Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century

Ask Your Developer: How to Harness the Power of Software Developers and Win in the 21st Century


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Jeff Lawson, developer turned CEO of Twilio (one of Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Top 50 Companies to Watch in 2021), creates a new playbook for unleashing the full potential of software developers in any organization, showing how to help management utilize this coveted and valuable workforce to enable growth, solve a wide range of business problems, and drive digital transformation.

From banking and retail to insurance and finance, every industry is turning digital, and every company needs the best software to win the hearts and minds of customers. The landscape has shifted from the classic build vs. buy question, to one of build vs. die. Companies have to get this right to survive. But how do they make this transition?

Software developers are sought after, highly paid, and desperately needed to compete in the modern, digital economy. Yet most companies treat them like digital factory workers without really understanding how to unleash their full potential. Lawson argues that developers are the creative workforce who can solve major business problems and create hit products for customers—not just grind through rote tasks. From Google and Amazon, to one-person online software companies—companies that bring software developers in as partners are winning. Lawson shows how leaders who build industry changing software products consistently do three things well. First, they understand why software developers matter more than ever. Second, they understand developers and know how to motivate them. And third, they invest in their developers' success.

As a software developer and public company CEO, Lawson uses his unique position to bridge the language and tools executives use with the unique culture of high performing, creative software developers. Ask Your Developer is a toolkit to help business leaders, product managers, technical leaders, software developers, and executives achieve their common goal—building great digital products and experiences.

How to compete in the digital economy? In short: Ask Your Developer.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063018297
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 01/12/2021
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 1,086,296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jeff Lawson is a co-founder and CEO at Twilio. He is a serial inventor with over 15 years of entrepreneurial and product experience. Prior to co-founding Twilio, Jeff was Founder & CTO of NineStar, Founding CTO of and Founder, CEO & CTO of Versity. He was also one of the original product managers for Amazon Web Services.

At every business, Jeff identified the fundamental need for a platform for developers and companies to easily build communications-based business solutions.

Jeff grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, started his first company in middle school, and earned his BS in Computer Science & Film/Video from University of Michigan.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Prologue: It Begins with a Billboard xv

Part 1 Why Developers Matter More Than Ever

Chapter 1 Build Vs. Die 3

Chapter 2 The New Software Supply Chain 27

Part II Understand and Motivate Your Developers

Chapter 3 Hi, I'm Jeff, and I'm A Developer 49

Chapter 4 Code Is Creative 75

Chapter 5 Experimentation is the Prerequisite to Innovation 107

Chapter 8 Recruiting and Hiring Developers 129

Part III Making Your Developers Successful

Chapter 7 Creating an Open, Learning Environment 153

Chapter 8 Small Teams and Single-Threaded Leaders 177

Chapter 9 Wearing the Customers' Shoes 203

Chapter 10 Demystifying Agile 221

Chapter 11 Invest In Infrastructure 247

Epilogue 269

Acknowledgments 275

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