On June 5, 2021, the 2021 China Developer Ecosystem Summit hosted by SegmentFault came to a successful conclusion. At the meeting, Dong Jianhua, Director of Developer Ecological Operation of Huawei, delivered a speech themed “Developer Ecological Construction and Operation Strategy”.

Guest: Dong Jianhua, Director of Developer Ecological Operations, Huawei

Sort and publish shorthand: SegmentFault Editorial Department

Good afternoon, everyone. Let me introduce myself first. I’m Dong Jianhua. Now I’m in charge of the strategy department of Huawei and I’m in charge of the architecture of developer operation. What I want to share today is relatively dry, partial strategy and methodology, and I hope to take this opportunity to communicate with you, hoping to form a resonance.

First of all, is there a question in your mind: Now that every company has some to-B and to-C business, what kind of developer do we need? Have you ever wondered what kind of developers we need or have access to throughout the business lifecycle of our product? The second thing that we’re going to talk about today is the zero to one phase of ecological construction, which is the cycle from product development to scale growth to pre-commercialization. So, in the stage of developer ecological construction from 0 to 1, what aspects should we focus on in operation? The third part, in the developer development strategy and operational goals, how we choose. A teacher just said that there are some questions that have not been answered, that is, do developers bring revenue to the business or do they form a trust relationship with the developers? So today I’m going to focus on these three questions.

Insight into

First of all, why are tech companies or some “To C” companies developing developers? What value do developers bring to the business? Why is everyone doing developer ecology?

As you can see from this revenue table, the companies that provide great services to developers and have a developer ecosystem rank very high. I listed Microsoft, Huawei and Alibaba because I’ve worked at all three companies and the entire workflow used to revolve around the tech crowd.

First of all, let’s look at the developer insight. When we do the segmentation of the developer potential, we need to look at what the developer ecosystem looks like.

On the left is CSDN’s research on Chinese developers, which divides developers into several groups. One group is technology enthusiasts, small and medium-sized developers of the pan-Internet, and some developers of enterprises. These three groups constitute 84% of the developer ecology, accounting for the majority. And as developers become younger and younger, the post-90s generation has become the mainstream. What are their preferences? For example, developers have a strong desire to learn a new technology, right? So we need to provide him with some learning content, such as technical documents, as well as training certifications, to help him empower or improve a certain technical ability. In addition, if they come to develop, there needs to be an open platform. We need to provide a more convenient way to build and provide cloud services like API. He also needs technical support, and technical communication requires community. This is the overall portrait of the developer.

For To D or To B companies, I worked in Aliyun and Microsoft in the cloud computing department before, so what group of people do they develop in the developer ecosystem?

A reference framework is given here. They tend To be more To-D, that is, individual, with a mid-to-long tail. This group is very large. According to incomplete statistics, there may be nearly ten million people in China and more in the world. So how can we reach this group? Unlike CIOs and CTOs, this group is not limited in number, but their influence is still great. Developers refer to a broad group of technical people. We also need to influence these people, who may play a certain role in the enterprise, such as software development engineers or software architects, who actually have certain decision-making power in the enterprise. If you can influence the minds of these people, you can ultimately influence the technology selection of the enterprise to use our products and services. They are the product spokesmen.

The developer community has a technical bias, which means that developers working in a particular field will learn certain programming languages or frameworks and be interested in certain technology application areas. This is a good insight for us. Find out where developers are most concentrated, what tools they use, and what the most popular development techniques are today. With these insights, we can provide development tools, products and services to help them better build on open platforms. At the same time, before choosing a new technology, developers will pay attention to whether the manufacturer can provide a complete set of services, such as documentation, tools, tutorials, as well as technical support and training. For them, after choosing your technology, they need to spend time, energy and money to accompany you to grow together. They need to have the ability to grow and sustainability, which is the point they pay more attention to.


Second, I want to talk about it from the perspective of the business. Due to the complexity of the developer population, which has different technical domains and preferences, at different stages of the business, we need to figure out what kind of products we can offer developers and what kind of value developers can bring to our business. When it comes to business design, start with some strategic design. What kind of objects do we treat the developers as? For example, should we treat the developers as users of the product and make them pay for it, or should we treat the developers as technical partners and provide components and capabilities to optimize and polish our products? We should design accordingly for different business objects.

The third is operational strategy. For example, what kind of operations, business processes, and goals and metrics we need to set for different potential developers.

Going back to the business stage, we will launch an MVP early in the product lifecycle to see if the developer is willing to try such a product, which requires feedback from users and iterative product features, so it has an evolution process. In the beginning, we need to promote our own products, so we need to do more investment in technical brand marketing. Around the product value proposition, we need to do brand disclosure, we need to do technology preaching, to increase the number of users of the product, expand the brand awareness. After expanding the user group, we need to build a service system, which is the crossing process from 0 to 1, that is, the crossing process of a new product from launch to acceptance. After verification, the market of our products are salable, when accumulated a certain scale after the user base, there will be a few developers feel the opportunity, he will be based on your product integration lead to a commercial value, then there will be more developers in this field, this needs us to provide better and more timely technical service, such as the platform of the service system, Accelerate their innovation. With more and more users on the user side of the product, more and more developers will join, and more and more applications will be built by developers. Finally, the diversified product forms delivered to users will keep increasing the number of users, which is the construction process of the growth flywheel. Therefore, developing developers is ultimately to form a similar positive cycle of business ecology, which is the ultimate goal of developer ecological operation.

Developer 0-1 operating system

This is a detailed expansion, just from 0 to 1, we are more focused on how to bridge the gap from the initial stage to the growth stage. When the product is just launched into the market, we may not know whether the product meets the needs of developers. Therefore, in terms of business strategy, we first need a portrait of the developers and who the product is aimed at. If there are already similar products on the market, what are the value points of our differentiation? Then we can extract the value points as brand packaging or technical publicity, and obtain the first batch of users through product promotion. Once you’ve got those users in, you need to continue to operate, and identify the seed users and active users, because these users are likely to be the product changers and advocates.

In the growth phase, as I mentioned earlier, the number of hobbyists and individual developers exploring emerging technology fields will slow down. As the user base of the product grows, more commercial developers will join in, because they will feel that there is a business opportunity and the economic benefits of product integration. This is where we need to increase the number of developers, which is developer scale. Because the entire stock user base is relatively large, it is necessary to improve the retention and transformation, and requires the platform system to be complete at the same time. We were talking about the developer, it is a collective concept, as a business, the developers have different business attribute, namely the developer is as your users, or to help you do the improvement of product, component of complete, perfect function, namely the developer as a technology partner, such as open source project developers; Or as an eco-partner, he participates in the business ecosystem of the enterprise, helping you build joint solutions, or selling and recommending your products. Each of these roles of the developer needs to be distinguished from the perspective of business objects.

On a scale of 0 to 1, developers are mostly users, especially for cloud products. Cloud products themselves provide some APIs, some open interfaces, and development tools. As a user of the cloud product, the developer should try out your product. After experiencing it personally, he thinks that the function of your product is very strong and the development efficiency has been significantly improved. Then he will be willing to help you make further product improvement. At the same time, developers are mobile. Developers, as individuals, may become your partners or even your customers when they start their own business, set up a company, become CTO or CEO. So when it comes to developers, be sure to think about who they are from a business perspective.

Developers as users, we need to have developer operations. Developer operation function is a more comprehensive function, may be biased to the market. The developer operation involves coordination with the functions of relevant departments within the enterprise, and the developer operation needs to mobilize these functions and resources to support the developers, serve them better and provide better experiences. At the same time, developers will have opinions and feedback during the use of the product, so it is necessary for the operation to provide such a feedback mechanism and pass the suggestions and feedback on the product to the product research and development organization, thus forming a positive product improvement operation chain. So, from 0 to 1, focus on polishing the product, and then focus on developer growth and innovation incubation.

The developer operations work around these three principles, the first is the developer focus area we talked about earlier in Insights, that is documentation, tutorials, training, etc. The second piece is code, which is to give them the tools to build, to make it easier, to make it more efficient. Third, community is to allow developers to communicate a sense of belonging and identity, whether it is an open source community or a vendor-built community. For example, some technology companies have their own developer communities, where they can get to know a lot of big names and enhance their influence.

Developer operation is divided into two levels. The external level is the interactive level to provide a good developer experience, so that developers can feel their own needs can be met in the process of use, and feel very comfortable using. The second level of developer operation is to connect products and users, cooperate with various departments to gather service resources, ensure service supply, conduct external demands, and constantly improve the quality of products and services, which requires relatively high comprehensive requirements for operation.

This page is the service stream of the developer experience, which is how the developer gets access to our products, whether it’s through social media or through conferences like this, some publicity, some promotion, or even searching for some application scenarios online. After getting the product information, he will try out the product. Is your product as good as you said, can bring 10 times of efficiency increase, can adapt to my scene and solve my problem? For the sign-up process, we used the user experience to make it very simple and accessible at the same time. At this stage, there may be a loss of users, because developers are actually worried about privacy protection, especially overseas developers are very resistant to the disclosure of private information, so we need to use UX means to better guide and enhance trust. The entire user journey is a process of building a relationship with the developer, familiarizing him with the product, and then building trust and loyalty to the brand.

So if there’s only one metric for developer operations, and it’s the only true north metric, it’s the Satisfaction NPS. In other words, after use, the developer becomes a very loyal product advocate, and he is willing to speak for your brand. Some MVPs will spread the word about which cloud product I have used, which is very good and has brought about the improvement of business efficiency. I just mentioned satisfaction NPS, but there are a lot of more strategic methodologies in developer operations. From 0 to 1, the developer operation is partly marketing oriented and partly customer oriented. What’s the difference between the two? If the developer is a user of the product, he himself has the situation of paying. However, if a developer develops a habit of using it and creates a word-of-mouth effect, then the enterprise behind the developer may be the final buyer. Therefore, in our case, it is through the developer that the decision of his organization is influenced.

Here I focus on some operation strategies that we need to match in the phase from 0 to 1. As for the whole operation mode of developers, especially the transition from developers to ecology, every enterprise may have some differences. I am refining the general methods and methods to share this time.

First, let’s take a look at how the operational map is designed. According to the business stage and product form of the product itself, whether it is a platform-based service product or a tool product of a single product, we set what our goal is, whether it is to increase the number of users of the product or the number of developers. It’s a business process, it’s a strategy, it’s scale growth, it’s refinement, it’s how we operate, so it’s kind of a map.

How do developers operate? We still need a position.

At 0 to 1, the building from community to hub is divided into two phases, and I put both above. The developer community is more about attracting these users, you need to have a place to stay, you need to be able to continue to have some kind of technical blog, forums within the community, there are some colleges, there are some courses, the empowerment system, the events, these are the channels for our developer community to carry. The center focuses more on those with development needs. We provide some tools, APIs, sample codes, and some advanced courses to support its development.

Among them, we have three important functions, one is content, user and community operation, these three operation functions are very needed capabilities.

Content of this block, our community is not just a media, not only is a one-way communication channel, but a two-way, so here we need to have some interaction, the interactive content to build in, at the same time can provide the growth path, to learn, practice, racing, take an examination of the mechanism of continued ascension of his ability. On the user side, we need to have some kind of growth system design, incentive system design, through our entire user experience path to continuously improve the self-drive, let him grow into a high-value developer.

Content is divided into “To B” and “To D”. In other words, on the content side, we influence two groups of people, one is the decision maker or influential person who can act as the business. He needs To do some kind of business selection, and he needs some kind of Forrester white paper, and some research reports or technology leadership, which can be of interest To the technology decision makers in the enterprise To B, and then make a decision about the technology selection. The second piece is targeted on the developer ecosystem, inside the enterprise he has a certain influence, but more from the perspective of personal growth in your enterprise developer ecosystem, so we gave him is technology can assign, such as learning courses, there are also some sandbox experiment, at the same time, he could have your growth path again, Every developer has a different growth path in the field. For example, the growth path of artificial intelligence developer is different, so we design some content to empower him according to these.

On the user side, I talked a little bit about the design of user engagement mechanisms, and if we’re going to be able to support a growth strategy for developers at scale, who do we need to support that? Also is we need to put his digital, that is, the developer’s digital, give him a ID, may make the path to be able to fix, is able to know what he did in digital, how’s his activity in our community, he about interactive rate in inside, can have a complete picture. And through this portrait, we can see what his growth path or his advanced behavior path was. If we think that this behavior path is a growth path after cross comparison, it is a golden pass, add leverage, increase investment, this is our growth map.

And then as we grow at scale, as we get more and more people, if we reach millions of people, how do we operate is another question. Whether to operate through the extensive AARRR pirate model or an accurate account-based model such as ABM is something we need to think about. In this case, we need to make data-driven operational decisions, that is, many such operational decisions can be realized through strategies. For example, the lecturer just said that we have some Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) Sales Qualified Lead (SQL), In the whole process of interacting with manufacturers, a developer can measure what stage he has reached and what strategies we have adopted, which can be transformed into sales leads and marketing leads.

The AARRR model we use here is a coarse-grained model for user model selection. But the model works well, especially for Internet companies. There I want to emphasize the point that is to say that contribution to the side, because developers as a user, he is buying behavior, but we are at this stage 0 to 1, he may have not reached the sales leads stage, if you give him a cold call, give him some marketing recommendations, he is not concerned, he rejected this, So depending on the stage of the business, and the stage of the developer itself, we have to decide what kind of business strategy we should use for that developer. There’s a lot of methodological stuff here, but I’m not going to go through it here.

And then, the incentives for user engagement, which is to keep a developer alive and active, to continue to grow in your community, and to satisfy his self-drive, which is actually a big grab for us. There’s a model for that in a minute. There are four parts to the user rating mechanism. One is the incentive mechanism of points, which means that the user is rewarded with points for completing tasks and taking actions, and he can redeem the points for prizes or other things. The second is hierarchy, which means what stage of growth he has reached in the vendor community, what contribution he has made to a particular technology area, and what level he has reached in the whole ecosystem, and the corresponding level of equity needs to be defined and unlocked. The third is badges, where we give badges when a user has completed a task or achieved an achievement, such as when a user has participated in a crowd test of a product, or when a user has achieved a defined developer level such as MVP. Finally, leaderboards are a competitive mechanism that motivates more and more users to participate. When designing the operating mechanism of developers, the incentive mechanism and growth mechanism of layered operation are the endogenous growth strategies of developers.

As mentioned above, we also have different layers in the choice of operational strategies, that is to say, which ones meet their needs at which level, and which ones meet their higher-order self-actualization needs. For example, for an open source person, he is born with some desire to achieve his own achievements, because he thinks that the products provided by the manufacturer may not meet his needs, or he wants to integrate some application scenarios into the products of the manufacturer, so it is a kind of self-realization for him. As a result, different groups of developers need to use different tools.

In addition to layers and tiers, developers should also distinguish circles, which will apply the operation strategy of circles. The design of operation mechanism needs to be considered for different developer groups.

The outermost is the potential group in the technical field, which we need to identify to reach. The technology group characteristics, interests, preferences, gathered in which community BBS, through the influence to Pull to get, for example the host technology conference, held in local offline activities active screening of these people, interest of circles, and register to join to the manufacturer’s private domain an interactive developer and can continue to contact with us. Another example is to influence peers from the core layer to the outer layer, which is a Push strategy, that is, to influence peers through the appearance of MVP. He is also a KOL opinion leader, and he can radiate the technology fan circle located in the outer circle. So push and pull the two methods can give bigger developers private domain pool, through the combination of the operating means, continuous upgrading of the trust and loyalty of developers, may eventually go to seed users envelops, so developers growth and operations from outside to inside, from inside to outside, cycle, has risen in a spiral process.

We just had a session where we talked about MVPs, and MVPs are kind of like the most valuable developers. This group of people you can see his title is the company’s CTO, CIO, technical decision makers, these people will eventually become our ecological partner, which they of our entire vendor or developer of the ecological demands can have a very closely linked, to become our partner, even said that he is using our products, become our customers, So this group of people is actually a very good group to maintain. Through their influence, they can bring a group of people, such as he can become our technical evangelist, CTO, etc. The special developer conference will invite customers or partners who have very good experience in using the product. Through some special training or operation in the technical circle, we will bring similar technical groups into our ecosystem. At the same time, we will provide some mechanisms for them to continue to be in the developer ecosystem.

For different groups of developers, I started with a technical dimension. For different groups of developers, we will also have some support plans and incentive mechanisms, some for students, some for small and medium-sized enterprises, some for enterprise developers and partners, these plans are the impetus, the core is still in the operation side. That is to say in the whole business development phase, we form of the product itself and the choice of strategy and goals, determines the whole operation system should be how to build, we need to pass what incentives and operating means to continue to take these developers retained, transformation, become our constant developers, eventually become part of our business ecosystem.

Those are the points I want to make today, and I hope they will resonate. Thank you very much.