Developer enablement is about tools and approaches that can greatly increase the potential we can have as individuals. It can have an impact on productivity and happiness, on profits and retention. Developer tools make it easier for engineers to deploy products, enabling them to focus on building a product.
QCon London 2022 hosted a track on developer enablement. Stuart Davidson, director at Skyscanner, spoke about enabling developers.
Davidson referred to force multiplication by dtic.mill which describes it as a factor or a combination of factors that gives personnel or weapons (or other hardware) the ability to accomplish greater feats than without it
He turned force multiplication into his definition of developer enablement:
"A capability that, when added to and employed by a team, significantly increase the potential of that team and thus enhances the probability of success."
Davidson mentioned that enablement is where you empower others to do work that they need to do. It doesn’t do the work for them. Enablement increases the potential of others. When you find out that you are a strategic roadblock, then there’s the potential to become a strategic enabler, Davidson said.
The flow of the team is an excellent measure of when you are enabling the team, Davidson said. The better the enablement, the higher the ratio of enablement investment against the improvement of the engineering teams they serve.