In 2016 I was given two days off work to watch the livesteam of the ReactEurope conference from Paris. Speaker after speaker kept saying “DX”, and at first I couldn’t figure it out. What was this DX? After a couple of talks I realised it was developer experience, and also noted throughout the two days nobody mentioned UX.

This was shocking to me. I’ve been to a handful of web conferences and watched plenty of recordings of talks, and it’s pretty much a given that “UX” will be in every talk. So getting through an entire conference without hearing it, and hearing DX for the first time, was quite the discombobulator.

An important point is that nearly all the speakers were from massive companies like Facebook, Netflix and Google. Most of the speakers were Facebook employees. The thing about working in a massive company like that is there’s somebody else to worry about UX. You can DX till the cows come home and go out again in the morning, as long as there’s somebody advocating for users who can make sure the DX doesn’t mean worse UX.

However in the much smaller organisations almost everyone else works in developers are choosing tools and frameworks because they enjoy using them, and an attempt at creating UX is handed to them in a Figma file. DX means users get React foisted on them in places where there’s nobody to say it’s not the right choice for users.

Conf wasn’t web, it was code.