December 18, 2012

New Developer Tools from Amazon and Facebook


Amazon and Facebook recently announced new developer tools.   Amazon now offers free A/B testing capability for Kindle Fire developers and Facebook’s changes made it so their developer documentation automatically generates from its source code.   

These services add to the growing list of developer tools and services from both companies.  By providing these developer tools, Amazon and Facebook continue to reinforce what some of us already know, that developers are coming to the forefront of scaling business. 

Amazon’s A/B testing service allows developers to release more than one version of their app simultaneously so they can receive user feedback and quickly iterate their app.  For developers, the result of A/B testing is win-win.  They not only gain learnings to improve their apps for the best user experience with feedback directly from their own users, but also gain insights into improving the business of their apps.  For example, for mobile app developers, one of the biggest challenges is understanding attrition – why people don’t use their apps after installing it, or worse, why they uninstall it shortly after.  A/B testing could provide insights into what is correlated with and contributing to this attrition, allowing the developer to quickly iterate so his app is successful.

Facebook, whose platform supports over 9 million apps, is dependent on outside developers and vice versa.  However, with Facebook constantly changing and testing aspects of its platform, developers can find it to be incredibly challenging and frustrating to build off of it.  Without any notice, a developer’s app can break.  With the new process, Facebook’s developer documentation now updates automatically based on its source code.  So that any changes that are made by Facebook are now accurately documented for developers, saving them a lot of headache and time.

Developers are known to be both sources of innovation and scaling for business and companies are recognizing the value of making developers’ lives easier.  More and more companies are realizing this value and investing in their platforms to make them developer-friendly.  These tools all help to successfully work in harmony with the developer community and all follow the key principles in working with developers - make it as easy as possible for developers to access, engage, and build with your services.  Because the easier it is for developers to build, the faster they can help you grow your business.