helps in focusing efforts on the most critical areas first.

Working Out an Action Plan

Action Plan Development: We help the team create a detailed action plan to implement the prioritized solutions. This plan includes clear steps, responsibilities, and timelines.

Support and Resources: Provide additional resources, tools, and support to ensure successful implementation of the action plan.

Feedback and Adjustments: Collect feedback on the focus group process and make any necessary adjustments to improve future sessions.

Depending on the complexity and number of problems, it may be beneficial to hold several dedicated meetings. Each meeting can focus on a specific phase of the process (problem identification, solution finding, action planning) to allow for thorough discussion and effective outcomes.

Workshop methodologies

We use several methodologies during our workshops to enhance brainstorming and facilitate group decision-making. These methodologies help structure discussions, ensure comprehensive coverage of issues, and foster creativity and consensus.

To begin with, we often start with a mind mapping exercise which serves as a visual tool to capture and organize ideas around a central problem. This technique helps participants see the connections between different aspects of the issue and can stimulate further ideas through a more holistic view. Brainwriting, another effective method, involves team members writing down their ideas anonymously. This anonymity encourages more open sharing, especially from individuals who might be hesitant to speak up in a group setting. Additionally, SCAMPER is a creative technique used to generate ideas by prompting participants to consider various aspects of the problem, such as substituting, combining, adapting, modifying, putting to another use, eliminating, and reversing elements.

Depending on the needs of the team, other methodologies can significantly contribute to the success of brainstorming sessions. The Fishbone Diagram, or Ishikawa diagram, helps teams systematically identify root causes of problems, ensuring that discussions cover all potential factors. The Round Robin technique allows each team member to contribute ideas in turn, ensuring that all voices are heard and preventing dominant personalities from overshadowing quieter members. Additionally, the Lotus Blossom technique expands on a central idea by surrounding it with related sub-ideas, which can then be further expanded, promoting deep exploration of the problem space.

When it comes to group decision-making, we often use a Multi-Voting technique. Team members vote on the most promising ideas, which helps narrow down the options to those with the highest group consensus. The Delphi Technique, on the other hand, involves gathering anonymous input from experts, followed by several rounds of discussion and refinement, allowing for the convergence of opinions without the influence of dominant individuals. The Nominal Group Technique is a structured method where individuals first write down their ideas independently and then discuss and rank them collectively. This method ensures that the initial idea generation is free from groupthink. Furthermore, the Six Thinking Hats methodology encourages participants to look at the problem from different perspectives—logical, emotional, creative, etc.—through role-playing. This approach helps uncover a more rounded view of the problem and potential solutions.

Other useful methods include the Pareto Analysis, which helps prioritize problems or solutions based on their impact, often following the 80/20 rule. The SWOT Analysis, examining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the internal and external factors affecting the problem.

During a workshop, we select several of those techniques, tailored to the specific context and needs of the team, to significantly enhance the effectiveness and to make sure the team can focus on problem-solving and action planning. By leveraging these diverse techniques, teams can ensure thorough exploration, creative idea generation, and well-considered decision-making, ultimately leading to more successful and actionable outcomes.

Extended Developer Experience Coaching

To ensure rapid improvements and help when it’s needed, we offer coaching sessions for teams and leaders after the workshop. These sessions provide personalized guidance and support as you implement and refine your action plans, and iterate through the developer experience improvement cycle.

DevEx Workshop Prices

We offer three different workshop packages. Each workshop package is designed to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and create actionable plans to get long-lasting DevEx improvement. Choose the package that best fits your needs and take your team to the next level.

The Focus Package includes a Developer Experience Workshop where we help identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and create an action plan. This package consists of one workshop lasting 3 hours and is priced at €1790.

The Dedication Package also includes a Developer Experience Workshop but we spend more time and dedication on each of the three phases: identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, and creating an action plan. This package offers up to three meetings, each lasting between 2-3 hours, totaling up to 6 hours of workshop time, at a price of €3980.

Our most comprehensive option, the Commitment Package, provides a Developer Experience Workshop with three meetings, totaling 6 hours of workshop time, to identify problems, brainstorm solutions, and create an action plan. Additionally, this package includes six weeks of unlimited coaching support via email and weekly follow-up meetings. The Commitment Package is available for €9980.

There is no limit to the number of participants that can take part in the workshop; however, we recommend keeping the number below 25 developers for optimal results. Best outcomes are achieved with groups smaller than 18 developers. If your team has specific needs, please contact us for a personalized offer.

What People Say

"Thank you for leading the code review workshop earlier in the week. I found it to be informative and engaging. It encouraged discussion in a relaxed environment, which was valuable to me since a lot of the colleagues attending were in orgs that have different practices."
Ciro Nishiguchi
Chief Engineer at National Instruments
"Participating in the Developer Experience Focus Group was a game-changer for our team. We identified critical issues and developed actionable solutions that significantly boosted our productivity."
Robert Göritzer
Robert Göritzer
Engineering Manager
"Perfect mix of theory, background, and practical. This is hard to get right!"
Dave Cottlehuber
Software Architect at SkunkWerks

Ready to Transform your Developer Experience?

Ready to transform your team’s developer experience? Contact us today to learn more about our Developer Experience Workshops and Coaching options. Let’s work together to unlock your team’s full potential and achieve outstanding results.

About me

My name is Dr. Michaela Greiler. I work with software development teams to help them improve their software development process, which leads to happier developers and more productive, high-quality outputs. 

During my time at Microsoft, I led several in-depth improvement activities targeting Microsoft’s internal code review, testing, and build processes.

I helped teams like Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Exchange, and Windows. Learn more about me here.

Developer Experience Research

Dr. Greiler and her team led the large-scale grounded theory study that aimed to define and understand developer experience. During the study with developers from 20 different companies, we also identified barriers to developer experience when improving developer experience and a set of strategies to prove helpful in making sure to be able to drive developer experience improvements. In subsequent studies, we showed the link between productivity and developer experience, as well as the tangible impacts developer experience has on outcomes such as innovation, creativity, tech debt, profitability, and retention.  

ACM Article

Engineering leaders have struggled to measure and define developer productivity due to the complex and diverse nature of developers’ work. Traditional metrics like output and task completion times are insufficient. A new approach focusing on developer experience (DevEx) instead of productivity offers a valuable shift in perspective by aiming at removing friction points in developers’ work. This paper introduces a practical framework for understanding and measuring DevEx to guide productivity improvements.

DevEx: What Actually Drives Productivity, ACM Queue, Volume 21, Issue 2, May 2023 

Developer experience (DX) is crucial for software organizations as it enhances productivity, satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Through semi-structured interviews with 21 industry developers, we identified factors affecting DX and strategies to improve it, along with barriers and coping mechanisms when improvements are insufficient. Our research led to the creation of the DX Framework, an actionable conceptual tool for understanding and enhancing developer experience. This framework serves as a reference for organizations aiming to foster more productive and effective work environments for their developers.

An Actionable Framework for Understanding and Improving Developer Experience, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 2021

ACM Article on developer experience

Developers know that DevEx matters because it provides critical insights into the effectiveness of systems and processes from the developers’ perspective, influencing the quality and reliability of software. Yet, leaders seek to understand the direct outcomes of DevEx on team performance and organizational missions. This study quantifies the impact DevEx has on creativity, innovation, productivity and tech debt.

DevEx in Action
A study of its tangible impacts, ACM Queue, Volume 21, Issue 6, January 2024