Why Developers Seek Shiny Objects

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Photo taken at the recent Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, where developers came not only for technical education but also to check out shiny objects.

I’ve been working with clients the last few weeks, and one of the key themes has been innovation, and how software drives innovation. Developers build software — and they’re the key drivers of innovation. While that Euclidean chain of logic makes sense, it’s particularly interesting when we pair this insight with the recent personality research we’ve done.

As I’ve posted previously, developers personality types help provide insights into what they do and why they do it. One angle we have not explored deeply is this: they love to find elegant solutions, to solve problems and to achieve technical mastery. As they seek those things, by necessity they need to pay attention to new technical developments — “shiny objects.” As the development world becomes even more complex, developers can’t avoid trying to keep abreast of new tech.

So it’s not just that they like cool technology, although they do. They’re fans of technology. But both their personalities and their jobs demand that they stay abreast of new things. 

That’s why developers continue to favor how-to information and technical briefs. Many look for events, large or local, to learn more and share discoveries. They share discoveries in technical communities like CodeProject. And they look to marketers to clearly explain the benefits of their technologies without hyperbole and hype. Understanding this core motivation is essential to effective developer marketing.

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