Developer productivity tools are essential for developers to increase productivity, steamline workloads, and foster innovation. As technology evolves, these tools become increasingly more important.

Your challenge doesn’t lie so much in selling a product, but in engaging with a community that values technical excellence and practicality.

Explore this guide for inspiration on how to market developer productivity tools to your developer personas.

What are developer productivity tools?

Developer productivity tools are software applications and platforms designed to help developers boost their efficiency, reduce errors, and manage complexity throughout the development process.

These tools help developers to write, test, and deploy code more effectively—and also allow them to better manage projects and collaborate with team members.

ChatGPT is a good example of an AI tool that developers can use to save time, be it trying to debug their code or writing a sample in the first place.

Why is developer productivity important?

Developer productivity is essential for several reasons, including:

  • Higher productivity means developers complete tasks more quickly and efficiently.
  • The higher the productivity, the more can be accomplished—therefore, there’s a more effective use of resources and lower costs overall.
  • More productive developers can produce higher quality products.
  • Productive environments foster innovation, since developers have more time to explore ideas and creative solutions.

Ultimately, optimizing this developer productivity is not simply about making developers work faster. It means creating an environment where they can do their best work, meaning you should invest in the right tools, tech, and training.

Types and examples of developer productivity tools

1. Code editors and integrated development environments (IDEs)

These are tools where developers write and edit code, and typically offer features like syntax highlighting, code completion, and debugging. They offer many different capabilities in an easy-to-use platform.

Examples: Visual Studio Code and IntelliJ IDEA

2. Version control systems

These developer productivity tools help to manage changes to source code over time, meaning multiple developers can work on the same project without impacting or conflicting with each other’s work.

Examples: Git, Apache Subversion, and Mercurial

3. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tools

CI/CD tools automate the testing and deployment of code, helping to ensure that new code changes don’t break what’s already there. They aim to streamline and accelerate the software development cycle.

Examples: GitLab, CircleCI, and CodeShip

4. Code quality and review tools

These developer productivity tools automate the code review process, allowing developers to improve the quality of their code by identifying potential issues such as bugs, vulnerabilities, or non-standard code.

Examples: SonarQube, ESLint, and StyleCop

5. Project management and collaboration tools

These are crucial in organizing, planning, and tracking the progress of software projects. They’re incredibly important for managing tasks, keeping on top of deadlines, having a central hub for all resources, and more—which helps immensely in team environments too.

Examples: Asana, Jira, and Trello

6. Documentation tools

As developer productivity tools, these make it easier to create, manage, and share project documentation, which is not only essential for new team members, but also to maintain the longevity of projects.

Examples: Confluence, Sphinx, and MkDocs

7. Database management tools

These tools help to create, maintain, and optimize databases, which are often a crucial part of software applications.

Examples: phpMyAdmin, Navicat, and DataGrip

8. Development frameworks and libraries

While not tools in the traditional sense, frameworks and libraries help to boost productivity by offering reusable code snippets and patterns developers can use for common tasks.

Examples: React, .NET, and Django

9. Virtualization tools

These developer productivity tools help create consistent developer environments that can be replicated across different machines. In essence, they create virtual representations of servers, networks, etc., and mimic physical hardware.

Example: Denodo, QEMU, and Microsoft Azure

Other developer productivity tools

In this video, Filip Grebowski, developer advocate at, talks about productivity tools for developers, so give it a watch if you’re interested in learning more about these tools—and what developers are actually using.

Strategies to market developer productivity tools

Know your developer audience

The first step in successfully marketing developer productivity tools is understanding who your audience is. Developers look for tools that not only solve their problems but also fit seamlessly into their existing workflows—as well as tools they can integrate within their tech stack.

Developers are well-informed, skeptical of marketing gimmicks, and prefer to be engaged in a straightforward way.

While this seems like an obvious step, it can often be missed—if you’re targeting developer personas, you need to first know how they think, what makes them tick, the problems they’re facing, how they want to be engaged with, and so much more.

Speaking their language is also important, as is showcasing an understanding of developers’ work and challenges. This helps you to grow your reputation and credibility.

Build educational content and resources

Creating educational content is essential when marketing developer productivity tools. This can include tutorials that provide step-by-step details, videos that highlight key features and benefits, webinars that address common developer pain points and how the tool provides the solution, and more.

You can also create and maintain a blog or resources section that offers tips, best practices, and latest updates. By doing this, you can both increase their understanding of your tool and also build trust and credibility at the same time.

“Developers sniff out anything that smells like marketing. They are a tough audience, because they’ll ridicule you if they sense inauthentic motives. Even when you have good intentions, you can come across otherwise.
“Developers have high expectations and are extremely skeptical. For both of these reasons, a developer marketer’s job is difficult. If you approach it with the typical tactics you’ve used on other audiences, it will not work. Perhaps you’ve experienced the spam complaints on your lifecycle emails, the one-time use addresses pasted into your lead forms, or the Twitter callouts over technical inaccuracies in a blog post about your latest feature.
“Your marketing messages to developers should not feel like marketing.” — Adam DuVander, Principal Consultant at EveryDeveloper, in his book Developer Marketing Does Not Exist
We interviewed Adam for our podcast, so listen to what he has to say about marketing to developers.

Engage with your developer community

Building and engaging with a developer community is an effective way to promote productivity tools among developers.

Make sure to establish a dedicated forum or user group where people can share tips, solutions to problems, and their experiences using your product. Or you can make use of an existing online space, such as Slack

Support these interactions with regular community meetups or virtual hangouts to foster a sense of belonging and loyalty. Engaging with the community also lets you gather feedback directly from developers, which can guide future development and product improvements.

Ensure integrations

A very important element of product adoption among developers is whether a tool or platform can be integrated with their existing tech stack. If the answer is no, you may find it harder to convince developers to adopt your productivity tool.

So, ensure that your product integrates seamlessly with other products used by developers. Your tool should work within widely used IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) or align with popular programming languages, so create plugins or add-ons that do just that.

On top of this, you can also provide APIs that allow developers to customize and extend the functionality of your tool—this can be a strong selling point, so highlight it in your marketing strategies to show developers how your product fits into their workflows.

Offer a free trial

By offering potential users a chance to try your developer productivity tool for free, you can see higher adoption rates—after all, developers enjoy getting hands-on with a product and exploring its functionalities, meaning a free trial can help them to make a decision about your product.

It’s all about reducing barriers to adoption. If you require a financial commitment straight off the bat (without giving developers the chance to try the tool and evaluate its effectiveness), you may put off your potential customers.

Provide freemium options

You may also want to consider several pricing options, including a freemium model. This means developers can access basic features for free and then upgrade to premium versions if they want more advanced functionalities.

This strategy can help you showcase the value of your product as well, and encourages developers to invest in the full, paid version.

This is also an important strategy because flexible pricing and licensing models are attractive to a broad audience. You can offer multiple pricing tiers that cater to different people, from individual developers to those working in larger orgs.

Market and outreach to developers

As mentioned above in Adam’s quote, marketing to developers can be tough. However, it’s certainly not impossible. Make sure you’re actively reaching out to your audience and participating in developer events, such as hackathons, conferences, and workshops, so that you can raise awareness of your product—and showcase it in action.

You can also collaborate with developers (for example, developer advocates) to get reviews of your tool, as well as their honest experiences using it. Having your product endorsed by their peers is huge for developers, and can actually influence their decisions to try your tool.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is paid advertisement. While you may think that paid ads don’t work, the truth is that advertising to developers the right way is all that matters. Targeted ads on social media platforms developers use (such as Reddit and Twitter) can increase visibility among your target audience.

Ensure performance and reliability of your tool

Developers value products that not only have the features they’re looking for, but which are also robust and reliable. Quality is huge with this technical audience. If you create tools that are, in their opinions, subpar, you’ll find it difficult to change their minds about you and your products.

So, ensure quality from the get-go. Continuously optimize and improve your tool and make sure it's compatible with the latest development environments. This means regularly updating it, fixing bugs immediately, and communicating issues and their solutions.

Another way to ensure users of your developer productivity tools are satisfied with you is to provide great customer support—make it accessible and prompt, since this can lead to developers feeling supported and valued.

Create feedback loops

Establish feedback loops with developers to improve your product and to ensure customer satisfaction. Getting regular feedback from developers can help you to identify issues like bugs, understand what your users want, and make better informed decisions about the tool.

So, implement channels such as surveys, user forums, and direct support lines to father developer feedback. You can also organize beta testing groups for new features, which would allow developers to provide feedback that can shape the final version of your product.

This way, you’re improving your tool while making developers feel involved and valued, something that can boost loyalty and the chances of them recommending your tool to other devs.

Form strategic partnerships

You can partner with other tech providers to increase the reach of your developer productivity tool. By integrating your product with popular platforms, you’re creating a more compelling offer to attract developers.

So, don’t miss out on what collaborations can give you. You can partner with companies that offer cloud services, database technologies, or other DevTools.

In addition to this, collaborations mean joint marketing campaigns, co-hosted events, and cross-promotional offers, which can help you to reach a wider audience.

Have case studies and success stories

Social proof is incredibly important for developers, as they tend to take their peers’ recommendations to heart.

So, share detailed use cases and success stories, since this can help you to showcase the value of your productivity tool. Talk to developers who have successfully integrated your product into their workflow and seen improvements, and gather testimonials and case studies.

Your use cases should highlight the problems the developers were having and how your tool solved them, as well as the benefits it provides.

Share those stories everywhere, from your site to your newsletters and even sales pitches.

Offer an innovative experience

We mentioned how your tool should be of the highest quality possible. There are different ways to achieve this, just as long as you’re providing the best developer experience.

For example, offer a user-friendly experience, run a clean, intuitive interface that minimizes the learning curve, consider features like customizable boards, drag-and-drop functionalities, and automation to make tasks easier.

And, if you’re regularly obtaining feedback from your users, you can update your tool to meet their specific needs, ensuring the best experience.

Invest in developer advocacy

Use developer evangelists who are passionate about your tool and can speak about it, as well as its benefits, features, etc. These developers can represent your brand at events and forums, and also engage the community on a technical level, answering questions and providing key info.

These advocates can create content, such as tutorials, as well, and often act as the bridge between your company and the developer community—helping you to build trust and credibility.

Provide customization

Each developer has different needs and problems they’re looking to solve, so it stands to reason they’d prefer a tool they can customize according to these needs.

Allow developers to tailor your tool, whether by providing modular features that can be added and removed, or through settings that can be adjusted at will.

Provide APIs for deeper integration into existing systems, which is a great way to position your product in developers' minds.

In short

Marketing developer productivity tools requires a nuanced approach that resonates with a technically adept audience.

It’s about demonstrating value through engagement, education, and empowerment. And, by speaking directly to the needs and challenges of developers, adopting a data-driven marketing strategy, and fostering a sense of community, you can effectively market your productivity tools.


What metrics do you use to measure developer productivity?

While using only DORA metrics may not be enough, they’re often used to measure developer productivity. DORA, which stands for DevOps Research and Assessment, refers to:

  • Deployment frequency: how often an org successfully releases to production.
  • Lead time for changes: the amount of time it takes to get a product into production.
  • Change failure rate: the percentage of deployments causing a failure in production.
  • Time to restore service: the time it takes to recover from a failure in production.

Flow metrics, such as flow velocity, flow efficiency, flow time, flow load, and flow distribution, are also used to measure developer productivity.

What AI tools for developer productivity are there?

There are many, including GitHub Copilot, DeepCode, Applitools, JIRA, Snyk, Doxygen, and OpenAI Codex.

What are product development tools?

They’re software applications and systems designed to support and improve the process of creating new products, from initial concept to final market release.

These tools cater to various aspects of the product development lifecycle, including design, development, testing, project management, and collaboration.

They’re crucial for teams to effectively manage their workflows, communicate, innovate, and deliver high-quality products efficiently.

Examples include: Slack, Confluence, Figma, Jenkins, Hotjar, and Notion.

Download your free copy of our Developer Personas Playbook to:

  • Create compelling messaging,
  • Understand how to better position your product,
  • Boost developer engagement levels with tailored strategies,
  • Stand out from the overcrowded market by understanding your audience inside and out, and
  • Get the feedback your product deserves to improve adoption rates!