Welcome to Issue #4 of DevRel Weekly! There's a lot to sift through this week, from controversial topics to things we already know intrinsically, but don't ignore the little things -- sometimes they're the biggest key to unlocking community engagement. One encouragement: don't skip the tangent this week. I know that can be easy to do when it seems like we're going down a rabbit hole, but trust me. This rabbit hole is one that will lead to a lot of important questions that can shape the goals and direction of your Developer Relations team.
Speaking of rabbit holes... I heard from a few of you that you were disappointed by the lack of avocado fact last week. My apologies! Perhaps the fact was that my puns are ridiculously bad 😅Rest assured, there's a true Whopper of a fact this week.
Enjoy the newsletter, and as always, feel free to send me any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns: [email protected].
Mary Thengvall, @mary_grace
Make the Customer Your Focus
John Kimani, Developer Ecosystem Program Manager at Google, offers a nugget of truth during a presentation at eMobilis Mobile Tech:
If you focus on your USER & build something useful that they will love, everything else will fall in place.
How much of DevRel is Compassion?
Tierney Cieren (@bitandbang) started a fascinating conversation around what is (and isn't) allowed in DevRel.
What portion of DevRel is compassion, when interfacing with developers? Is it ever okay to put down or demean them, or the technology they use? 🤔
Share your thoughts here.
Show Them the Lay of the Land
Lana Lee, Community Manager at Zuora, argues that it's part of our job to make sure that new community members are onboarded properly, and I agree with her. Check out the kit that she created.
It's important for a #CMGR to onboard newbies – it’s our job to show them the lay of the land.
What's Your Superpower?
Gary Hockin, Developer Advocate for JetBrains, spoke at PHP UK last week, and Michael Lorek tweeted a gem from his talk:
Empathy is a Superpower for Developers.
Success Begets Success
Charlie Oliver, Scrum Master at LexisNexis, pulled these quotes from a talk that DevRel Consultant Mary Thengvall gave at OpenSource 101 on Saturday:
"Community Managers are responsible to represent the community to the rest of the company" tied with "If the community succeeds, so does the company." This all makes the power of #DevRel huuuge to company/project success.
It's the Little Things
Something as simple as saying "Thank you" to your community members (even if it's automated!) can make a huge difference. This topic surfaced in the OpenStack Operators mailing list this week, emphasizing that "thank you's" aren't limited to a tasty beverage.
The developer relations bill of rights
It looks like this is the last batch of videos coming out of DevRelCon London 2017, but they may have saved some of the best for last! If you haven't had time to binge-watch, they're all worthwhile, but I'd encourage you to watch this one in particular. Anil Dash, CEO of FogCreek, has put together a "Developer Relations Bill of Rights" which was first presented as a blogpost last October. In this presentation, he walks through the various principles as well as how he got to a point where he believed one was necessary.
After you declare your rights, you still need to figure out which metrics to track. Writer and API industry analyst Mark Boyd offers a look at what aspects of data can be most useful as evidence of success in his talk, Storytelling with Data.
Lastly, as we all know, the trends that DevRel brings back to the team can help to drive product decisions. Martin Gontovnikas, VP of Growth and Marketing at Auth0, finds the secret of developing a good product means asking good questions and supporting good people. He tackles this topic in The Power of Trends.
If you missed the previous write-ups about DevRelCon London 2017, you can find them on DevRel.net under "Recent Articles."
Survey shows things that DevRel already knew
Mark this down in the "DevRel already knew that" category, and then take it to your boss (or your boss's boss) to talk to them about the reasons why your role is valuable. The recent Accenture 2018 Developer Ecosystem Survey reports that developers look for products that are popular in the market (aka ones that they know about because of their network) and that traditional marketing efforts (events, swag, etc.) are far less important to them. I know this comes as a shock to all of us, 😜but take a look at the rest of the article -- there may be some interesting new tidbits in there for you.
Goals, Objectives, and Metrics, Oh My!
If you're in the process of building out a community roadmap, there are several articles to point you in the right direction this week.
First, you'll want to start out with a communication and outreach roadmap. This article from Linda Margaret, is the first in a series of five posts, and begins with setting your goals and objectives. While often looked over, it's arguably the most important step.
Second, you'll want to figure out how to measure whether you've achieved the goals that you've set. In this post from DZone, Amanda Meli walks us through some basic activity metrics and KPIs that will get you headed in the right direction.
And if you're looking for an example of how someone else does it, look no further than Feverbee's recent breakdown of Autodesk's Online Community.
Opinion: Facebook groups are NOT communities, and you are not necessarily a community manager.
In our controversial post of the week, Elinor Cohen takes on Facebook Groups: are they truly communities? And if not, are the people running them actually community managers? Take a look and let me know what you decide.
The Truth About Developer Relations
Tierney Cyren (NodeSource), Tara Manicsic (Progress Dev Advocate for KendoUI & GDE), and Simona Cotin (Developer Advocate at Microsoft) joined Tracy Lee (GDE & This Dot Co-founder) to discuss developer relations in a recent episode of Modern Web. Check out the video or keep an eye out for the audio version within the next few weeks.
Interested in another opinion on what Developer Relations / Developer Advocacy actually is? Read this post from Lorna Mitchell, Developer Advocate with IBM Watson.
Can a Business Truly be Customer-Centric?
In this week's tangent, we explore the idea of customer-centricity -- a common goal for a Developer Relations team. But is customer-centricity actually possible across the board at a company? Or are there other goals that might be better suited to achieving customer happiness?
Book Review: The Art of Asking
This week's slightly tangential storytime comes to you from Carrie Melissa Jones, founder of Gather Community Consulting. She recently read Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking and relates it back to community, establishing why asking is essential to building community, and how to learn how to do it
We can create a space where people can bring parts of their identities (or whole complex identities, depending on the safety of the space created) and be seen by others. But in order to do so, we must ask first. Ask for permission. Ask for buy-in. Ask for trust. Ask for help. Asking never stops. When it does, so too does community. Small asks over time create trust, which builds resiliency, which allows members to build confidence in collective action, which changes the entire world.
One from the Archives 📰
Import your Lanyrd events - Notist
There's been a lot of concern around Lanyrd's instability lately. Will we be able to find our archived talks? Can we export them and save them elsewhere for posterity? This week's archived content walks you through how to import your events into Notist -- the latest and greatest hub for speaking events (or so I've heard). I can't vouch for them from experience (though I did sign up & will hopefully be trying them out soon), but they do say that they are providing a permanent speaking portfolio, which in this startup world, is a big promise to make.
DevXcon 2018 CFP is Open! 🎤
DevXcon explores all aspects of building, marketing and supporting developer-targeted products. This year, they're focusing on what DX can learn from UX, as well as the intersection between product management, developer experience and developer relations. The CFP closes on April 2, 2018.
Upcoming DevRel Events
From meetups to conferences to online webinars, there are a lot of events coming up, all over the world! 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].
Thanks to all of you who reached out with additional jobs to add to the list last week! I tried to do a culling of ones that have been closed, but trust me... there are still plenty to choose from! Good luck hunting! Is your company hiring but the role isn't listed here? Let me know! [email protected]
Developer Avocados 🥑
Which fast food restaurants are doing right by the avocado?
Two years ago, The New York Post ranked guacamole at 5 fast food restaurants from worst (Dunkin' Donuts) to best (Chipotle). I'm sure no one's surprised by the fact that Chipotle took the guac. But I am surprised that they only found 5 fast food restaurants to rank when there are at least 10 others using avocado in their recipes! Which ones are they missing? And which one do you think should have come out on top?