Thank you to all who responded (over 20,000!) to the survey conducted from February to March earlier this year. We appreciate the time, feedback, and insights you provided. The survey results will play a vital role in continuing to shape the Developer Program and Site for not only your needs but the greater ecosystem as well.
Below is an infographic of the results, followed by a more detailed explanation of each graphic/area. Please share your comments and thoughts below.
We sent the survey to all registered developers who logged in to the Developer Site within the past six months. Again, we thank those of you who responded.
By asking questions around everyday activities, we were able to discern the likely background of the respondent. The Developer Site provides developers and administrators with the tools required to make ServiceNow applications and custom applications fit for purpose through the Now Platform. The amount of overlap was substantial in that developers must do administration type activities as part of their job and vice-versa. We did look at the aggregate answers and how the answers changed within these different audiences to provide more insights on our priorities for enhancements, content, and roadmap.
CENTRAL OR DEPARTMENTAL
There was interest in how many Developer Site users worked in a centralized development group for a company or a specific department. Counting centralized IT, development groups, and partners, 67% of the respondents worked in a centralized organization, and 33% worked for a department or business unit/organization. Since ServiceNow started in the ITSM space and the large number of partners, it is expected that most of the developers would be from centralized groups. The results will help us target and present information better.
NOW PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT BENEFITS
We asked how developing on the Now Platform has benefited developers. 57% percent indicated that developing on the ServiceNow Platform helped them in their job, 15% said that the platform helped their company. 13% stated that they were able to get a new job, and 6% got a promotion. This information is helpful in a couple of ways. For the respondents that were promoted or got a new job and said we could reach out to them for more information, we try to optimize the content to help others do the same, and we spotlight successful users.
MOST USEFUL FEATURES OF THE DEVELOPER SITE
Respondents rank-ordered the usefulness of all of the Developer Program’s primary offerings/services. The personal developer instance ranked first by the respondents, followed by Developer learning plans and courses, the API reference documentation. The areas where we received mixed usefulness are the Developer Community, YouTube channel, and blogs. We are working on all three to improve usability and surface more relevant content within the Developer Site. We appreciate the feedback that allows us to focus and prioritize our efforts.
IMPROVING THE PERSONAL DEVELOPER INSTANCE
The most popular feature on the Developer Site is the Personal Developer Instance (PDI). To make the most useful feature for our users even more helpful, we asked how to improve PDIs in the open-ended question.
Compiling the results of the most common actionable answers, we generated the list to the left. This year respondents wanted a longer time before the instance hibernates, and this improvement is closely related to the third-highest request: a quicker wake-process. We will be working on improving both. The second highest request is to retain PDIs for more than ten days. It is difficult to increase the inactivity time and keep the program free and public. We have added logging into the Developer Site automatically resets the inactivity timer for PDIs that should help. For more plugins and ServiceNow applications delivered through the Store, these are currently available to install either through the Universal Installation (which replaced plugin activation on the instance) or the Developer Site for support activated applications. ServiceNow applications are available unless specifically requested by the product team. Partner applications delivered via the Store activate on PDIs by asking the partner via the Store. Thank you all for the incredible feedback and suggestions.
FIRST LEARN TO DEVELOP ON NOW PLATFORM
The content team is interested in how respondents first learned how to develop on the Now Platform. Understanding this will allow the team to try to influence and find developers where they start their learning journey. 36% started on the Developer Site followed by Peer/co-worked, instructor lead, and then experimentation. Through integrating with in-person training, we can influence over 52% of those learning the Now Platform.
ADDITIONAL LEARNING CONTENT
We asked respondents to prioritize courses that the content team should add to the current developer learning content on the Developer Site. What is nice about this question is that it allows the content team to prioritize what they work on for the rest of the year. Some additional content is already in the pipeline for scripting and script types. We will be reaching out to respondents to understand how we can augment the current integration and flow designer areas. We will be focusing on the Now UI Framework that will be the eventual replacement technology for Service Portal.
TOP REQUESTED LEARNING FEATURES
We are always looking for ways to improve the learning experience on the Developer Site. We asked what we could do to improve this area. The highest requested feature is simulations of real-world implementations. I was excited to see post-learning checks and pre-learning checks came in second in a virtual tie. Lastly, users were interested in more challenging exercises that do not provide step-by-step instructions. We have started investigating and designing these features to bring to you later this year or next.
REASONS FOR LEARNING NOW PLATFORM
The content team not only wanted to know which areas and features, but why Developer Site users wish to learn about the Now Platform. The results help how to frame the content and make it more approachable as well as fit for use. Since respondents could select all answers that applied, the percentages add up over 100%. Learn platform capabilities is the clear leader, and exploring a new feature, practice platform development, and implementing a new feature are relatively tied.
API SEARCH START
The team was curious where users start searching for APIs. Since respondents could select all answers that applied, the percentages add up over 100%. We were surprised that the Developer Site was the leading starting point, followed by a search engine and community. Lastly, folks will look at the Product Docs Site. As a result, we will continue to improve the API reference documentation on the Developer Site and plan to deprecate the duplicative information on the Product Documentation Site.
API EASE OF USE
We know that the ease of use of the API documentation could be improved. The two areas where we could improve the most are more examples and determining if an API exists. We are currently investigating community-contributed examples and a listing page of all APIs. That way, developers can quickly locate if an API exists or not, and the location within the different types of APIs.
FEEDBACK AND STAYING ENGAGED
If you are reading this, I extend my heartfelt thanks for reading the entire post. The survey results provided invaluable insights that we will use on what we do and when. If the survey email got stuck in your spam folder or you didn’t see it, you are always welcome to provide us feedback via the Developer Site lower left side of the UI or on content pages. Make sure to leave your email if you are not logged into the site if you want us to reply. Please stay engaged with the Developer Community, Meetups, Live Code Happy Hours, hackathons, and other events.