ReadingForward-Deployed Engineer: The bridge between product and customer experience
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Forward-Deployed Engineer: The bridge between product and customer experience

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In modern software ecosystems, the role of technical onboarding specialists is paramount. These specialists act as the link between engineering and customer success and support teams. Understanding each customer’s unique business ensures your product’s solutions are tailored to meet their specific needs.

This personalised approach accelerates the implementation process and enhances user adoption and satisfaction.

In my case, I’m one of these customer-facing engineers at DevRev.

What are the roles and responsibilities of an FDE?

  • Tailored implementation: FDEs work closely with users to understand their unique business processes and requirements. They then determine the optimal way for the product to align with the customer’s business needs, ensuring a smooth implementation process.
  • Seamless integration: FDEs have the technical expertise to ensure seamless integration between DevRev and other systems. This integration enhances data flow and consistency across the organization, and DevRev becomes the single source of truth.
  • Continuous improvement: Gathering user feedback and advocating for their needs within DevRev is yet another role of an FDE. They drive continuous improvement of the platform by identifying opportunities for enhancement and staying informed about industry trends.

The Process

Customer engagement and optimization

Customer Success managers and Forward Deployed Engineers engage directly with users to understand their business objectives, processes, and pain points. Establishing strong relationships and effective communication channels ensures user needs are accurately captured and addressed throughout the implementation process.

After collecting requirements, FDEs return to their workstations to engineer solutions that meet user needs. Customizations encompass various areas, including automation, routing workflows, and integrations with other tools.

With DevRev, FDE uses AI-powered snap-ins to tailor automation and integrations that make daily operations effortless.

Bringing your Rev Data ( Customer Data) and Dev Data ( Product & Engineering Data ) into DevRev gives you a 360° view of your organization by eliminating all departmental silos.

Note:

DevRev Snap-ins are add-ons for DevRev and are of multiple types:

  • Integrations let you connect DevRev with existing systems such as Slack and WhatsApp.
  • Automations perform tasks within DevRev based on events, like responding to customer conversations and linking tickets and issues.
  • Airdrop helps you bring data from external sources to DevRev and keep them in sync.

Customer story: Building for scale and flexibility

A customer recently contacted us regarding frequent missed SLA targets on tickets due to the time it took to triage them as either Bugs or Feature Requests.

Previously, agents had to manually review tickets in the queue and assign them these classifications, which consumed significant time and resources. Our FDEs swiftly addressed this issue by developing an automation that leverages LLMs and historical DevRev data to classify tickets upon creation automatically.

This automation has resulted in substantial improvements in the customer’s daily operations.

Marketplace and community contributions

FDEs’ contributions extend far beyond individual projects. Their meticulously crafted solutions continue after the customer and are showcased on a public marketplace. Further enhancements to these ‘micro apps’ are pushed directly to the marketplace items through continuous integration and deployment pipelines.

Via the marketplace, fellow users can explore, integrate, and leverage these innovations to enhance their instances, fostering a community of shared learning and growth.

My story:

What it means to be an FDE and why I chose to become one at DevRev :

FDE’s are extreme engineers with an intuition for interpersonal situations. The role comes with a knack for navigating through complex customer interactions. Each day is different when it comes to what a day looks like for an FDE.

One day, my calendar is filled with back-to-back meetings, but the next day, I’m on my desk writing code or building a solution for a customer, and there are days when I’m juggling between the two.

Often, I find myself exposed to so many different organizations and their processes, stitched together with thin strings that could snap any second due to the departmental silos that have emerged over the years as companies grow. DevRev has embraced the importance of having a forward-deployed engineer from the inception to infinity of a customer relationship.

I chose to be a Forward Deployed Software Engineer career because of the swift turnaround between devising solutions and observing their real-world application. The immediate feedback loop and collaborative iteration with customers allow me to develop highly effective solutions in a remarkably brief period.

I value the unique mix of autonomy and unpredictability in this role. It allows me to tackle projects that interest me, each offering unique challenges. This environment of constant learning and adaptation keeps me energized.

Before this role, I worked as a UI engineer and had never encountered anything like it. However, the guidance of exceptional mentors in my current team enabled me to accomplish tasks with remarkable speed.

If the idea of working in a startup environment with expert mentors excites you, explore our careers page here.