Our Blog

meet the developer

Meet the Developer: Introducing Sacha “Try before I Buy” Barber

August 30, 2018 - Practitioner Marketing - ,
By: Yolanda Fintschenko

What about the developer?

Have you ever wondered about the developer experience of your advertising? If you are marketing and advertising to developers, you absolutely should. “Meet the Developer” helps you discover the person behind the code. Learn who they are, why they write about developing, and how they experience the advertising and content you are throwing at them.

I had the great pleasure of corresponding with Sacha Barber. Sacha is a life-long learner who loves teaching. That’s why he gives back and writes for developer-to-developer (D2D) communities like CodeProject. Here’s what Sacha had to say about himself, writing for D2D communities, and his experience with advertising directed at developers.

Tell us about yourself:

My name is Sacha Barber, and my current role is somewhere between senior software engineer/architect. I am a strong believer in keeping a hands-on approach, which for me means writing stuff constantly, even when I am no longer at work. I use my commute to try out new frameworks, be that the latest JS framework, or some open source goodies, or the latest Azure service. ‘As long as you are still coding, you can still enjoy learning’ is my motto. I also like to publish articles, which is spread between my own blog https://sachabarbs.wordpress.com/ or codeproject.com. I write on a wide range. I even write about a few different languages—JS/.NET/Scala/F#/TypeScript.

Why do you write for developer communities?

I like to teach people, and I find a good way of doing that is by trying to write down how to do something. When you come to write it down, what you thought was a straightforward process rarely turns out to be one. I like to think, ‘If I was reading this, what would you need to know to use this?’ That is what drives the content of what I write.

What is the newest tech you are using, learning, excited about, curious about, and why?

Right now, I am really into Azure, and at the same time, I just can’t put Scala down. So it’s a mixture of Azure services, and Kafka/Kafka streams for me right now. I basically love streaming applications, which is why I spend a lot of time with Kafka.

Where do you go for info about developer tools?

I read blogs, follow word of mouth, look at StackOverflow/CodeProject ads (though I have to say not as much as the other sources of tools). I also have an active Pluralsight account, and I look to see what languages are in demand and keep my ear to the ground.

What ads for developer tools and services attract you?

I really get quite bored seeing ads for database tools. Anything streaming will normally get my attention or anything distributed around microservices I will normally give more than a cursory glance to.

If you are interested in a product or service because of an ad, do you click on the ad or search the product/advertiser you see in the ad on a separate browser instance?

I do a hybrid approach. I don’t like my current tab to be messed with, that really annoys me. I will try to find a link, and attempt to open in a new tab.

How do you feel when you visit content or another site you are interested in based on advertising, only to find that you have to give a phone number to get what is offered?

Boo, never again to that site. Blacklisted!

Same as above – except about when you are asked for a credit card?

Same as above, instant dismissal. I think a time-based trial is by far the smartest way to go. If you want to take money, that’s ok, but after a trial to see, I want the product please.

What makes you bounce? Meaning—At what point do you navigate away when you visit content or a tool trial that you want, but you encounter a lot of requests for personal information? Email? Name? Phone number? Credit card? Other?

I’m ok with about 5 fields. Any more than that, and I become a bit glassy-eyed, and find my attention turning to why did unicorns have horns-type thoughts, and rarely remember to fill in the remaining 25 fields.

Once you’ve been asked for a lot of personal information in order to take advantage of an offer, how do you feel about that brand or product?

Depends on how well the product works. If the thing does what I wanted from it, and it does it well, filling in a few fields of personal info was a small price to pay.

Have you ever found a technology and purchased it based on an ad run in your developer community? Why or why not?

Yes, but only after trying it out. It all comes back to the free trial time for me. If you can’t try, I won’t buy.


Yolanda is a scientist, writer, marketer, coach and avid runner who lives and works in Livermore, CA.  She founded Common SciSense, a marketing company for technical products, and co-founded founderTRACTION, lean marketing services for startups. 

0 Comments
Would you like to share your thoughts?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.