LIVE FROM BLACKBERRY DEVCON EUROPE: Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations and ecosystems development for RIM (pictured), highlighted a number of ways in which the company has looked to improve its communications with developers, while also acknowledging that in the past it may have lacked some clarity.
Speaking at the event in Amsterdam this week, the executive said that “the whole idea is to make it a whole lot easier and more fun to be a BlackBerry developer. To ensure that you get the support that you need, when you need it.”
“We recognise that it’s time for us to collaborate a lot more than we might have done in the past, to communicate,” he noted.
“Some people have said to me that our strategy has been hard to understand. And you know what? I agree, it has been hard to understand. So I’d say we’re sorry about that. But with BlackBerry 10, I don’t think that’s true anymore. BlackBerry 10 is our platform for the future,” he argued.
Among the changes made by RIM is the introduction of a new developer support website, which provides easier access to information. The company has also removed the need for developers to register to gain any access to material, which has previously been the subject of criticism.
“We have removed all of the necessity to enter any kind of personal data. You just download the tools. You get started, you can build your app, there is no need to do anything that has to interact with us until such time as you have built the app, and you need to go ahead and submit it,” Saunders said.
The site also features microsites detailing the various technology paths open to BlackBerry developers, and case studies of developers who have been successful using RIM’s platforms. There will be “rewards” for those active among the community.
Also introduced is a marketplace to enable developers and other ecosystem partners to market and sell products and services to each other – such as custom development skills or testing capabilities.
Saunders said: “we are committed to helping you find success, not just in building your applications, but also in building your business.”
Thorsten Heins, CEO of RIM, also noted that the company is ramping up its support for developers in regions such as EMEA, Latin America and Asia Pacific. “We are putting out full developer support relationship teams, so you have your partners within the region helping you to be successful,” he said.