Hi DevRel fam. How's everyone holding up?
It's been a rough week and a half in the States, hence the reason why this issue has been delayed a handful of times. It's been difficult to know whether I should push out content and continue with "normal" or pause on everything to recognize that we're facing issues that are far more important than a weekly newsletter right now.
I decided to send out the newsletter this week (albeit a little later than usual) because for the most part, our jobs are still continuing and the industry is still moving forward, regardless of the current events. There's been great content released in the past two weeks and I want to make sure to amplify it, even if you don't see this newsletter or click through on the content for a few more weeks.
I also know that there is far more important content being shared right now -- information about how to educate ourselves on the systemic racism that's prevalent in our country, how to best support our Black friends, family, and colleagues, and how to do the ongoing work necessary to make the long-overdue changes within our culture.
If you click through on nothing else from this issue, I'd encourage you to watch this video from Shana Sumers, Head of Community at HER. At this week's Community Chat Summit, she covered how you and your company can support Black Life Matters (and Pride Month) in the right ways, by committing to five things: Education, Accountability, Asking Questions, Taking Action, and Speaking Up.
One more item I wanted to call out this week: I and the other Community Pulse hosts are holding a Community Pulse LIVE episode on Friday, June 12 at 11:30am ET. This won't be our typical host-led discussion -- we know we don't have all the answers, but we're hoping to have an open and honest conversation with all of you about how we can use our influence as DevRel professionals to address systemic racism. If you’d like to participate, whether actively or passively, please let me know and I'll make sure you're on the invite list.
It's my goal to provide relevant content for those of us in the DevRel industry, which includes how to build and foster inclusive and diverse communities. I'm committed to educating myself on these topics. I know I'll make mistakes, so please keep me accountable! Let's make a difference not only in the tech industry, but in the broader world.
DevRel Weekly Patreon
Not Everything Needs to Be Measured
You don’t need everything you do to build community to be tied to revenue.
It’s okay to do things just to build the community and trust that the value will show up in ways you can’t measure.
In fact, it’s a requirement in order to build real community.
Take a Holistic Look at Your Abstract
Submitting an abstract for a conference? Remember the basics like paragraph breaks. If a reviewer finds it harder to read yours vs another, guess which one gets favoured? A popular conference is going to have 100s of submissions, and little things like this matter, a lot.
Is Shunning Popularity a Viable Option?
This question generated a lot of great discussions.
Can you even be a successful devrel type person if you shun popularity tho?
Asking for a friend.
That friend is me.
The assumption of "you have to be popular to be in DevRel" is one I think we're going to continue to fight against for the next few years, but rest assured that the number of followers you have on social media does not define whether or not you're good at what you do.
It's About the People
I've been doing online #cmgr work for awhile. It's a fun field w/a lot of challenges but one of the top skills is building & maintaining relationships as they evolve.
It's about the people. Without them, you're not going to get far. A good reminder for us all.
Advice Needed: Keeping the Value High as the Community Scales
Managing a community is hard.
When you keep it small the caliber of the discussion is high, but it feels exclusive/unwelcoming.
As community grows, intimacy & the caliber of discussion goes down.
What are some tips to manage this transition effectively? Who has done this well?
Our Work is Equal Parts Exhausting and Interesting
One day we'd really talk about how there's so much to do as a person working as a dev rel, It's really exhausting but interesting. At the end of the day it's all worth it when you see the amount of impact you make as a DevRel'er in an organization.
How Self-doubt Almost Stopped me From Presenting a Conference Opening Keynote
This blogpost is an incredibly well-written and vulnerable look at just how nerve-wracking it can be to speak at a tech conference sometimes. Thanks for telling your story, Elisha -- it's so important for people to hear.
p.s. I, for one, am so glad that you spoke at DevRelCon! The message you delivered about designing programs with diversity in mind was an important one.
Online Communities 201
With everyone staying home for the past few months, many communities have moved online, and DevRel professionals everywhere are starting to share their successes (and failures). The number of articles covering online communities has grown astronomically (I'm excited to dig into those stats at the end of the year!) and I've highlighted a few of the best for you below.
- Slack vs Discord vs Discourse: The best tool for your community by Patrick Woods
- 14 Tips to Implement & Increase Member Engagement by Paras Pundir
- 4 Steps to Successfully Rollout a Community Plan by Sarah Robinson-Yu
- The Not-So-Secret-Mantra for Building an Engaging Community 👥 by Shubham Upadhyay
- Why Aren’t Members Asking More Questions? by Rich Millington
Lastly, don't forget to survey your members to find out what they're interested in, why they appreciate your community, and perhaps most importantly, why they haven't been around lately! Interested in more resources? Check out the Online Communities 101 highlight from a few weeks ago or dig into this deep dive into the very basics of online communities.
Developer Experience: Metrics and Best Practices
Developer Experience is the other topic that has come up often in the last few months, which makes sense given the shifting of priorities on DevRel teams from in-person to online work. Here are a few of the top articles that I've been noticing:
- Developer Experience 101 by Shad Jahangir
- Metrics for Developer Experience (DX) by Albert Cavalcante (in Portuguese)
- Comparing developer experience for cross-platform frameworks by Dylan Tientcheu
- 7 Best Practices for API Sandboxes by Thomas Bush
These two are from the archive, but are well-written and help build a foundation of solid Developer Experience practices:
Managing Time as a Developer Advocate (Without Losing Your Mind)
This article from Sam Julien is a timely one: how do we juggle everything one our plates as Developer Relations professionals? I say it's timely because while we're all working from home, it's that much easier to lose track of time and just keep chipping away at our to-do lists. So how do we balance our time wisely? Sam walks through a few signposts to help you know you're heading in the right direction before diving into practical strategies to help on a daily basis.
p.s. I spoke about the importance of taking care of yourself in addition to taking care of your community at this week's Community Chat Summit. You can find my slides (with speaker notes and lots of resources!) on Notist.
So you're now a remote presenter!
Looking for resources on how to become a better speaker at online conferences? We've all been learning that speaking to a webcam is a different beast than speaking at a conference. Sonia Cuff has some great tips on how to transition those skills and set yourself up for success at online events.
Looking into livestreaming options as well? Rosemary O'Neill has good tips for what to keep in mind before, during, and after your livestream, and Robin Moffatt recently presented about what he's learned from becoming a YouTuber.
DevRel Podcasts (and Video Interviews)
I've been noticing more video interviews on DevRel-related topics, so I'm starting to include those in this section as well. Any suggestions on a joint word for podcasts and videos? 🤔
- Building Brand Communities with Carrie Melissa Jones - Peers over Beers
- After Pulse: Online Community Management with PJ Hagerty, Jason Hand, and Sarah-Jane Morris - Community Pulse
- Developer Relations and Community with Felicitas Kugland - Let's talk humans & tech (in German)
- Developer relations in the post-COVID era with Patrick McFadin - Under the Hood of Developer Marketing
- Building Developer Communities with Kim Maida - Ladybug Podcast
- Public speaking for technical pros: How to deliver a great in-person or virtual presentation with Heidi Waterhouse - Dynamic Developer
- Why Developer Experience (DX) is key with Ian Jennings - Under the Hood of Developer Marketing
- Meet the Viv Labs Bixby Evangelists with John Alioto, Jonathan Pan, and Roger Kibbe - Bixby Developers Chat
- From Engineering to Developer Advocacy with Dmitry Vinnik and Joe Previte - Facebook Open Source (video)
- Senior Developer Advocate digs into Interviews, Promotions and Compensation with Alyss Noland - Candidate Planet (video)
Developer Relations Events
Kate here: When I have a tough time coming up with these short blurbs for events, I realize that it's time for some inspiration. One of my favorite places for inspiration is, of course, going to professional development events. If you happen to be looking for inspiration too, check out these great Developer Relations Events that are coming up!
p.s. If you're organizing online events, check out this recent post from Olle Pridiuksson which highlights some of the tools that he's been using to run DevRel.events, a bi-monthly online meetup.
Conf Talks & Recaps, Winter 2020
The last few talks from DevRelCon London 2019 seem to have been posted this past week, so I'm sharing this collection once more. There are a LOT of solid tips and tricks shared among these videos and transcripts. I'd encourage you to take some time to dig in this week.
Community Chat Summit Recap
Community Chat Summit took place this past week and it was a great experience! Interested in what was presented? Check out the Twitter hashtag and keep an eye out for videos to be released in the next few weeks.
Senior Staff Developer Advocate
Serve as the public face of Seagate's open source initiatives. Help us develop, implement and maintain our corporate open-source strategy. Share our vision and open source initiatives via blog posts, hackathons, meet-ups, and code integrations with popular third-party software sites such as pytorch, Map-Reduce, Kubernetes, and Spark etc. Apply today!
Developer Relations Jobs
DevRel is growing at great speeds -- just check out how many Developer Relation jobs there are in our collection! We hope it gives you inspiration. Don't forget to search by the category of job you're looking for, or simply click on the appropriate tag in the list to narrow it down to jobs that might be a good fit for you. Best of luck to all that are looking for a new job!
Looking for a bit of a boost? Sidney Maestre published a great piece on how to level up your skills if you're looking to transition into Developer Advocacy. Also, Heavybit has some tips on why it might be to your advantage to look at joining an early-stage startup right now rather than relying on a larger corporation.