What About the Developer?

Are you curious about the developers who are the focus of your advertising? Our goal with the “Meet the Developer” series is to give you, the marketer, access and insight into individual developers like Dave Auld.

Dave views advertising as a way to learn more about products which may help him in his work or hobbies. Dave does critical work. He is a problem-solver with intriguing hobbies.  Learn how Dave uses his developer community, CodeProject, to find solutions and ideas.

Tell us about yourself, your professional accomplishments, and what you do for a living.

I’m married to my wonderful wife, and [I’m] the father of 2 teen daughters. I am also a Hooman (human caretaker) to 2 rescue dogs. I’m from Aberdeen in Scotland, but we currently live near Paphos on the East Mediterranean island of Cyprus. From Cyprus, I commute to work on a monthly rotation to Qatar, where I am the Offshore Installation Manager for 3 oil platforms. 

The OIM is the most senior person on the facilities, and is accountable for the health, safety, and welfare of every person on board, as well as production. I have been in the oil industry since I left school in 1989, when I started as an apprentice with BP in Aberdeen.  My core trade is Instruments and Control Systems. Over the course of my career, I have worked my way up the ladder through different roles in maintenance, operations, projects, and engineering. I have been an OIM now for 12 years across 6 different sites for 3 different companies, and [for] the last 5 1/2 years, I have worked in Qatar.

When I’m not working, I take advantage of the sunshine of Cyprus. [My family and I] enjoy the social life, and quad biking in the national parks, forests, and mountains. This year I took up astrophotography and I am documenting my trials and tribulations on YouTube.  Please take a look and subscribe if you would like to see my efforts!  

Why do you participate in the CodeProject community?

I have been a member of CodeProject for 17 years:  https://www.codeproject.com/Members/daveauld.  I have always been impressed with the amazing articles that members produce. CodeProject has been a great reference point for ideas and potential solutions to problems. Unfortunately I haven’t been as active over the last few years, simply due to work and family life, but I am hoping to start writing a few more articles again soon.

What is the newest tech you are using, learning, excited or curious about?

Over the last few years I haven’t been developing as much software as I would have hoped to, although I still dabble when I find time, purely from a hobby perspective. I have, over the last year, been working with Vue.js (front-end), Molecular Services, (microservice framework for Node), and Google’s Firebase.

Prior to the aforementioned items above, the last thing I spent a lot of time playing with was a NoCode product called Bubble. I can see that this product has a lot of potential for small business or internal processes, particularly [for] those with little or no coding experience. After working with it for a while, I felt it was too restrictive, so I went back to exploring more traditional dev tools and frameworks.

With my new astrophotography hobby, I have been reading about the ASCOM Platform.  It provides a hardware-independent layer to various astronomy instruments such as mounts, cameras, focusers, domes, filter wheels, and field rotators. I am considering how I might be able to develop small tools or interfaces for my equipment.

Where do you go for info about developer tools?

My first port of call is usually a broad spectrum search on Google.  From there, I  just start to pick off reviews of the tools.  Then I try to find specific usage examples in tutorials and videos.  I look for details on the feature sets and usability of those products, to see how they might apply to my specific use cases.

What ads attract you?

I am attracted by ads which are very clear on specific use cases, or genres.  They need to make a clear statement, and shouldn’t sound like they are making some ridiculous claims.

I have also found the rise of open source projects/free products tempting, and I will look at these to try first. Some examples are GIMP, OBS, and Visual Studio Code, which are all on my frequently-used list. This is an area which is a risk to some established products, especially as more companies push subscription models for pricing.

Do you click on the ad or search the product/advertiser you see in the ad in a separate browser instance?

I use both approaches.  If it is a product that I am familiar with, I will happily click on the ad.  If I am on a particular page I don’t want to navigate away from, or if I don’t want to specifically follow an ad, but want to read up more first elsewhere, then I will do searches in another instance.

How do you feel when you visit content or another site you are interested in, that was advertised to you, only to find that you have to give a phone number to get what was offered?

These tactics really drive me nuts! If I can’t get past it with simply bob@microsoft or bob@somwhere as the email, then I will walk away. If it is something I’m genuinely considering using, I will go and do a lot more digging elsewhere  before I commit.

Same scenario as above — except providing your credit card info?

Not happening! I would have to be 100% convinced I am going to use or get value from the tool or product before I provide a credit card. I would also do a lot of external digging before anyone gets my credit card details.

At what point do you navigate away when you visit content you want, but encounter a lot of requests for personal information? Email? Name? Phone number? Credit card? What is your limit?

It usually happens when I click the download trial button or the ‘more info’ button. If I have to enter details just to read more info, then forget it. As for a download trial, I will have to do a lot more digging and review videos before entering details to download the trial. A recent example of this was PixInsight which requires registration to get access to the trial. I spent a lot of time researching this product, and learned that this was a highly regarded piece of software for astro image processing. At that point, I was happy to provide the details to get my hands on the trial version.

If this happens, how do you feel about that brand or product?

It annoys me how this crops up, particularly on commercial products, and it puts me off the brand. From there, it depends on how much I have found out about the product or how badly I need it. If there are any competing products out there, I will potentially go and look at them as well.

Have you ever found a technology and purchased it based on an ad run in your developer community? Why or why not?

I had been looking for methods of applying licenses to software and started to see the ad for ComponentSource on CodeProject. I followed that link and ended up purchasing a small plugin that served my purpose. Subsequently, I have returned to ComponentSource since, and also purchased a UI component. My recent purchases of PixInsight and an associated plugin, Autoscript, have been made on recommendations from the relevant astro community.

Is there anything that we didn’t ask about regarding the developer advertising and marketing experience that you’d like to add?

Yes. I dislike video ads or info shorts from product marketing that have fancy cartoon or sketch-type walkthroughs. They make promises about what the product does or can do to help, but never actually show the product, and that’s [the product is] something I want to see.

That’s a Wrap

You can see from this interview that Dave is sensitive to how products are represented in ads. Developers tend to be tech-savvy, so focusing on the technical elements of the product offers a bridge to capture their interest and get them to dig further into the value proposition. To engage Dave, show him the product and how it works, and offer references and proof that your product is best. A trial offer will engage Dave and lead to a robust relationship.

For more details on how to create successful advertising campaigns in D2D communities, check out our ebook D2D Marketing: An Advertising Guide.