Lessons Learned in 2019 & Our Goals for the New Decade
Happy Holidays, TomTom Developers!
In 2017, we had the idea to make our maps easily accessible to any developer who wanted to add location context to their application. So, we built the team, we tossed around ideas and in the Fall of 2017, we launched the TomTom Developer Portal, a self-service platform that enabled developers to easily access our Maps and Location APIs.
We entered 2019 with a goal: to build a community of users who wanted to learn and use our Maps APIs. With every new product update, marketing campaign or event that we participated in, we had to take a step back and ask, “How will this serve the Developers in our community?”
If 2018 was a year of beginnings, then 2019 has been a year of trials, learnings and successes.
As the year comes to a close, this has been a great opportunity for us to reflect on what this year meant and to plan for 2020.
We Developed New APIs.
We are developers building for developers. In 2019, we created some amazing products for users to build with.
In January, we launched our Geofencing API, which enables you to track assets within a predefined area on your map. It allows developers to take action based on a user’s location. An example of one of the ways someone can use geofencing is to deliver you a “half-off coffee” notification to your mobile device when you’re close to a Starbucks.
Next, we launched our Maps SDK for Web V5 that allows users to easily and quickly integrate our services into a web application with a client library and fully customizable components. This new version gives users access to more advanced map features and increased quality in performance. Once you’re done building your map, you can customize it to match the look and feel of your web or mobile app using the Map Styler, a tool we introduced in the second half of 2019.
Finally, we announced new APIs and use cases for electric vehicles. The Developer Toolkit for Electric Mobility was the first toolkit of its kind to enable developers to build applications that combat electric vehicle range anxiety. Oh, not to forget, but this toolkit is also award winning! After its launch, TAAS Technology recognized the Developer Toolkit for Electric Mobility as an Outstanding Electric Vehicle Technology Innovation for 2019.
Over the last 12 months, it’s been exciting to watch people use our new products to build their apps and create new projects – it tells us that we are on the right track and building things you want to use.
We Got a Little Chatty.
After we launched our Developer Portal, we quickly learned that it was a place of one-way communication. We believe that part of creating a developer community starts with creating a space where both sides of the party can interact and also interact with one another. So, we launched different channels of communication that encouraged our community to provide feedback, share their projects and let us know what’s working and what needs improvement.
- January, we introduced our monthly newsletters to community members.
- March, we launched our Twitter handle.
- April, we published our first blog.
- June, we held our first developer meetup.
- July, we recorded our first YouTube video.
- November, we launched the TomTom Developer Forum.
These 6 platforms enable us to communicate with our developers in new and more efficient ways. Once they were launched, we saw comments, tweets and messages pour in from all of the world from users asking for help, sharing their projects and telling us about their successes. One area that we want to highlight is our Developer Forum. While each of these platforms have a significant role in communication, our forum is truly a place where we get to interact with you. In our forum, you’ll find TomTom’ers and users hanging out to troubleshoot issues and work on projects. It’s a place of collaboration where we get to work together to make your app a success.
We Found Our People.
New products, new ways to communicate, new developer portal and new users – all of this is possible because of the team that we built over the last year.
The TomTom Developer Relations team started out with 10 people in 2018 and has expanded to 26 people located all around the world. Each person is imperative to our organization and the success of our community. When you see our Developer Portal, receive an email, or even read through product documentation – you get glimpses to what our people are like.
We have built a team of developers, marketers, and product experts who are passionate, fun and a little quirky. We’re part of this team, because we believe in the power of our location technology and the endless possibilities of what developers in our community can build when given access to it.
Our Promises for 2020
This year, we’ve accomplished a lot & we’re really proud of that. But we know that there’s so much room to grow and room for us to do a better job of supporting our developers.
We have some big plans for 2020. Here are a few things you can expect from us:
We’re going to continue to improve your experience on the developer portal
This means you are going to see more documentation, different landing pages and new tools that will be available to help you build. We are looking at different ways to improve your experience from the moment you register to when you use your first API key up to when you have your app up and running. We want to be there for you every step of the way.
We’re going to focus more on educational content.
When you’re lost on a project or stuck on an error, we know you turn to different resources to find the answers. We want to be an all-encompassing solution for you. We are working on creating more educational content through a variety of mediums so that you can stay within the developer portal to find solutions instead of having to break and do additional research.
We’re going to showcase YOU.
Your stories and your projects matter to us and we want to share them with others for inspiration. This year, we are going to focus on showcasing our users more often. Building something cool? Then show it to us, we want to put you on our blog and tell your story on our social media channels.
Cheers to the New Year!
2019.has been a blast, but we are excited to celebrate the end of a decade and see what 2020 has in store for us.
From everyone on the TomTom Developer Relations Team, we wish you all happy holidays!
Anika, Evan, Gregory and Louis (The Leadership Team)