Happy Valentine's Day to all those who love our communities.
From the emotional roller coaster that we experience while advocating for our community to the numerous "love letters" we've written to our communities (I know I'm not the only one who's done this!), being a community advocate certainly deserves a round of applause on Valentine's Day. After all, isn't February 14 all about celebrating relationships? And we are certainly responsible for a lot of those.
This issue of DevRel Weekly dives deep into the messy, difficult, and amazingly rewarding life that is Developer Relations. We may not always know what to expect from this new world, as Emily Freeman and Chloe Condon reveal in the latest episode of Community Pulse (more about that below), but we embrace it (literally and figuratively) all the same.
For those of you who were here last week - welcome back! To those of you who are new, thanks for joining me! Below you'll find Tidbits (tweets, quotes, and succinct descriptions), Tangibles (articles that directly apply to DevRel and the world of technical community building), and Tangents (features that may not be specifically about DevRel, but that are highly applicable to our industry). You'll also find links to collections of relevant upcoming events as well as current job openings, along with a fun avocado fact.
Why do I do this every week? It's my love letter to the community. I choose to do this so that you don't have to. Instead, you get to skim, click, read, and then go back to your to-do list with a renewed sense of purpose and drive to continue building your community. It's my way of giving back to a community that has supported me and encouraged me to pursue my dreams.
Before I get even more sappy, I'll leave you to it. Enjoy the newsletter, and as always, feel free to send me any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns: [email protected].
Mary Thengvall, @mary_grace
We are Agents of Change
Community managers are the agents and architect of strategic change.
Jakkii Musgrave, quoting Simon Terry from the Future of Work Conference.
People are the Center and the Community Manager Matters 💯
Dion Hinchcliffe has learned a lot of good lessons over the past decade:
- Put people at center
- Enable pervasive co-creation
- The #cmgr really matters
- Great #ux is vital
- Aim at business activities
- Measure + optimize
Be Conscious of the Space You're Creating
Another good tidbit from a conference this week (it's like community is an important topic or something... 🤔 imagine that! 😅):
“Be conscious of how space encourages or discourages ideation.”
How is your company supporting collective spaces for ideas to be shared?
-Ashley Hayes, Community Mgr and Founder of Tech & Vine
Announcing Serverless DevRel Services
If you're working at a company focused on serverless systems and trying to figure out how to launch a DevRel program, take the time to reach out to Tom McLaughlin. He recently launched a DevRel branch for his consultancy: ServerlessOps. Find out more in this announcement.
Facebook Launches Community Leadership Program
Applications are now open for residencies and fellowships within the Facebook Community Leadership Program. If you're building community through Facebook, be sure to check it out. For more information on the announcement from Facebook, check out this article from TechGig.
DevRel or Software Dev -- what do you choose?
Help out a fellow dev -- if someone's debating between full-time developer vs. developer relations, what would be your advice? Leave your opinion on this Reddit thread.
The Love/Hate Relationship with Community Metrics ❤️💔
Looking into implementing Community KPIs for the first time? This blogpost from Vanilla Forums brings up a good point:
Since community generates business growth by reducing churn through good user and customer experiences, a solid community KPI will be centered on metrics of your choosing that accomplish three key things:
- Are closely tied to your daily effort and goals
- Speak to the value of relationships
- Can be tracked and measured
Breaking Into DevRel - Community Pulse, Episode 21 🎧
The latest episode of Community Pulse deals with breaking into DevRel:
- what can you do to make the transition easier?
- what are some of the career jumps that people make?
- is it as glamorous as it seems on social media?
- and most importantly... would we do it again if we had the option? (spoiler: the answer? hell yes!)
Hosts PJ Hagerty and Mary Thengvall talk to Chloe Condon of Sentry and Emily Freeman of Kickbox about our favorite Developer Relations memes and so much more.
Subscribe to Community Pulse wherever you normally get your podcasts. (Can't find it there? Tell them!)
Joel Lord, Technical Evangelist at Auth0 recently launched Meetup Finder. It allows you to search for meetups in a particular city and then scores them based on the number of members and recent activity. Be forewarned that it's still an overwhelming list for a city like San Francisco, but it's still better than crawling through the piles of abandoned events on other sites! Want to help make it an even better tool? It's open source -- contribute away!
As Your Community Grows, So Does Your Heart
A bigger community doesn't necessarily mean less engagement, but it can often head in that direction if there isn't proper care and feeding to accommodate the larger group. Rich Millington, Founder of Feverbee, says:
Keeping community engagement high as your community grows is an important skill. You need to be sure to be using the right filters at the right times. As you grow, you spend more money on this.
If you're in the process of scaling a group of community members, take a look at Feverbee's post about how to address this increased community size while maintaining a similar level of engagement.
More Amazing Talks from DevRelCon London 2017 🎬🎥
If you've had a chance to watch the four DevRelCon London videos from last week's newsletter and are jonesing for more, you're in luck! Buckle up -- there are 5 more amazing videos coming your way.
My personal favorite: The intersection of developer relations and product management from SendGrid Product Manager Matt Bernier. I have a (not so secret) opinion that DevRel and Product teams make a great partnership, and Matt's talk only serves to deepen that belief.
Don't get me wrong... just because I've said which is my top pick doesn't mean the others aren't worth watching. Trust me -- they're all "don't miss" talks as well, so if you weren't able to see them live, don't skip over this.
- Elmer Thomas, Developer Experience Engineer at SendGrid - Supporting SDKs in seven different languages while maintaining sanity
- Kristof Van Tomme, CEO and co-founder of Pronovix - Dev rel behind the firewall
- Tristan Sokol, Developer Evangelist at Square - How to win at StackOverflow
- Scott Stroud, Lead User Experience Strategist at National Public Radio (NPR) - Documentation that Powers API Strategy
5 Ways we can Bridge Gaps between Cultures and Communities
"Kids Say the Darndest Things" was always one of my favorite TV shows growing up. We'd sit and laugh at the ridiculous things the kids would say, but more often than not, when I took a moment to think about it, the things that were coming out of their mouths not only made sense, but were in some cases, rather profound!
This week's "Tangent" comes straight from an article about how to bridge gaps in our communities... starting with children. A few points that author Pinky Mukhi brings up, however, apply to bridging gaps in our technical communities as well. Here they are, with my notes added in brackets:
1) Interactions. Unless you interact with [your community], you don’t know them.
2) Socialize and build [relationships] outside of your own [cliques of programming languages]. If we try to socialize and build genuine friendships with people from different [companies], we understand each other better and become more united.
3) Have an open and curious mind. Be open to learn about what is happening in the [technology] world around us.
4) Practice love and kindness. Remember that we are one despite all the various [technical decisions].
One from the Archives 📰
Tips to Embrace Your Developer Community 🤗
This post from SendGrid may be four years old, but some things never change:
It’s About the People 👫
It’s Not About Money
It’s Definitely About Documentation
As this new blogpost from CMS Wire says, whether you're looking to build a new community or reengage an old one, building the right relationships, asking the right questions of the right people, and spending time to listen and absorb the feedback that you're getting are the things that will get you to your next big idea.
Upcoming DevRel Events
There once was a day when there weren't many relevant events for DevRel or Technical Community Managers to attend for professional development. These days, I'm realizing just how many events there actually are, and getting a little bit of FOMO that I won't be able to attend all of them! 🙈 Help me out by writing a blog summary of these once you've attended them, will you?
Here are the ones I've tracked down so far, organized in date order. Know of one I haven't linked to? Drop me a line at [email protected].
Developer Relations Jobs
According to my count, there are 70 jobs listed in this collection. From Developer Advocate and Technical Community Manager to Developer Relations Manager and Technical Social Media Specialist, there's something for just about everyone. Is your company hiring but the role isn't listed here? Let me know! [email protected]
Developer Avocados 🥑
Avocado Lotta Love for You!
You all are the reason why I do this every week. Seeing your comments and hearing how helpful the newsletter is keeps me motivated to keep cranking it out. Thanks for your support and encouragement! You're the avocado to my toast. I hope you avo great Valentine's Day!