F8 is important for us at Facebook because it’s a moment for our global developer community to come together and get excited about what’s next.
This year was also an important moment for Workplace and our partners. We’ve been working hard with them for months to build a range of new integrations for Workplace, and they were as excited about making them available to our customers as we were.
The team puts amazing work into F8 and collaboration goes into overdrive. F8 galvanizes people and focuses their minds. It can be exhausting, but it’s a lot of fun.
A serious product adopted by serious companies
But how did F8 go for us?
Besides our two talks and briefing the international journalists who wanted to cover our announcements, we had lots of people come to our booth in the Festival Hall.
Many told us they were hearing about Workplace for the first time. But these conversations always went well for two reasons: because of the partners and developers we have and because of the customers we have.
Getting our phones out and showing people how Workplace works. Playing the video of Virgin Atlantic using Workplace to make it easier to get work done. These were Eureka moments for people. Folks generally left our booth understanding that Workplace is a serious product that serious companies adopt to get serious things done. It’s also a platform that attracts really impressive partners. For the team that’s worked so hard to make Workplace happen, this was great validation of our vision.
Meeting of minds
For me, one of the great things about F8 was that it was a meeting point for customers and developers. It was the perfect opportunity to build relationships and give people a glimpse behind the curtain. Like having a conversation with a customer about task management and being able to turn around and introduce them to head of partnerships at Atlassian. Or have a conversation about making workplaces more efficient and being able to introduce someone to the head of product at Envoy. That happened multiple times.
Or the potential customer expressing an interest. ‘Cool. Product sounds great. But we use Zoom.’ Being at F8 meant being able to point to the partnerships lead at Zoom and say ‘Workplace integrates with Zoom. Let’s go talk to them!’
Beyond the code
We took almost the entire Platform engineering and design team to F8 because it’s important for our teams to meet the partners we’re working with and the customers we’re building for.
Many hadn’t met all the people who’ve spent the last 5-6 months coding against our APIs. The opportunity to shake hands, to spend 2 hours exploring possibilities with the very people who write the code that made these integrations happen was incredibly powerful.
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Having our partners, developers and engineers together meant we could make APIs better in near real-time. Our partners tell us that our APIs are easy to develop against – but things can always be better. There’s often a feature that a developer would love to have. Or a thing that didn’t quite work the way they expected. Or just that one thing that’s missing.
For example, one of our engineers kept a notebook with him, wrote down the feedback he heard, and implemented several of the suggestions overnight. Our developers LOVED that.
Not only is this short feedback cycle useful to continuously improve our product, it also builds trust between Workplace and our developer community.
And that’s trust that will allow us to keep building more integrations to help more people get work done long into the future.