The Manfred Developer Career Report Postmortem

Posted on October 28, 2022, by Cristina Miquel

Two weeks ago we released the Manfred Developer Career Report, a Report on the current state of the tech sector that would advocate transparency and information symmetry in the industry. We wanted to take full advantage of our wide database to produce this much-needed source of information. The Report compares the skills, preferences and projections of the more than 19,000 tech professionals that make up our database —completely anonymously of course— with the information we have been gathering over the past three years on what companies want and what they are looking for.

There were some things that went well and others that did less so, from which we will learn key lessons for the future editions. Below, we analyze the results.

What were our objectives when we published the Report?

MAIN OBJECTIVE: To create something that is useful for the Community. It may not be perfect and it will certainly have its areas of improvement, but if the feedback we received after publishing it would have been that the information was a) not relevant and/or b) not useful at all, then our time would have been a waste to you. Thankfully, it doesn't seem that was the case.

SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: The creation of a source of recurring traffic, allowing people looking for current information on the tech industry to get to know us.

Manfredonomics

We want to create a space of absolute transparency in which we make public the quantitative metrics associated with this project. In the table below, the numbers correspond to the total for the 7 days following the launch of the Report, from the 5th to the 12th of October to be exact.

INDICATORMETRICRELATIVE VARIATION
Traffic (unique users)19.244+238%
New Manfredites508+69%
Applications to job offers137+10%
New Leads27+42%
New customer Leads22+120%
New followers on social mediaTwitter: +76
LinkedIn +129
Twitter: +0.8%
LinkedIn +0.8%
Engagement on Twitter19,14+72%
Impressions on LinkedIn30.297+144%

Have we achieved our goal of creating a digital asset that will be a source of recurring traffic? Time will tell. We believe that less than a month of data will not give us the answer for now, but what we can see is that during the month of October —not yet over as we write this— the Report has received more than 31,000 visits, a figure that practically triples the traffic usually received on our Home page. Moreover, weeks after its release, it is still the second most visited page on www.getmanfred.com.

🤘 What went well

Diffusion and outreach. There was a risk: that the effort would have been for nothing, and we would be irrelevant. After all, there are 586 million salary reports out there: why would ours be acknowledged? The reality is that the Report reached a LOT of people. We've been shared on Twitch, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and other media outlets…On a myriad of media channels that we didn't appeal to directly. So it looks like we did something right: it seems it did turn out to be interesting data.

Internal communication. From a couple of weeks before the launch, we started explaining internally what was going on and what was going to happen, in meetings, on Slack, by email… We made support material available to the team for dissemination, copies and graphic pieces. We opened an A.M.A. (Ask Me Anything) forum for possible doubts that gave way to very interesting internal conversations.

The preparation of graphic and audiovisual pieces for the launch With respect to other launches, this time we were able to plan better and work ahead of time, which allowed us a better quality of content and a greater reach in networks.

💩 What didn't go so well

Margin for internal feedback. The Report was made available to the team the day before its release, not ideal to say the least. So their feedback timeframe was so tight that much of the valuable feedback that was not considered “critical” could not be implemented in time for the launch. The best lesson learned has been to turn the page to someone external to Manfred, outside of our tone, to avoid misinterpretation.

Testing with Profiles external to Manfred. We wish we had taken the time to challenge our Report with external agents belonging to the tech sector outside of Manfred, so that they could evaluate every single piece of data and word from another perspective, external to ours. The rush made us skip this step, which we believe would have been critical to realize ahead of launch certain issues that the Report may have.

Rising debates. One of the things we have noticed is that discussions have been started around the report that we consider interesting. For instance, around remote work and the hybrid model. Or around salaries in management positions in perspective with senior individual contributors. We believe that this is something very enriching for the community. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, the fact that these issues are put on the table and different perspectives can be heard, seems to us, in itself, a success.

Copywriting. At Manfred, we manage copy changes and their translations through Lokalise. On the one hand, while the copies had been in the pipeline for some time, some pairs of eyes didn't get a chance to look at them until the last minute, causing changes in extremis. Consequently, Anni, the native translator we work with, had to be on high alert to react almost immediately when we got the green light on copies. In addition, some copies, especially those belonging to graphics, were not passed through Lokalise, meaning that we had to go through development for every single amend, hindering the agility we would have liked to have had.

🎒 Lessons learned

Twitch. I stopped by midudev's Twitch channel to publicly talk about the Report,. It was not the first time that someone from our team made an online intervention, even on Twitch, but we made us realize that we have to have a simple recording kit ready to hand for future occasions like these ,where we can offer a higher image quality. We also have to incorporate chat moderators from our team for these types of interventions, so that no question is left unanswered.

Organization and promises. As we noted in the previous section, some parts and copies of our Report were pure development. This, in addition to the aforementioned delays due to last minute feedback and translations, caused the release date of our Report to change from the original one we set. In the future, we will be more prone to announce a range as to a specific release date to give more flexibility for all those inevitable final touches that happen at the end.

Feedback. The lessons learned in terms of receiving and delivering feedback are threefold:

  1. To collate all the pre-release feedback from external industry players outside of Manfred in order to incorporate any improvements that will make the Report more complete and well-rounded. With this action we will be able to identify proposals that will make the report more complete.
    1. In addition, listening to external points of view will allow us to fall into things we have not thought about. This launch, for example, has opened an internal debate around the idea of creating a space to reflect diversity information in the profile of Manfredites. Whether it goes ahead or not, or does so in the short, medium or long term, it has opened our minds to contemplate ideas that had not occurred to us until now.
  2. To prepare in advance a list of answers to possible questions that may arise, thus anticipating possible doubts in order to ensure everything is crystal clear throughout.
  3. To develop in more detail the explanation of the methodology carried out to prepare the Report.

Continuity and iterability. This is something to be implemented in future editions.

We need to document and communicate to the rest of the Manfred team the entire exercise that was carried out for the extraction of the data and the subsequent elaboration of the Report, so that any team member would be able to iterate it.

🧠 Conclusions

Rome was not built in a day and neither was our Report. Our disclaimer announced as much: it was an iterable MVP. That said, we have met our key objectives: we have built a product that brings something different to the Community and, from what you have told us, it has served you well so far. Now onto the next edition. To end this Report here, in this post-mortem, would go against our core principles and our mission. More remains to be built to shed as much light as possible on the current state of the tech industry. Watch this space, we'll be back.

Posted on October 28, 2022, by Cristina Miquel
Tags: meta
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