The Developer Experience  

If a developer audience is the target of your ad campaigns, you care as much as your brand’s product engineers do about the developer experience. If you are using advertising to attract developers to your brand’s product, tool, feature, or developer community, then the developer experience begins with your ad. The best intentions, however, can go horribly awry unless you avoid these developer experience advertising don’ts.

No Walls


Nothing pisses off developers more than a request for a credit card number just to view technical content or to try a new product. Sure, once your brand has demonstrated value, developers understand the need to pay. But just to give your solution a whirl? Nope.

Information Walls That Ask for Phone Numbers

Developers understand the need to give some information. A name and email, and even a company name are fine. But not a phone number. (They’ll likely give you a fake phone number anyway.)

Attract, Don’t Distract

Developers enjoy spending time in digital professional environments, including industry newsletters, developer influencer websites and shows, developer forums, and developer portals. While they expect to see brands advertising programming tools in professional online environments, they are there for a reason. They are trying to absorb content they find valuable. Attracting their attention with banner advertising is fine. But distracting them from information or obscuring the technical or industry content they came to consume isn’t a wise move. They won’t respond, and you risk damaging their opinion of your brand.

Don’t Mislead

If there is going to be a cost to what you are advertising, just announce it. Make it clear in the ad or the landing page what they must give to get what they want. Your ad should be accurate as well. For example, don’t present an offer as free if they are still going to have to give a credit card number.

Don’t Destroy The Developer Experience With Bad Advertising

Developers aren’t naive. They understand that to get something, they have to give something. That can mean their attention, their time, their email, or their payment information. But be mindful of what you’re asking for. Don’t start out asking for too much. And absolutely do not mislead developers about what you need and what they’ll receive in return. Avoid these don’ts, and your brand is more likely to create a positive brand identity by creating a positive developer experience from the first ad.