No-Code Feedback System for DevRel Teams

In my observation of companies during my tenure. Companies that pay attention to their customers tend to win in the long run. Some do a really good job of ignoring what their customers want and aim for what they need while others simply operate in a vacuum (that will ostensibly kill them). Even if you do nothing with user feedback, at least you can have a quick pulse on the community to know if something is broken. Tending to a forum is simply not enough. You need to have a direct line for your customers to ring and for you to pick up.

I have done 17 assessments of various sizes of companies (startups to enterprises) and often there are 3 deficiencies that I note:

  1. Feedback Loops (from the community to the DevRel Team, Support & Product Teams)
  2. Internationalization (It’s not just English anymore folks!)
  3. Tied for 3rd are:
    1. Having up-to-date documentation
    2. General awareness of the DevRel program
    3. Community engagement

You might be thinking, “Why not just go with a User Voice or Canny?” 

Existing platforms offer a quick setup with robust features that do not always align perfectly with specific community needs and workflows. Often off-the-shelf platforms have a higher initial price and significant training requirements for the DevRel, Support, and Product teams. While a simple no-code system can suffice for a near-term benefit on a budget. Remember the goal is getting the feedback so you can fight another day, not look fancy while you die a slow death.

Just like anything in life, “it depends”, how infuriating?

Comparing and Contrasting Approaches

Rolling your own feedback system provides the freedom to design a solution that precisely fits the nuances of your community and existing tech stack.

Unfortunately, this approach takes planning and some time to get right. This approach fosters a deep understanding of both the feedback mechanism and its integration points, which is crucial for ongoing adjustments and enhancements. 

Existing platforms like UserVoice or Canny are ready to deploy and come with advanced features out-of-the-box (but for a fee), including analytics tools and established user interfaces. However, they may include unnecessary features and come with recurring costs. 

One additional thought to consider is that these platforms handle data on their servers, which could be a concern for projects operating outside of the USA.

Here’s a (back of the napkin) price and effort comparison table for implementing a feedback system with the assistance of a freelancer. The table contrasts the costs and effort required for a custom approach implementation versus utilizing existing feedback management platforms.

ApproachSetup CostMonthly CostFreelancer Effort
Self-ImplementedLow (up to $500)Minimal to NoneHigh (120-150 hours)
Existing Platform (e.g., UserVoice, Canny)Medium ($1,000 – $2,000)High ($500 – $1,000/month)Medium (50-70 hours)


  •  Setup Cost: Reflects initial investments in software, tools, or platform fees needed to start.
  • Monthly Cost: Ongoing expenses related to platform subscriptions or server costs. – 
  • Freelancer Effort: Estimated hours a freelancer would need to spend setting up, customizing, integrating, and possibly maintaining the system over the first few months.
  • Total Cost Estimate: Includes freelancer fees for the initial setup and ongoing adjustments, along with any recurring costs for the first year.

* This estimation is a general guideline and actual costs might vary based on specific project requirements and freelancer rates.

To be frank, the best solution may just be to bite the bullet and go with an off-the-shelf system mainly because you get so much more for your investment. Over time you may want to have your engineering team roll your own feedback system depending on how much you end up budgeting per year for feedback. 

In either case, I believe it is also best to have a freelancer come in and evaluate your processes for feedback and make sure to implement it into the feedback tool, provide documentation and training, and even operate the system for a time till the bugs get worked out and a pragmatic handover can be conducted.

Below is a framework to get you moving down the cheap way to get going.

Custom Community-Driven Feedback Repository (No-Code Version, not pretty)


  • Simplicity and Community Engagement: This approach emphasizes community input and prioritization, which can be managed with minimal coding by leveraging existing no-code platforms.
  • Use of No-Code Tools: Tools such as Typeform, Google Forms for feedback collection, and Trello or Airtable for organizing and prioritizing feedback can be integrated without deep technical expertise.

Implementation Tools:

  • Feedback Collection: Google Forms or Typeform to create an interactive and straightforward feedback submission form.
  • Feedback Repository: Airtable or Trello acts as a repository where feedback can be sorted, prioritized, and discussed.
  • Community Communication: Integration of feedback links and updates using existing Slack/Discord bots and automatic postings.


  1. Review current processes for getting feedback from customers into the Product Team’s (or Support Team’s) pipelines.
  2. Set up a form for feedback submission using Google Forms or Typeform.
  3. Link the form responses to an Airtable or Trello board.
  4. Use Slack/Discord integrations to notify the community of the repository and encourage participation.
  5. Regularly update the community on feedback status through these platforms and during YouTube livestreams.


  • Setup Time: Approximately 1-2 weeks to select the right tools, set up the form and repository, and establish basic integrations.
  • Community Adoption: Additional 1-2 months for community familiarization and engagement, including promoting the new system during livestreams and via social media.
  • Ongoing Management: A few hours per week to manage feedback, update statuses, and communicate with the community.


  • Ease of Setup and Management: Minimal technical skills required, with a focus on organizing and communicating rather than coding.
  • Community Engagement: Direct involvement of the community helps in maintaining high engagement and ensuring the feedback is genuinely reflective of user needs.


  • Limited Automation: In the end, you will likely have to have a person operating the process on a weekly basis.
  • Another System to Maintain: Just like a web server, it needs feeding and care to work.
  • Feature Creativity: Creating feedback systems is not your business so there may be some cool features you are missing and are oblivious to.
  • More Tools to Keep Track of: You have to remember seemingly unrelated tools to keep the system running.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Deciding to build a custom feedback system is a commendable path that empowers you with flexibility and a tailored fit but requires a hands-on approach for maintenance and scalability.

If you’re leaning towards rolling your own solution, start by mapping out the specific needs of your community and how you interact with them across platforms like Slack, Discord, and your developer portal. Then, explore no-code tools such as Airtable or Google Forms to prototype your solution. 

As you refine your approach, this initial groundwork will be your blueprint, ensuring your feedback system is as dynamic and responsive as the developers you support.

Ready to integrate a feedback system that truly resonates with your developer community but not sure where to start? Whether you’re considering a bespoke, self-implemented solution tailored to your specific needs, or looking for a streamlined deployment with existing platforms, I’m here to help. 

With expertise in both custom setups and the integration of market-leading tools, I can guide you through the process and get your feedback system up and running in no time. Let’s connect and fast-track your path to a more engaged and responsive developer community.

Contact Phil to Remove the Headache

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