This week reminded us yet again that the core of Developer Relations is not, in fact, about building a following or becoming a tech celebrity, but about providing the best possible experience for our community. Sure, it's possible to do this and also have a large following, but the two are not dependent on each other. The amount of impact you can have on your community and for your company is not determined by the number of Twitter followers or Twitch subscribers. Nor is a resource innately more helpful if it's presented to a larger audience.
Can a larger personal brand result in additional awareness for your product? Absolutely! But hear me out: having a large following is not a requirement for DevRel professionals and I guarantee you can have an impact on individuals, your community, and your company without one. As I said on Twitter,
DevRel is far more than speaking or having a large following. Do some amazing DevRel folks fall into that category? Sure! But we all have different skills (some more outward, some relational/foundational), all of which create a well-rounded team that can best serve the community.
If you're feeling unsure about your impact as a DevRel professional, I'm always happy to talk. Feel free to drop some time on my calendar if you need someone to remind you of the value you bring to both your community and your company.
Sending virtual hugs your way this week, DevRel fam! 🤗
DevRel Weekly Patreon
It's Not About the Fame
DevRel is now and always be about community. Not fame for the individual, or some concept of celebrity. We work and participate in the communities we can best serve.
We do not build expecting the community to come to us.
It's About the Communities we Serve
In tech, we must be careful to not be so inwardly focused, that we are not outwardly beneficial. It's not about us. It's about the communities we serve.
Help Developers Become Successful, Regardless of the Tech
Developer Advocacy is not about telling people that they should use your tech.
Developer Advocacy done right is doing everything you can to inform developers & help them become successful, regardless of the tech.
Then funnel their feedback to improve what you’re building.
You Can't Measure Relationships in Numbers
Building a community requires real people & meaningful conversation to build trust & relationships which will take some time to flourish.
So, don’t ask for numbers all the time because you can't measure human bonds in numbers.
What's the Worth of Your Community?
Another way to determine the value of your community: ask paying customers if they would have bought the product/service without access to the community (if you offer this as a benefit). For those who say no, tally up the revenue they bring in.
For those who said maybe, ask how much they would have paid without community. Note the difference and add to the tally. For those who say yes they would have paid without it, ask them how the community can better serve them. What an interesting exercise.
How do you Balance Community Happiness with Necessary Changes in your Community?
This conversation thread in The Community Club is full of great tips on how to communicate changes to your community. Who do you involve in the process? How do you communicate upcoming changes? Do you talk to community members in advance of the changes? How do you balance the fact that not everyone will be happy with the changes?
Each company is going to handle big changes differently of course, but understanding how to include your community is a big step to making sure that the community will stick around for months and years to come.
A Framework for Developer Relations
As more terms are introduced to the DevRel industry, confusion abounds with regard to what various terms actually mean and where everything fits. Caroline Lewko and James Parton, authors of an upcoming book on Developer Relations, recently released a Developer Relations Framework. They'd love to hear your feedback! Take a look at the framework and let them know what you think.
The Resilience of Mixed Seniority Engineering Teams
As the number of open Developer Relations jobs grows, I've been watching with interest to see how many of these roles are considered "junior" or "entry-level" roles outside of internships. There have been a lot of conversations over the last few months with regard to what the type of experience is required before someone enters Developer Relations (do they have a developer background? how long have they spent in the industry? what other roles have they held which may lend toward a better, more well-rounded experience for the community?).
I have a number of opinions about the need to have a diverse group of people on a Developer Relations team, from strong technical professionals to good communicators and more, but Tierney Cyren pointed me to an interesting blogpost this past week which says it well: a "mixed seniority" team is more resilient. While the article refers specifically to Engineering teams, as Tierney points out much of this is applicable to Developer Relations as well. If you're in the process of building out a DevRel team at your company, I'd encourage you to read this post!
DevRel Podcasts and Videos
- After Pulse: Internal vs. External DevRel - Community Pulse
- Searching for the Spark with Rosie Sherry - Developer Love
- Business Meetings, Quarterly and Best Practices for Community and Digital Meetings - Peers over Beers
- Exploring Developer Experience with Cassidy Williams - Technically True
- Randall Hunt - Developer Advocate Stories
- The Future of Events in a Post-COVID World with Don Goodman Wilson and Joe Nash - The DevRel Salon (video)
- Expectation Management with Sam Pirok - Conversations with Community Managers
- Meeting Developers Where They Are with Leandro Margulis - Under the Hood of Developer Marketing
- Effective Developer Relations with Stefan Judis - Technically True
- How Reddit Builds Trust at Scale with Evan Hamilton - Masters of Community
Developer Relations Events
Looking ahead, what's on your calendar? Anything for professional growth? Take a look at the DevRel Weekly Events Collection, and feel free to add an event to your calendar for professional growth. We're cheering you on!
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Developer Relations Jobs
Sometimes people don't know what kind of job they should have until they see it. If you or someone you know is looking for a position, check out the DevRel Weekly Jobs Collection. You may see something you didn't know existed that you might be interested in.