I've spent most of the last two weekends in my backyard, working hard to make it an area I truly enjoy being in. It's been a lot of hard work and long hours, but it's definitely worth it!
The progress I've made has reminded me that while we may not be able to see immediate results from the initiatives that we push forward and struggle over in Developer Relations, it's still undeniably worth it. I won't see wildflowers for another month or three (see this horrible sketch of what this section of the backyard may look like eventually 😅) but just knowing that I've comet his far is a huge reward.
Hang in there, DevRel fam. The work that we do may be difficult, but it is indeed valuable, not only to our community members, but also to the companies we work for.
DevRel Weekly Patreon
DevRel Advice Column
Who do I know who's put together a "Community Health Metric" that combines a variety of weighted metrics? I know I've heard a number of folks talking about it over the years, but has anyone actually written one? I'd love to chat with you!
Be Authentic, Genuine, and Curious
This tweet resonated with me in particular, as when Jason Hand and I started Community Pulse we intentionally did it to learn from experts in the community and then share our observations with others around us. It's okay not to know everything! It's okay to admit that you don't know about a particular topic. View it as an opportunity to learn and grow alongside your community members.
You don’t need to be an expert in a topic to start a community around it.
In fact, it’s better if you aren’t.
Your genuine curiosity will make it easy to start conversations, and your members will have the opportunity to be the experts.
Effective Feedback Loops in Online Communities
Community members share ideas and feedback ⤵️
Core team implements ideas and bug fix quickly ⤵️
Then shares the update with the community, tagging the OP ⤵️
Growing sense of confidence & psychological safety 🔁
Rinse and repeat.
Scaling Communities - the Basics
As more and more companies attempt to build a strong community around their product, there have been a number of great articles for newbies about growing and scaling communities lately. These two stood out this week:
- Growing a Community is Like Growing a Garden by Krystal Wu - This resonated with me given the gardening work I referenced in the introduction. Krystal points out that the steps necessary for plant growth align nicely with the growth of a community.
- 6 things we’ve learnt while building a community-led company by Elizabeth Dlha - The team at Deepnote shares 6 tips about community building from what they've learned in the past year.
Taking A Much Deeper Dive Into Community Data (new framework)
Sometimes, one ring doesn't rule them all. Rich Millington dives into their new community metrics framework which focuses on a few different areas:
- Size of topic (by active participants or posts – relative to each other).
- Average time to first response (mins).
- Average response rate to questions (%).
- How helpful members find the responses (average of 1 to 5 scale)
The idea is that by tracking multiple areas, attempts to "game the system" will be more clear to the moderators and you'll be able to identify any issues within the community more quickly.
How to Manage Community Managers
If you're the manager of a Community or Developer Relations team, you know as well as I do that there aren't many resources out there. While quite a few of the concepts that typically fall into "manager training" apply to us as well, there are some unique characteristics within our industry that call for specific training for team leads. This post from CMX recaps a recent panel discussion between 3 highly experienced professionals who have built and led community and developer relations teams at companies like Google, Marketo, and Salesforce.
Measuring Successful Documentation
As Amara Graham points out in the first sentence of her recent blogpost, the question of "Yes, but how do you measure success?" is prevalent throughout the entire tech industry these days. In this post, she walks through some of the indicators and metrics that prove whether your documentation is successful.
Interested in how other teams measure documentation success? Check out this discussion started by Ali Spittel.
If you're looking for additional resources about developer experience and developer onboarding, here are two articles that popped up this week:
- Principles of Developer Experience by Christoph Nakazawa (audio & video versions also available)
- Deliver a great developer onboarding experience with sample apps by Philippe Ozil
Introduction to SEO for Developers
While many might see SEO as a marketing term that isn't relevant for them, if you're writing or producing content you should care about letting people know that your content will solve their problem. Stephanie Morillo has written up a "for developers" guide to SEO that breaks down what it is, how search engines work, and tools you can use to improve your site's SEO.
DevRel Podcasts and Videos
- DevRel Content Channels - What’s hip, What’s cool, What’s, like, so out 😎 with Cassidy Williams and Joe Karlsson - Community Pulse
- How To Build a Social Media Community with Matthew Kobach - Masters of Community
- The role of Developer Relations in tech companies with Ana Cidre - Life on Mars
- Kilo Loco: Self Taught Sr. Developer Advocate at AWS - We Belong Here
- Build Community To Grow Your Career with David Spinks - Portfolio Career Podcast
- Laura Santamaria, Developer Advocate at LogDNA - HashiCast
- What is Onboarding? with Rich Bowen and Brian Proffitt - The Open Road (video)
- Onboarding--Assuming Base Knowledge with Rich Bowen and Brian Proffitt - The Open Road (video)
- Brian Vermeer - Developer Advocate Stories (video)
- 5 Ways Developer Experience Is Different Than User Experience (video)
DevRel Weekly Events
Looking for a place to connect with others who are doing what you do? There are a handful of online DevRel and community-building events coming up soon!
Senior Manager of Developer Community Programs
Okta is seeking an experienced leader and program manager who is passionate about building global communities of individual developers and independent software vendors that leverage our platform. You will be responsible for creating and driving Okta’s developer community programs strategy that enables individual developers and independent software vendors to succeed with Okta.
Chief Community Officer
The Chief Community Officer will define and lead all community-building efforts for Port and our other growth initiatives. This role encompasses community strategy, community building, marketing and partnership outreach efforts and is responsible for growing, engaging and retaining our members. You would be one of the key public faces of the Port. You’ll be given a lot of control and the ability to contribute to the direction of the company.
DevRel Weekly Jobs
Curious about the DevRel jobs that are out there? Check out this list of available jobs to see the latest postings and don't miss out on our two featured job posts this week: Okta's Senior Manager of Developer Community Programs and Port's Chief Community Officer.