I recently heard an analogy equating DevRel to an iceberg (shoutout to David G. Simmons!). The idea is for every visible activity (talks, blogposts, etc.), there's so much more happening behind the scenes building tools, maintaining a safe and welcoming community, and more. Wassim Chegham recently published a visual that goes along with this idea, including things like collaboration, being "customer zero," and testing out new tactics all in the "below the water" section of the iceberg.
With all of these things on our plates, it's more important than ever to clearly prioritize our work. One of my favorite ways to do this is setting out an impact effort matrix to better understand which projects should be dropped, which ones are a priority, and which ones should be tabled for another time. I know personally just how busy things can be, especially at this time of year. Perhaps pushing pause on your projects just long enough to evaluate your work is exactly what you need in order to make it through this busy period!
DevRel Weekly Patreon
Transparency is Essential
Transparency and community come hand in hand.
Want to build a great community-driven business?
Build a radically transparent business.
Let's Break it Down
What does a great developer advocate do?
- acts as the voice of the end user in internal discussions
- creates supplemental resources to educate users on the product & optimize their experience
- cultivates professional relationships on behalf of the company
Communities Take Time, Commitment, and Persistence
If building communities was like running ads, everyone would be doing it.
It needs time, commitment & persistence. You won't see the ROI from it immediately but in the long run, it's gonna be your biggest asset.
Do You Trust Strangers?
Setting a Code of Conduct (and sticking to it) is one of the most important parts of maintaining an online community, but in order to set appropriate guidelines, you first need to know your audience. In this article Rich Millington refers to the difference between a gaming community and a professional community of scientists to illustrate the types of rules that have to be enforced. Like most things community-driven, understanding your audience and getting to know them on a personal level is often the first step.
Stop Being a Hero to Become a Great Developer Advocate
If you've been following me for a while you know I'm a huge Marvel fan, so this blogpost from Ricardo Ferreira was intriguing to me (thanks for pointing me to it, Aravind!). In it, Ricardo walks through the growth of Tony Stark throughout a series of movies (there are some spoilers!) - highlighting how he transforms from self-centric to other-centric.
Don't need the briefing about Tony Stark? Skip down to "What all of this actually means? 🤔 " to see how the principles apply to Developer Advocates. TL;DR: being in Developer Relations has everything to do with amplifying your community and almost nothing to do with amplifying yourself.
Breaking into DevRel
If you're DevRel-curious and looking to break into Developer Relations, it can seem a bit intimidating. Lucky for you, I have a few resources for you today!
- Career Change: How I Became a Developer Advocate by Amruta Ranade
- How to Get Your First Job in Developer Relations by Alex Lakatos
Lastly, if you're looking for a new job, take the time to read through this thread from Noele Flowers. In it, she lists some of the questions she always asks when interviewing. My favorite is this: "What problems throughout the org are you trying to solve with community?"
We have some great events in our collection! Be sure to check them out here.
StackHawk is a developer-first application security company, helping teams automate security testing in CI/CD. The Community Manager will help build our community strategy, including growing the ZAP open source project we are built on top of and engaging with other developer communities. Let's chat more at [email protected]!
The WordPress project is supported by a vibrant community of volunteers who are passionate about open source technology. We are growing Automattic’s team dedicated to bidirectional advocacy between WordPress Core and the broader WordPress community. Your focus will be communicating with community developers about WordPress, Gutenberg, and the surrounding ecosystem to build positive and sustainable relationships with WordPress developers and reduce barriers to Gutenberg adoption.
Head of Developer Relations
Dremio is a next-generation data lake engine that liberates your data with live, interactive queries directly on cloud data lake storage. We're hiring for Head of Developer Relations to build and lead a team of developer advocates here at Dremio. You will be growing awareness, adoption and community engagement through active participation across various channels, and create/promote fresh content for new releases and capabilities in open source projects such as, Iceberg, Nessie, Arrow, Arrow Flight, etc. Apply directly or send your resume to [email protected]!
Developer Relations Jobs
We are always adding new jobs to our collection! Have you checked it out lately?