Episode Description:

Today on Building With People For People we delve into what and how we make our workspaces not just productive, but also joyful. Have you ever wondered what elements contribute to that feeling of fulfillment in your job? Is it flow state, or the immediacy of feedback, or the camaraderie of an exceptional team? These aspects are pivotal for anyone’s career satisfaction and effectiveness, no matter their field. But our focus is how do we gauge and enhance the developer experience? It’s more than just crunching numbers on things like build times or pull request cycle time. While these quantitative metrics have their place, they only paint part of the picture. The true essence lies in understanding the human factor behind these numbers, because, at the end of the day, we create tools for each other, as people.

We are joined today by Justin Reock, an extremely passionate software engineer who makes it his daily mission to help engineers find happiness and joy in their work. We dive into his involvement in the Developer Experience community, frameworks you can use to help think about how and what data to collect to increase developer experience, and providing environments where developers can thrive like an internal developer portal.

Justin has held roles like Solutions Architect and Chief Architect, previously worked at Gradle as their Field CTO and Chief Evangelist and is currently the Head of Developer Relations at Cortex.io, focusing on transforming businesses through internal developer portals. He is also a part of a movement to pull together multiple disciplines to discuss ways in which we can improve engineering productivity.

When our guest is not helping engineers find joy in their work he is playing games of any format (board, video, etc), running, reading, grilling, and he and his wife are renovating their RV!

Connect with Justin


  • Get Space: Do you know if your engineers experience joy in your organization? Install Get Space’s real-time survey iteration tool now with code buildwithpeople and get 20% off your first year to get real insights in your your engineers experience

Show Notes and useful resources:

  • Theory of Constraints as defined in The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
  • The Phoenix Project book
  • Justin’s early tech toys - Atari 2600+ and the Tandy 1000 EX Personal Computer
  • He is creating a programable relay system for his RV using Rust
  • Other videos of Justin: DevOps, 12 Factor, and Open Source and Breeding 10x Developers
  • Beauty of open source is its ability to enable and equalize the playing field
  • Internal Developer Portal - A system that attempts to pull disparate system data and put it in one place to make a predictive and personalized space
  • The SPACE of Developer Productivity - A holistic developer productivity framework combining both workflow metrics and perception metrics.
  • Developers mostly think about “Activity” metrics like lines of code or number of builds but we need to give equal weight to the perception metrics, the “Satisfaction” and “Communication” dimensions of SPACE
  • If you curate a better experience for your developers you will lead to better productivity outcomes
  • DORA - is only one part of the value stream, it is the creation and deployment of an artifact and captures throughput, but it doesn’t capture everything before that like writing the code, or meetings or slack messages
  • SPACE is seeking a balance between the five metrics and wants to tell a story about the tension that exists between the different dimensions.
  • The secret of SPACE is it is immune to Goodhart’s law - “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure”
  • Gitlab DevSecOps 2022 Survey
  • The DevOps Handbook

Building something cool or solving interesting problems? Want to be on this show? Send me an email at jointhepodcast@unfilteredbuild.com

Podcast produced by Unfiltered Build - dream.design.develop.