Beyond Code: Exploring Developer Experience at Paxos

What do building software and cooking have in common? I used to find the process of preparing meals cumbersome. My kitchen utensils and ingredients were scattered across different cabinets, making it a hassle to gather everything I needed, leading to stress and inefficiency in meal preparation. However, when I reorganized my kitchen, placed frequently used items within easy reach and created a logical workflow, cooking became more efficient and enjoyable. Now, I navigate my kitchen effortlessly, creating delicious meals without the stress.

Similarly, the process of building software can be hindered by a disorganized development environment. However, by structuring the workspace with the right tools, libraries and processes, developers can significantly enhance the coding experience. Establishing a well-structured development environment enables developers to streamline workflows, minimize friction, and enhance collaboration. This, in turn, enhances creativity and productivity, ultimately leading to successful project outcomes.

What is DevEx and why is it important?

Developer Experience (DevEx) can mean different things to different people. For us at Paxos, it refers to the ease or difficulty with which a developer can carry out the necessary tasks required to make a change. This crucial aspect of software development aims to create an environment and tools that enhance the efficiency, satisfaction and overall experience of developers. DevEx is key to empowering developers to simplify their work processes, foster creativity and ultimately deliver top-notch software products.

When DevEx is prioritized, it means placing a significant emphasis on creating a work environment and providing tools that cater to the needs and preferences of developers. An effective DevEx empowers developers to utilize the most efficient tools for their tasks, helps them concentrate on the current task by minimizing context switching and offers automated and rapid feedback loops.

DevEx is not just about making developers’ jobs easier; it has a direct impact on productivity, job satisfaction, creativity and the overall quality of software development. It represents a holistic approach that recognizes the importance of the human element in the software development process.

Why is Paxos investing in DevEx?

Paxos, a growing yet small company, has an Engineering team of just under 200 engineers. So why are we prioritizing investing in DevEx? We recognize that investing in DevEx is not just about tangible business advantages, but it is also the right thing to do. Creating a positive environment fosters innovation, creativity and higher job satisfaction. It demonstrates our commitment to the well-being of our team, continuous improvement and collaboration. This not only enhances business outcomes but also aligns with our core values — search for the truth and commitment to excellence. 

For leaders at Paxos, a robust DevEx program is a top priority. Happy developers drive efficiency and speed, enabling us to deliver quality products to market faster. Additionally, satisfied developers contribute to reduced attrition, meaning decreased onboarding and training costs. We are equally committed to providing an exceptional experience for our internal developers as we are for our customers. 

What are some of the DevEx challenges we’re solving at Paxos?

We work on improving developer productivity by reducing friction from less-than-ideal tools and processes. Our emphasis is on understanding where engineers struggle, experience high cognitive load or are doing repetitive tasks within the development process, and then creating solutions to solve those problems. 

At Paxos, the DevEx team owns:


      • Build (CI) Platform: Enabling faster and more frequent software releases within a continuous and iterative development cycle.

      • Deployment (CD) Platform: Automating the software release process, enabling developers to deliver new features and improvements to end-users rapidly and consistently.

      • Developer Portal: Providing developers with easy access to available services, jumpstarting projects with pre-configured templates and offering feedback on code quality and best practices.

      • Productivity Tools: Enabling developers to streamline their workflow, automate repetitive tasks and improve their overall efficiency by simplifying complex processes and providing time-saving capabilities.

    We prioritize areas that have the biggest impact on productivity for a large number (or mission-critical group) of engineers.

    For instance, Paxos experienced a substantial increase in both the number of services we offer and engineers. This led to a slow down and flakiness in our CI and testing setup, impeding engineers and creating friction. To address this, DevEx used Bazel, BuildBuddy and Testcontainers to resolve resource issues and enhance test portability through remote execution. This initiative significantly reduced build times and flakiness, enhancing developer productivity and satisfaction at Paxos.

    The DevEx team introduced the Paxos Developer Portal (PDP), a centralized hub consolidating resources, documentation, tools and APIs to enhance developer collaboration and efficiency. 

    Additionally, the team launched “Forge,” an extension of PDP simplifying service provisioning and infrastructure configurations, reducing friction with self-service scaffolding. Forge significantly boosts developer productivity, enabling Engineers to launch new services in nearly 75% less time.

    A key aspect of our strategy involves gathering direct feedback from developers through surveys and interviews. This input provides insights into their pain points and areas for improvement, enhancing our understanding of the obstacles impacting developer productivity. This feedback guides our roadmap, prioritizing initiatives and shaping the design and implementation of solutions to align with the real needs of our developers. This feedback loop forms the foundation of our continuous improvement approach.

    What are some of the challenges?

    The axiom ‘you can only improve what you measure’ highlights the importance of metrics for DevEx teams, particularly in assessing codebase health, response times and developer workflow optimization. At Paxos, we encounter challenges related to ‘data collection consistency’ across diverse tools and platforms, as well as in quantifying subjective aspects of the developer experience like satisfaction and usability. To tackle these challenges, we’re focusing on a balanced approach that combines quantitative metrics with qualitative insights. This includes implementing standardized data collection protocols, utilizing automation tools and refining our metrics framework, alongside gathering feedback through surveys, interviews and usability testing for a more holistic evaluation.

    Why should you join our DevEx team at Paxos? 

    Whether you’re a software engineer or technology enthusiast, the Engineering team at Paxos offers a unique opportunity for professional growth and impact. Joining our DevEx team isn’t just about shaping the future of software development; it’s about catalyzing positive change across the engineering landscape. We offer a dynamic environment that values innovation, prioritizes team well-being and empowers engineers to thrive. Together, let’s redefine the developer experience and make a lasting impact on the way we build exceptional software at Paxos.

    Visit to learn more about our open roles.

    Featured articles

    Blockchain, Crypto &
    the Modern Enterprise

    Our monthly newsletter covers the latest perspectives and important topics focused on the crypto landscape for enterprises. Subscribe to stay informed!