A handy overview of how to hire for developer tooling and how to improve the developer experience at companies from a perspective that recognizes these are socio-technical issues but also needs to get stuff done.

What you’re looking for, I think, is someone who can take “developer experience” and push that forward holistically by whatever way is necessary. The hardest things they will have to do is gain the trust of the entire engineering organization, buy-in for their approach, and deliver perceived value and improvements.

This role is truly a Sociotechnical Engineer, in every sense of the term; they will expose the weaknesses of your company in ways you are not prepared for, and they will challenge the status quo in ways that are painful. Embrace it. Be prepared to grow as much, if not more, than they do.


Every time I mention slack time as one of the most important things for healthy engineering teams people look at me as if they’re seeing water burning.

That doesn’t make it any less true though. Here’s a brief note by Martin Fowler on the topic: https://martinfowler.com/bliki/Slack.html