As I curated the newsletter this week in between hanging out with my friend and her two adorable girls (hence the reason it's a day late!), I kept noticing a recurring thread: a call to (re)focus companies on the customer, not the product.
Those of you who have worked closely with Product know that when you have a good relationship with the folks who create the roadmap and decide which features are coming next, you're able to advocate for your community members more openly. The new understanding you have for the processes the Product team follows and the feedback that they're looking for will give you insight into how you can help. By helping them succeed, you help your community succeed, and make it clear to everyone that your role is a valuable one.
Interested in learning how to better engage with the Product team? Check out my thread about an upcoming conference that I'm really passionate about: Empower B2B. And if you're unable to attend the conference but happen to be in San Francisco, join other DevRel professionals and Product Managers for lunch on Oct 31.
Read through the Tidbits, Tangibles, and even the Tangent in today's newsletter to learn more about how to advocate for your community to be in the front of everyone's minds. Keep advocating for them while also representing your company. It's a tough balance, but I believe in you! As always, hit reply if you've got any questions or if I can help in any way.
Listen More Than You Talk
One of the true missions of DevRel is to simply listen to your community.
Talking to people is never a waste of time if you know how to listen.
Broad Developer Education? Or Product-Centric Training?
Depending on the mission of your company and your specific DevRel team, it might make more sense to focus on broad developer education rather than training community members on your product specifically, as Max Katz stated this week:
Focus on developer/technology education rather than product-centric training
What does the ratio of broad to specific look like for your team? Like most things, this isn't a copy/paste/succeed scenario -- it all depends on your goals and what makes the most sense for your community. Hit reply to let me know what your strategy is!
Bring the Focus back to the Customers
Too many startup events focus on the founder's journey, including generic fundraising and pitching advice...
Moving towards the indie way brings the focus back on CUSTOMERS, product, retention, and profit. ✌️
Allocate Time for Strategy
From last week’s #ESNChat:
Q: What portion of your weekly work is devoted to #ESN Strategy? How do you protect that time vs. putting out fires?
Jennifer Honig replied, saying:
I always tell #CMGRs to allocate time to strategy - expand it to include key stakeholders and executive face-time or it won't happen.
DevRel Advice Column
Qulip wants to know...
Community Managers: Share with us, what is the number 1 issue that you face as a CM?
How to Conduct Community Member Research Interviews
Getting feedback from community members happens on an almost-daily basis, but how do you make sure that the information you're receiving is useful? While conducting systematic interviews might seem like a daunting task, it's a way to more closely connect with your community and as Carrie Melissa Jones says, these interviews can also give you vital insights that will help you better advocate for your community. Here are five tips from her that will help you go about these interviews in a productive way.
Learn, Build, Share — How Developer Advocates Spend Their Time
If I had a nickel for every time I've talked to a Developer Advocate who was frustrated by their inability to continue to code in addition to speaking and writing (or some version therein), well... I'd have a lot of nickels 😅
Jeff Carpenter has dealt with this exact issue for quite some time, and is attempting to solve it by balancing the concepts of learning, building, and sharing.
Have you found another way to solve this common issue? I'd love to hear! Hit reply and let me know -- I'll share it with everyone else in next week's newsletter.
The Realities of Traveling for Work
If you travel a lot to various tech conferences, you already know the information that Alex Walling shares in his recent blogpost. But if you're looking for an easy way to explain to friends & family members that traveling for work is NOT the same as traveling for pleasure, look no further.
The Thing About Early Adopters
The next time you're agonizing over the fact that your new product only has a handful of passionate customers, ask yourself if perhaps you've simply tapped into the "early adopters." As Dayle Stevens talks about in a recent blogpost, early adopters understand the why of a new product, try it out, and then tell others about it. For us, this means that by building relationships with early adopters and understanding what keeps them coming back, we have the potential to better serve a future community.
Developer Relations Events
From Europe to Asia to North America to right on your computer, there are a lot of events coming up in the near future! Let me know if you're going to be at All Things Open, Open Source Summit Europe, Empower, or DevRelCon London -- I've got a busy few weeks ahead of me, but I'm excited to be chatting with folks and giving out copies of my new book at all of those events!
Looking for an event to speak at? The FOSDEM 2019 Community Dev Room CFP is now open! Read more information about it from Leslie & Laura.
Developer Relations Lead - Kauri
Kauri is hiring a Developer Relations Lead to help grow the Open Source Ethereum ecosystem. Kauri is the Ethereum community's knowledge network and works with pioneering blockchain projects to crowdsource technical content on how to build blockchain based applications. You’ll learn how to build applications on Ethereum using the emerging web3 technical stack, and help the community do the same through conference appearances, participating in social media, and writing technology guides on kauri!
Developer Relations Jobs
Rachel Happe made an observation recently:
Seems like there are a lot of #cmgr job openings right now. Exciting times - although it creates a slightly different challenge: finding good candidates
She's definitely right about the number of job openings! We've compiled 131 links for you this week. If you're on the hunt for a particular job, feel free to reach out -- it might be that I know someone who's looking for someone just like you!
Developer Avocados 🥑
Focus on Advoca-do-cy
This additional focus on the customer instead of the product has a lot of potential for the DevRel industry! After all, our community is our main focus 100% of the time, which means any additional support in favor of advocacy is a huge win for us. Let's put on our advoca-do-cy glasses and help others see the value in our community.
(Hat tip to Vincent Bal for this awesome sketch!)