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Publisher's Summary

Jeff Lawson, developer turned CEO of Twilio (one of Bloomberg Businessweek's Top 50 Companies to Watch in 2021), creates a new playbook for unleashing the full potential of software developers in any organization, showing how to help management utilize this coveted and valuable workforce to enable growth, solve a wide range of business problems, and drive digital transformation.

From banking and retail to insurance and finance, every industry is turning digital, and every company needs the best software to win the hearts and minds of customers. The landscape has shifted from the classic build vs. buy question, to one of build vs. die. Companies have to get this right to survive. But how do they make this transition?

Software developers are sought after, highly paid, and desperately needed to compete in the modern, digital economy. Yet most companies treat them like digital factory workers without really understanding how to unleash their full potential. Lawson argues that developers are the creative workforce who can solve major business problems and create hit products for customers—not just grind through rote tasks. From Google and Amazon, to one-person online software companies—companies that bring software developers in as partners are winning. Lawson shows how leaders who build industry changing software products consistently do three things well. First, they understand why software developers matter more than ever. Second, they understand developers and know how to motivate them. And third, they invest in their developers' success. 

As a software developer and public company CEO, Lawson uses his unique position to bridge the language and tools executives use with the unique culture of high performing, creative software developers. Ask Your Developer is a toolkit to help business leaders, product managers, technical leaders, software developers, and executives achieve their common goal—building great digital products and experiences.

How to compete in the digital economy? In short: Ask Your Developer.

©2020 Jeff Lawson and Dan Lyons (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Ask Your Developer

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Two and Half Stars

It contained a handful of useful takeaways but it was essentially a public relations exercise.

1 person found this helpful

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A must for any company that manages developers

This book was eye opening on the lack of some of the internal processes in my company. We made so many mistakes from this book. I wish I had it 3-4 years ago!

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From a non-dev tech entrepreneur:

This book is not only, the first I’ve ever written a review for, but also a mind-shifting encyclopedia. Something that I will refer back to on how to build great teams and make great products.

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Great book. Look into the future.

Great insight into what is already here and what is coming. All companies will have to lean into this thought process. Jeff did a great job performing the book but also laying out each thought process clearly and concisely. Very insightful and his company sounds very interesting.

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great insights to how a development organization s

The book gave great insights into how you should run a developer focused SAAS type product...p The one thing I do get out of these books is just some helpful insight on how to streamline your business

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Amazing book

Well written, expertly narrated, and very inspirational and educational for everyone in the software industry, and for every other industry that is dependent on software in one way or another.

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SK

I enjoyed this book very much. I have been in technology sales leadership for more than 20 years and never made the connection between the C-suite executives and how that translates with the builders of digital transformation making that happen. Ask Your Developer is a must read (or listen).

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One of the best books

True leaders are best listeners acts on the most pressing issues promptly. No doubt Jeff built an empire with his magic.

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Amazing read for every professional who has to interact with Tech professionals

Jeff builds a solid case for build software vs buy of the shelf.
Beautifully written, every word resonated with me.
Highly recommended for folks in Tech sector.

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Must read for managers, executives and developers of course

Our times has changed, software development brings the future now and developers are becoming the actuators of change this book describes how to use that as a super power to your company a must read for entrepreneurs looking for council and wisdom, better than a board meeting.

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  • Emma
  • 03-19-22

A modern business bible

An absolute must listen/read for any CEO, Executive, Director and those with aspirations of. However technical or not you may be.

I purchased with the hope of addressing a cavernous language barrier that exists between marketing (my team) and the tech/data department in a large ecom business.

Interestingly, this book turned out to be something else entirely; I am admittedly still working through my marketing-data language challenge to some degree, yet what a pleasant surprise this book was.

This, is a book about modern business strategy.

The Industrial Age is over. DE&I, purpose and sustainability are shaping business strategy, Chief People Officer is a real role, movements like Black Lives Matter and Me-Too have empowered the workforce to finally take a stand and Gen-Z now make up the majority of them.

And Data is the lifeblood of business.

The later is what this book is about.

Not generating it, no every business does that. What matters is how it connects, how it flows.
Each department is a vital organ, each generates and has the potential to consume shedloads of data every day.

But this means nothing if you don’t have the right veins. The right flow of information between them, the fuel for modern business operations.

The dependency on co-operation in modern business is unfathomable. Those to succeed will be those who pull this off. The ones that lead a motivated workforce to build something amazing together. Retaining the same soul as the business scales.
This book is a guide in successfully structuring an organisation. It’s about setting up an organisation framework that gets the most out of people. Every business needs to operate like a tech company now.

Todays workforce don’t give a crap if you’re the CEO or the janitor. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, and now they are empowered enough to demand it. Make them happy. Build an environment where people are motivated to succeed, AND (with the help of this book) the infrastructure that enables them to do that.

There remains a large, and slowly declining number of executive dinosaurs in powerful positions who believe that hard lines and hierarchy is what drives business success; “cut spending to drive profits.”

Are you one of them?

Reducing resource, technology investments or marketing spend will not save the bottom line. It can only end in downward spiral. Instead motivate employees to do more with less. Make their work-lives meaningful, give them a sense of purpose, of doing something good, building something real.
Read this book and learn how to give employees the tools they need to succeed. When they succeed, the business succeeds.

You will be rewarded.. or you will be left behind.

The digital era has dawned my friend. Buy this bloody book and get on with it.

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  • Paulski
  • 05-27-21

Share this book with everyone..

Share this book with everyone who is leading any aspect of a software product. As a software engineering leader I can say Jeff nails the business case, knowledge and attitude necessary to enable creative engineers to deliver their best work. Thank you Jeff on behalf of all software engineers!

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  • CMOS
  • 02-04-21

This is a brilliant book, buy it now

Whether you are a seasoned founder, or just setting out on your journey with developers, this book is a must read. The fact that it is read by the author really helps as his enthusiasm and natural passion for the subject really come across. As a founder who has had the privilege of working with some amazing developers over the years I cannot recommend this book too highly. If you are part of an organisation that does not work with developers in the ways described in this book then change, right now. You will be astounded by the change in your team. Great work @jeffiel

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  • Chris L.
  • 09-13-21

Nothing tangible

This book is mostly just looking back at history and telling stories with no actual tangible takeaways that are usable other then “developers good everything else bad”.

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  • Rod
  • 08-08-21

We get your point after Chapter One

A chapter in someone else's book would have bee sufficient given the limit of what this guy has to say. What he said was interesting enough but after the first 50 pages, you've kinda made your point.