Happy Tuesday, DevRel fam! No, you're not reliving Monday... this week's issue is just a day late 😉 After a really busy few weeks of 2021 planning as well as our user conference, I was desperate for a weekend away from my computer.
This week brings us a combination of Developer Experience topics (anyone else sensing a theme? 😅) as well as reminders that strong communities require a strong, strategic foundation that drives toward business goals.
What's happening in your lives these days? What topics are you looking for information about? I'm always happy to hear from you!
DevRel Weekly Patreon
One DevEx Success Metric
You can measure how good your developer experience (DevEx) in team is by measuring how easy it is to onboard a new developer :)
Community is About Finding a Home
Communities are beyond people from same region or people with shared interest. I think it's about walking into a space and feeling like,"Oh look, I am home."
Ask, then ask again.
Lisa created a community business plan that she kept pitching for years
If you are a frustrated #cmgr - create a roadmap of what you think will lead to success. ASK for things. Keep asking. It's a way to educate and help people understand what you COULD do.
Model the Behavior You Expect
If you’d like your community members to do something, then model the behavior for them first by doing it yourself.
They’ll follow your lead.
Focus on the Core. The Engagement will Come.
I've noticed that people gobble up articles in my newsletter about engagement. And I get it - I love engagement tactics as well.
But I often see people obsessing over the details while forgetting to spend time on the core of community.
First, your community needs to BRING something to people's lives. We're all busy. We make tradeoffs. Creating another space I could spend time in is not going to beat out the ones I want to spend time in.
How is your community lifting up your community members? Is it making them feel safer? Smarter? More effective? More loved? Or is it just a conversation space, one of many in their lives?
Next, what is the actual business value of your community? Like, directly, what is going to pay for this? "Everyone is building community" is not a business goal. "Engage our members" is not a business goal. "Create loyalty" is edging closer, but still not a business goal.
If you can figure out the community/business fit, everything else is just operations. But I see so many companies trying to build community because they feel they NEED to and their communities SHOULD want to join. These communities won't take off and won't get budget forever.
Take the time to figure out that fit. Do user interviews. Start small. Try things and fail. Wait until you feel the magic to start pumping money into it. A rushed community is rarely a successful one.
The Developer Experience Gap
Stephen O'Grady did a deep dive into the history of developer experience this week from a much different premise than I've seen previously. He started with a commentary on the iPhone launch in Jan 2007 and the "attention Apple paid to how this dizzying array of capabilities worked together, and worked together well."
He ends the article with a look at the five adjectives he believes will describe the next generation of developer experience:
- Developer Native
Developer Experience as a Competitive Advantage
I (and others) have been saying for a while now that a strong community is a competitive advantage in the tech industry, and the same is now being said (even louder, for those in the back!) about developer experience. Erik Bernharsson makes a strong case for why a good, clean Developer Experience is the new competitive advantage in a recent blogpost.
Setting Realistic Online Community Growth Expectations
Evan's twitter thread is a great introduction to this in-depth blogpost from Carrie Melissa Jones. In it, she doubles down on the idea that in order to achieve organic growth you must begin with "extensive hands-on connecting." It's the idea of being intentional with how you build relationships, focusing on individuals before you move to a large group, and setting benchmarks to make sure you know what you're accomplishing. No matter if you're new to building communities or a well-versed professional, you'll likely learn something from this blogpost.
I sat down with the awesome Janine Marie Stankus a few weeks ago to talk about all things DevRel: How did it evolve? How did I get involved? And why do I think it's so important? Check it out!
Can You Stomach The Downsides?
Rich Millington released an interesting blogpost this past week about the downsides of creating a unique community. So often, we focus on the good: a specialized group of individuals who fit a particular niche, the ease of communicating with people who are all on the same page, or the ability to move more quickly when introducing new topics.
But you have to keep in mind that there are occasionally downsides: people will feel excluded. Some won't understand your mission. Others will spin up communities that cover a similar industry but at a broader scale.
And here's the thing... that's ok! You're creating something unique. But as Rich says, you have to be able to "stomach the tradeoffs to make a truly unique community."
DevRel Podcasts and Videos
- What's Next for Events? - Community Pulse LIVE Fall Edition (video)
- What Community Management Needs Now with Marjorie Anderson - Engagement that Scales
- DevRel/Asia 2020 Interview with Mary Thengvall (video)
Developer Relations Events
Looking for some quality professional growth events to attend? Check out the Dev Rel Weekly Events Collection we've put together. It looks like the conference season has still happened after all!
Sr. Developer Evangelist
As a Sr. Developer Evangelist at Split, you’ll represent the voice of Split to the developer communities you engage with, work internally to improve our developer experience and new user onboarding, create compelling content, deliver talks, participate in the open-source community, and be a key strategic advisor to our overall platform business. Our ideal candidate will have a great stage presence, a body of written work, an existing following on one or more social media platforms, an interest in both software development and DevOps, and deep engineering experience as a full stack developer. You’ll also be excited to partner with and enable engagement from our internal engineers. We currently have two open Sr. Developer Evangelist positions, Java and .NET
Head of Developer Relations
Chainlink is an open-sourced developer-focused blockchain technology. As such, DevRel is a highly visible and critical function. In the Head of Developer Relations role, you will lead the Devrel team to connect with, inspire, and educate developers about the power of blockchain smart contracts.
Developer Relations Jobs
Kate here: I've been perusing the internet for interviewing tips, and here's one I found recently; ask your interviewer, "How is the company culture here different than other tech companies?" Another tip is to look for companies you think you'd like to work at so that you can get an interview. :) If you or anyone you know happens to be looking for a job, please feel free to check out the Dev Rel Weekly Jobs Collection. Maybe you'll find a company you'd like to interview at.