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June 10th

Herding cats: corralling platform development

When building a developer platform, it can sometimes feel like everyone is creating capabilities and components without considering how the resulting end-to-end workflows will feel for the end users: developers. Because of this, trying to unify these pieces into a unified, intuitive user experience can end up feeling like herding cats.

In this talk, I will describe my experience building the developer platform at Adobe: Ethos. In the past 5 years, we’ve gone from a platform spread across 6 internal web applications to a single interface that enables contributions from across Adobe. With no full-time designers and minimal frontend expertise, we’ve had to find ways to enable developers across teams to create interfaces for their ideas, and to corral them all in a unified direction.

The bulk of this talk will be the specifics of our approach, including tools we use in our development cycle to lower barriers to design & UX, processes that facilitate contributions, and techniques for creating a culture of ownership.

Needless to say, there will also be cat pictures.

The audience will learn from this talk:

  • How to help developers of different skill levels contribute to a developer platform interface.
  • Tools and techniques your team can use to enable developers creatively.
  • The benefits of empowering developers to own feature creation end-to-end, from design to production.

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