Breaking Down Barriers to “Hello World”

A presentation at DevRelCon San Francisco 2019 in in San Francisco, CA, USA by Taylor Barnett

For any developer, the faster they achieve “Time to First Hello World,” the better the overall experience. Whether they are a developer just learning how to code or have 10+ years of experience, the first “Hello World” with a new API, framework, or programming language is a fantastic feeling. This benchmark becomes even more important for beginners. Along with less access to help, mentorship, and other resources, just getting started can be very challenging and potentially detrimental. If beginners can achieve small wins early on, an entire world of possible projects they can code on their own opens up.

In this talk, Taylor will explore the barriers beginner (and experienced) developers face when getting started with a new API, framework, or programming language. She will also discuss strategies to avoid beginner’s mind or empathy failure and how to create better documentation, examples, and tutorials that break down these barriers and measure success early on. Lastly, she will talk about why it is necessary and mutually beneficial to care about beginners using your API, framework, or programming language.


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