Over the past 10 months as I've been curating articles for DevRel Weekly, I've noticed an increase in folks asking what Developer Relations is, and a subsequent increase in frustration from folks who upset that we're "still asking the same questions." If I'm being honest, I've gotten a little frustrated that we're back to the fundamentals sometimes too, but as I've thought more about this, I've realized it also means that DevRel is becoming more mainstream. After all, if more folks are becoming DevRel-curious and more professionals are stepping up to define what DevRel is (and isn't), that means we're gaining momentum in promoting Developer Relations as a concept to the broader technology industry.
But we do need to be careful to not just accept the avalanche of "Here's what DevRel is!" posts. Read them carefully... analyze what they're saying... dig into the actual meat of it and make sure it lines up with the other standards that we hold as true, because, let's face it, not all of them do!
I learned this lesson in a round-about way this week: I turned on an RSS feed and got inundated by tweets and posts about community management, most of which were actually posts about social media management, not relevant to managing or building a technical community at all! I let it run for about 8 hours, not realizing just how prolific of a search it was until my saved posts for this week's newsletter was up to 600+ items. 😰 Needless to say, I turned the feed off again, but not before it had done some serious damage!
I painstakingly went through all of the items with the help of my amazing assistant and realized that out of all of those posts, only 3 were relevant enough to even consider including in this week's newsletter. But it was this process that brought me back to the realization that we're bombarded with information about what is (and isn't) Developer Relations... from upper management to folks who have been doing DevRel professionally for less than 6 months to those who may think they're doing DevRel but are actually doing the very important roles of Marketing or Product or Sales Engineering. It's no longer an issue of no one posting about DevRel -- now it's an issue of sifting through it, figuring out what information to pay attention to, and throwing out that which is irrelevant to our current struggles.
This is why I love my job! It allows me to interface with folks around the world who are asking these very questions -- what is DevRel and what does it mean for our company? -- and work with them to figure out what DevRel looks like for their specific technical audience.
And hopefully, this newsletter is helping you sift through that content as well. While I try to highlight a good amount of perspectives from around the industry, I make sure that whatever I include holds true to the cornerstone of DevRel: helping our community members be as successful as possible at their job.
As always, if there are articles that you disagree with or have questions about, hit reply and let me know! I love nothing more than to get a conversation going about DevRel-related topics and how we can work together to push the industry forward.