Make devs your friends - and your Intercom will be so powerful!

  • 22 March 2023
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Hey Interconnecters! 👋

 

I’d like to share something more based on my Intercom experience, this time with focus on devs. I already kind of touched that in my previous post but feel like I really need to emphasize it a bit more. 

 

Just in case you haven’t seen my previous post, make sure to check it out here:

 

So, the devs. It’s not short for Devils but for Developers although some of my past colleagues might think the opposite 😋

I’m old enough to know this one… 

Let’s get real - you’ll have dependency on devs if you want to make your Intercom project successful. In order to unleash all the power of Intercom, you’ll need to sync as much as possible data to it. And it’s almost impossible to do it without devs. Some 3rd party tools can help (i.e. Zapier, Automate.io, Make...) but eventually you will end up asking devs to help you out with something. 

I had many cases where I had to work with devs directly - and although I’m not a developer myself, I have enough technical background and experience working with them to be able to be on par with them during the technical discussions. And where did I get that experience and knowledge? By talking to them, discussing, and learning from it. 

Trust me, they will appreciate when you show the willingness to engage (ok, maybe not at the very beginning 😁) and that you are learning from what they tell you. Each of the following tasks to them will then be more to the point, so they will not have to ask you a bunch of questions (and they hate doing it). 

The end goal is that you will reach a point where a certain dev you work with, during their team planning process when there’s some time to squeeze in some smaller tasks, will say “I can do Milan’s task for Intercom” as he has all he needs from you, you went over it with him already and you did not just put it on Jira or other PM tool and waiting for it to magically happen. I rather approach them horizontally than through team managers. Never do that unless you really have too… 

 

So - make friends with devs. 

 

If you are a developer and reading this -  thanks! Please approve (or disapprove?). 

 

p.s. I friended with some devs that way, that nowadays we are even working together on some joint projects I have for other Intercom clients. 


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Oh I almost forgot to share one story here - I had a case where I was not really needing devs, working on some Product Tours and Tooltips. But the web app code was so hard on Intercom, with dynamic classes that changed so often, elements of the page (un)visible to some segments of users, that it really made my task of finding appropriate CSS selector very difficult. 

Long story short - the dev I worked with on the Intercom sync (the backend guy) seeing me what I do, on his own initiative talked to the frontend team and persuaded them to add HTML IDs to a number of HTML elements I needed the Tour to point to. Something that I, at that point, was not even willing to ask them, thinking that they would just say NO, as it was really not that crucial. 

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