Developer experience: Concept and definition

Fabian Fagerholm*, Jürgen Münch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


New ways of working such as globally distributed development or the integration of self-motivated external developers into software ecosystems will require a better and more comprehensive understanding of developers' feelings, perceptions, motivations and identification with their tasks in their respective project environments. User experience is a concept that captures how persons feel about products, systems and services. It evolved from disciplines such as interaction design and usability to a much richer scope that includes feelings, motivations, and satisfaction. Similarly, developer experience could be defined as a means for capturing how developers think and feel about their activities within their working environments, with the assumption that an improvement of the developer experience has positive impacts on characteristics such as sustained team and project performance. This article motivates the importance of developer experience, sketches related approaches from other domains, proposes a definition of developer experience that is derived from similar concepts in other domains, describes an ongoing empirical study to better understand developer experience, and finally gives an outlook on planned future research activities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 International Conference on Software and System Process, ICSSP 2012 - Proceedings
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Software and System Process - Zurich, Switzerland
Duration: 2 Jun 20123 Jun 2012


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software and System Process
Abbreviated titleICSSP


  • Developer experience
  • high-performing teams
  • human factors
  • software development environment
  • software psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Developer experience: Concept and definition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this