What about the developer?

Have you ever wondered about the developer experience of your advertising? If you are marketing to developers, you absolutely should. Our goal with the “Meet the Developer” series is to give you— the marketer—insight into individual developers. Meet the people behind the code and learn about how they experience the advertising and content you are throwing at them.

I had the great pleasure of corresponding with Jeff Fritz, or just “Fritz,” as he likes to be called. Jeff is a bit of a celebrity in the developer world. He has a live-coding show on Twitch (please follow him!). A theme from his responses to advertising: Build trust. And just ask for a name and email, please.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Jeff Fritz, but my friends just call me Fritz. I live outside of Philadelphia and work for Microsoft on the .NET Community team. I help organize events, plan training content, and host a Twitch live-coding show. For many years before Microsoft, I was a web developer using ASP, then ASP.NET and now ASP.NET Core.

Why do you write for developer communities?

I first engaged with my local Philly.NET user group because I wanted to learn more and improve my developer skills at my job. I started speaking at the group as an attempt to get better at leadership and become better at leading meetings at work. At one point in the 10 years since my first presentation at Philly.NET, I found a great quote from Leonard Nimoy that perfectly summarizes how I feel about our developer community: “The miracle is this: The more we share, the more we have,” and I feel like I have grown ten-fold because of how I have engaged these technical communities.

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

I’m really excited about WebAssembly and being able to use my favorite languages to write browser-side applications that were previously only written in JavaScript. For example, frameworks like Blazor are bringing .NET to the browser and I can re-use my extensive C# experience there. It’s very cool to see this crossover.

Where do you go for info about developer tools?

I keep an eye on several different locations when I want to learn about cool new developer tools. I’ve been a huge proponent of Twitter, but so much content gets lost in the churn there, and I’ve moved to Reddit as a more persistent and easier-to-browse resource. I always listen to a few podcasts to pick up on the latest. My current playlists include .NET Rocks and Hanselminutes.

What ads for developer tools and services attract you?

The static advertising on web pages has almost been blocked out of my mind, as I’ve learned to not read those areas of web pages. I almost unconsciously skip around those segments. What is getting my attention now are the simple overlays or squares near web videos on YouTube. Pre-roll advertisement videos are annoying and make me want to tap “Skip Ad” as quickly as possible.

If you are interested in a product or service because of an ad, do you click on the ad or search the product/advertiser you see in the ad on a separate browser instance?

It depends on who the advertiser is. If it’s a name I already engage with and trust, sure. If it is a product or company I am not familiar with, I’ll search for them and see what other chatter [there] is about them before looking further. It is important to me that I engage with reputable products and companies.

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

Not a fan…My phone number is precious to me. I already get non-stop spam phone calls and have stopped answering my phone altogether unless it is a family member.

Same as above – except about when you are asked for a credit card?

Never… That is 10x worse.

What makes you bounce? Meaning—At what point do you navigate away when you visit content or a tool trial that you want, but you encounter a lot of requests for personal information? Email? Name? Phone number? Credit card? Other?

Email and name are my limit.

Once you’ve been asked for a lot of personal information in order to take advantage of an offer, how do you feel about that brand or product?

Not good. For those organizations that I am already engaged with, it’s not as much of a problem. An organization that I am not familiar with, I probably won’t consider their future materials.

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

Yes. I heard a trusted resource promoting it and showing valued results. I did some additional research along with a trial download and found it to be worth my investment.