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November 7, 2023

BackstageCon 2023 Recap: Developer Experience Top of Mind

Table of Contents

Key takeaway

As the creators of systems and platforms, developers can be seen as the most advanced users in terms of the platforms they create and the platforms they interact with; developers should “just be able to figure things out”. With this mindset, developer experience can sometimes take a backseat to “is developer experience worth the effort”. This belief is aging and what is rising is the investment in Developer Experience or DX. 

Internal Developer Portals or IDPs are designed to drive DX. The hallmark Open Source IDP, Backstage, has its community coming together at a co-located event at KubeCon North America 2023 for the second year. Harness is proud to support and sponsor the event and the movement which IDPs represent with mutual collaboration and learning. 

Happy Internal Customers = Easier to Create Happy External Customers

The implementers of an IDP would be platform engineering or developer experience teams and the main consumers/customers of an IDP would be developers. Not too dissimilar to the implementation and relationship of software delivery pipelines to developers. Any time there is a good amount of learning to take place, dissatisfaction and discouragement can come into play. 

For example if your organization had to support Spotify’s Agile Methodology, engineers would regularly change team makeup to deliver features. Because of this, learnability of new or different methodologies team-to-team. Having a concise area of information that is prudent for developers to understand the relationships and items needed to be successful throughout the SDLC from idea to production would be key. From a platform engineering ethos, if you are able to delight your internal customers, they will in turn organically strive to delight your external customers. This was top of mind for many who we had conversations with at BackstageCon.   

BackstageCon Learnings

Earlier last week we have done analysis on the official talks last year and this year at BackstageCon. The talks were certainly impressive though the conversations that we had outside the official talks e.g “the hallway talks” were indicative that many organizations are still early on the evolving developer experience journey.  

IDP Journeys are Still Early

We had the great opportunities to talk to dozens of folks who attended the BackstageCon. This year, BackstageCon was a co-located event which had a different format at KubeCon. Since all Co-Located events were covered under the same price, users had a day filled with exploring different Co-Located events. This allowed for more cross pollination between different events and learnings from individuals at any level. 

Below, our very own Himanshu Mishra in his talk about what Backstage offers above and beyond two pillar features that users starting their IDP journey would focus on, Software Catalogs and Software Templates.  

Himanshu's Talk at BackstageCon 2023

Throughout the day at the Harness Booth, we were able to learn from many individuals who are wanting to further developer experience. 

From The Harness Booth

We had lots of great conversations with those interested in furthering developer experience. From those learning about Backstage for the first time at the event to those implementing an IDP at scale at their organization. A common theme across individuals at all levels is that developer experience can always be improved. 

Harness Booth BackstateCon 2023
Harness Booth at BackstageCon 2023

At BackstageCon we were pleased to show some of the latest features of Harness IDP alongside the Harness Platform to solve these very problems.

Harness IDP Furthering Your Backstage/IDP Journey

Harness continues to invest into our IDP platform which is based off of Backstage to allow for you to further your IDP journey. As a SaaS platform, there is no need to worry about the infrastructure needed to run Backstage. 

Harness IDP Software Catalog
Harness IDP Software Catalog

Coinciding with BackstageCon this year, we released our Scorecard Feature inside Harness IDP to provide a quantifiable measure of software maturity. 

Harness IDP Scorecard
Harness IDP Scorecard

Taking a look at Harness IDP would be a prudent move in improving developer experience. 

Start Your DX Journey with Harness IDP

Developer Experience and effectiveness is a journey. Harness IDP and the Harness Platform overall can help reduce toil. Feel free to explore how the Harness Internal Developer Portal (IDP) can enhance your developer experience and help you with your Software Delivery Life Cycle, sign up for a demo today!

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