There's been a lot of talk lately about whether change needs to come from the top-down (stakeholders / CXO's) or the bottom-up (individual contributors on the DevRel team). While I agree that sitting around simply waiting for change to happen isn't a productive use of our time and skills, at the end of the day, if we don't get the buy-in from upper management, whatever changes we implement likely won't last long.
I brought this up in a recent conversation with my friend & fellow DevRel Professional Karissa Peth and she made the observation that we need to find a way to get in front of stakeholders from other companies. After all, while banging the drum in your own company is important, that's only one company of many in the tech industry.
The mission of my company, Persea Consulting, is to provide resources for the community of community builders in order to push the entire DevRel industry forward, but we need to realize that the peripheral community is made up of the stakeholders at each of the companies that we work for. Providing resources for DevRel professionals, while important, is only part of the puzzle. Until we start providing resources for the leadership teams who are seeking to implement DevRel practices, we'll keep running into the same dead-ends we've been facing for the last decade.
I'm making a concerted effort to do that in a variety of ways, including speaking at non-developer conferences. While Product, Marketing, and even Sales-related events definitely aren't normally the conferences on the top of our list, I think it's time that we begin to give talks about the value of Developer Relations to these audiences. If we expect these individuals to support us in our dedication to building relationships with developers, we need to make sure they understand why it's valuable. I'd love to talk to those of you willing to step outside of our typical comfort zones to see how together, we can help stakeholders around the world better understand the value that we bring to the table.
p.s. As I mentioned in the last issue, I'm looking for some help with upcoming issues in late August and early September. A handful of you emailed me asking for more information, which I really appreciate! I should clarify one thing: I'm not expecting you to put together a weekly round-up of all the news as I've been doing. Instead, I'd love you to share your top 5 (or more) favorite articles about DevRel & Community Building. When I'm back on the grid post-vacation I'll do a round-up of my top picks from the previous weeks. Hit reply and let me know if this sounds like something you'd be interested in doing!