What About the Developer?

Have you ever wondered 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 how to best communicate with individual developers like Marissa du Bois.

Through this unique forum, we invite you to meet the people behind the code and learn about how they experience the advertising and content you are sending their way. If you want developers like Marissa to buy your product and trust your brand, you need to be open and honest in your presentation.

Marissa views advertising as a way to learn more about products which may pique her creative interests. Please take a moment to learn more about Marissa, her passion for creativity, and what draws her to an ad or a product placed in her developer community, CodeProject.

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

I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband. I’m an award-winning contributor to CodeProject.com for my article about Calculating True North with a Raspberry Pi and a LEGO EV3 Panoramic Camera. I’m also an award-winning LEGO maker. I’ve built several LEGO electronic devices, 2 digital point and shoot cameras, the panoramic camera mentioned above, a LEGO All-In-One PC, a LEGO Digital Timer, and a LEGO Digital Picture Frame. 

I’ve also contributed LEGO props to an award-winning series of LEGO Boost Bot Commercials. In my day job, I’m a developer relations engineer for GPUs and CPUs for a major hardware vendor. I enable AAA video games for the latest hardware and contribute white papers and technical presentations to the game developer community.

(You can learn more about Marissa and connect via Linkedin here.)

Why do you participate in the CodeProject community?

I’m a self-taught software engineer. CodeProject was a huge influence in my early learning when starting in the industry. CodeProject gave me a broad perspective on development methodology, algorithms, and languages. I’ve occasionally written articles for CodeProject as a way to give back to the community that helped me when I was young.

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

As a graphics engineer, I focus a lot on DirectX12 technology. Recently, a new technology was released to mainstream graphics, called Variable Rate Shading. I’m a big proponent of its use as a performance optimization tool and something that can give game developers an additional artistic flourish in their games. Real- time ray tracing is a new technology that has just started to enter the market, and I think it has huge potential for achieving photorealism in games. 

Where do you go for information about developer tools?

Honestly, I’m a bit old-school when it comes to tools. I prefer working with Microsoft Visual Studio and Windows SDK performance tools like Windows Performance Analyzer. I’ll occasionally browse YouTube tutorials, but I also tend to enjoy visiting booths at trade-shows that can show me new tools in person. I seldom incorporate new tooling unless absolutely necessary. I tend to follow the KISS philosophy when it comes to tools, in that too many tools can be counterproductive. 

What ads attract you?

I like advertisements that demonstrate a product, library, or tool. These could be videos, code samples, or simple diagrams. I also tend to look out for advertisements that feature technical competition. I don’t like flashy advertisements. If the product is sound, it should be able to stand on its merits and attract attention through the quality of the ads, versus bombarding me with flashy animations or sounds.

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

It’s rare that I click ads directly. If the ad gives a compelling pitch, I would most likely do a web search to find more information. I’m a bit leery of clicking ads directly on most sites because of the explosion of misleading advertising that has spread throughout the internet. 

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?

Usually a phone number is fine. However, I honestly wish the US had rules like [the] GDPR in the EU. I am glad that most websites that serve international markets tend to apply their GDPR rules for everyone, but you never can be too sure what someone is doing with their back-end. I don’t tend to think a phone number is a huge security risk, and it’s easy enough to block if I start getting spam calls.

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

If it’s a product or service from a reputable vendor also using a reputable credit card processor, I would purchase products online. However, I dislike giving a credit card number to start a free trial, as I tend to forget what I signed up for and eventually get charged. This has led me to avoid free trials that require credit cards to sign up.

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?

If I’m ready to use the product, I will fill out the form. I must admit, being confronted with sign-up forms before really understanding the product or service being advertised causes me to navigate away quickly. I usually want to see an overview of the product, followed by more in-depth product information, reviews, and comparisons before I am ready to commit to filling out an online form.

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

It doesn’t completely put me off. If I think the product is compelling enough, I would do additional research and return to them later once I am satisfied by the product/brand details.  

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

Yes, I have, actually. I’m a huge Raspberry Pi and Arduino fan, and I have bought components based on online advertising. As an electronics maker, I definitely love being exposed to cool new technology products this way. There is such a broad market in the tech industry that sometimes you need advertising to help you find the big new thing that may not have pinged your radar through the media or word of mouth.

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

Targeting developers is tough. The market is saturated with products, tools, libraries, components, languages, and so much more. A lot of ads really need to compete for attention in the tiny little boxes on most websites. I’m not sure how you can reduce the fragmentation. Targeted advertising sometimes works, but I also think it may limit consumers to certain techno-bubbles, which can make it hard to find adjacent products that might pique someone’s interest or creativity in a new way.

That’s a Wrap

Marissa is an award-winning developer who uses technology to expand the limits of her creativity. She also contributes to the developer community that enabled her success by supporting CodeProject with content. She is open to learning more about products which are surfaced to her in ads, and she is tolerant of ads which require her to provide information, provided the products are “as advertised.” As an engineer, she is not impressed by flashy advertising. Show her the specs, keep the messaging simple, and include a demo if possible.

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