Looking forward to 2019? If you're anything like me, you're a little amazed that 2018 is almost done. This week's newsletter has a smattering of predictions as well as reflections in addition to our typical Tidbits, Tangibles, and Tangents.
Got predictions of your own for what DevRel will look like in 2019? I'd love to hear! Hit reply and let me know what you think.
In the meantime... enjoy the holidays! I hope it's full of fun and relaxation for you all. I'll be mostly taking these next few weeks off but I still have a few tricks up my sleeve, so keep an eye on your email. Let's close out 2018 on a good note and welcome 2019 with all of the enthusiasm and excitement we can muster!
Pro Tip for Developer Advocates
- Code a sample app
- Publish a blog post to show how you built it
- Build a demo script from the blog post
- Record a screencast of your demo
- Assemble a presentation from content
- Present at meetups and conferences
The reason I like this system so much is that it makes you want a good developer experience. You want integration in the sample app to be fast. You want the tutorial to be simple. You want the demo to be awesome. Good software makes all of that possible.
We're all Human
hey, you think being a public person let it be devrels, community people, known devs, public speakers etc might be lots of fun, and I guess it is but... The same people I admire are human and we do tend to forget that.
Before reaching out to them, with ideas, complaints, comments... How about taking some time to ask if they're ok?, Is this a good time to talk? - Everybody has good days and bad days. And certainly being in the eyes of many isn't easy.
This applies to everybody, not just them. How about if we are kind to each other?
DevRel Advice Column
Looking for good examples of designs for forums, they don't have to look like the 90s anymore, do they?
Which most closely resembles DevRel?
Francesc Campoy asked the never-ending question of where DevRel belongs within an organization:
What is #DevRel closer to in your opinion?
Jeremy Meiss's response most closely resembled my thoughts about the matter:
It totally depends on the motivations for #DevRel in the company to begin with. I've seen very prolific & successful DevRel programs in all of those business units - I don't really think there's a one-size-fits-all location. Honestly.. should be its own with dotted lines to all.
The Core of DevRel
Many people have been announcing career changes lately, and Jaana B. Dogan is no different:
In 2019, as a part of soul searching, I am going back to the business of making engineers more productive and happy.
Mandy Waite spoke for many of us with this response:
This is at the core of what #DevRel is about and the people that do it (like @rakyll) spend years developing the required technical and communication skills, empathy and deep ties to the community needed to be successful at it. Product and Eng teams don't always get that.
The Future of CMGR
In last week's #ESNChat, this classic end-of-year question was posed:
How do you see the role of community manager changing in 2019?
There were several answers that caught my eye, giving me hope for the future of community management and Developer Relations as a whole!
Guess the CMgr's role will evolve into an Advisory role. With [Enterprise Social Network] vendors adding more & more features, end users will be more confused how to navigate thru all the available options. The Community mgr becomes more of a Facilitator, helping them find best options #ESNchat
I've learned that the role evolves as the community evolves. What I'm doing this year is different than last year. But macro changes to the craft? I'm less certain. #esnchat
I think great #cmgrs will continue to encourage people in their organisations to explore a wider range of #ESN uses cases. The experimenters among us even prototyping new use cases as new features appear in ESN tools.
would love to see #cmgr role become even more mainstream and key to orgs in facilitating and driving organisational change #esnchat
Hotel Lobbies > Coworking Spaces
Forget paying for a WeWork office space!
The NY Times says top hotels have turned their lobbies into free working spaces -- some even provide free snacks!
Crazy as it seems, hotels say this creates more vibrancy in their lobbies & travelers like authenticity.
What are your thoughts? Do hotel lobbies measure up to the fancy coworking spaces of the day? Hit reply and let me know!
Community Managers as Customers
As DevRel professionals, we're often evaluating various third-party tools for our audience. As such, our feedback is valuable, but we need to remember that we may be keeping an eye out for different things than that product's core audience will be needing.
Keeley Sorokti explains:
When considering an ESN/digital workplace platform, I always look for a vibrant online customer community w/a community manager.
and Tracy Maurer agrees:
It is important to recognize that community managers as customers have different expectations than other customer groups - again, because of what they do.
What Percentage Of Our Members Should Be Active?
If you're looking solely at engagement metrics and percentage of active members to gauge whether or not your efforts have been successful, be careful! As your total number of members grows, that number will, of course, start to drop off. After all, people will likely ebb and flow, pitching in when they have the time and energy. As Feverbee's Richard Millington suggests, we should be tracking the why instead of the how many:
Instead of wondering what percentage of your members should be active according to others, focus on what’s keeping people active today.
Conference Organizers: Filter Your Feedback
Conference organizers - pro tip. Don't provide unfiltered feedback to your speakers. Because the feedback might be about your event and not them, for example, and they shouldn't take your lumps for you.
Don't Just Manage; Lead.
Online communities left to themselves will regress to memes, negativity and clickbait news.
This is why you can't just manage community, you need to lead it.
The Pendulum of Social Media (a thread)
How have our online habits shifted as a result of social networks? Patrick O'Keefe digs into this fascinating topic in a Twitter thread that starts with this quote:
In community, we talk about the pendulum swing between big, open communications platforms (like Facebook) and smaller, more focused outlets (like well-moderated online communities). This is a pattern that repeats, over and over again...
Click through to see the rest.
Be Careful What you Call an "Edge Case"
We so often want to call out items that may be "edge cases", narrowing down our focus until we're serving one particular niche audience. I'm guilty of this as well -- in fact, I just told someone to do this very thing today! And I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing. Narrowing our focus helps us figure out what the fundamental needs are and how we can best serve our primary audience. But we need to make sure that those things we're calling "edge cases" aren't altering the reality of our audience.
Cyd Harrell has a great thread about this, which I saw thanks to Carrie Melissa Jones's response:
Thread: Also relevant for people who build communities. We don’t use the word “edge case” but do speak about exclusivity, boundaries, and experiences - and all of this applies in crafting those.
As you're planning for 2019, read through this thread and make sure you're not inadvertently leaving out a large part of your audience.
Conf Talks & Recaps, Fall 2018
DevRelCon London has started releasing videos and many other DevRel-related videos have surfaced in the last few weeks as well. Looking for something to keep you busy as the year winds down? Check out these great talks.
Niche Digital Communities Are The Way Of The Future
The conversations about social platforms continue with this article from Andrea Williams. In it, she talks about the fact that niche digital communities seem to be the way of the future, rather than the Facebooks of the present.
These traditional platforms don’t focus on one particular element of the social space; they try to cover everything. Facebook, for example, offers tools for communication, marketing, social sharing, networking, e-commerce, photo and media sharing, polls, user-generated content, and much more. It’s a comprehensive social network.
But that’s exactly the issue: we’re currently seeing a shift towards more niche offerings which puts the focus well beyond major players in the online community social space.
DevRel Advent Calendar 2018
Looking for even more content this week? Check out the DevRel Advent Calendar from the DevRel Tokyo meetup. They're up to 20 pieces of content and counting!
5 Online Community Predictions for 2019
Rachel Happe reflects on 2018 and looks ahead to 2019 with these 5 Online Community Predictions which have relevance to the greater Developer Relations industry as well.
What Is Your 2019 Won’t Do List?
If you've followed my recent reflections on priorities, you'll know that one of my biggest beliefs is that figuring out what you can't or shouldn't be doing is just as important as figuring out what you can or should be doing. Brad Feld's recent post resonated with me for exactly this reason. In it, he walks through how to set your "won't do" list for your personal life as well as your business.
Community Pulse 2018 Wrap-up
PJ, Jason, and I finish out a great year of Community Pulse by chatting about 2018: the rewards as well as the struggles. Per usual, there are tangents galore along with observations about how DevRel has come and what we might see in the future.
Developer Relations Events
All of our events have wrapped for the year, but there are a lot to look forward to in 2019! From meetups to conferences and online events as well, it's a great opportunity to get to know others in the greater Developer Relations industry.
JFrog is looking for a technical advocate to join the growing JFrog Japan KK team and help us grow the JFrog DevOps community in Japan.
In this role, you will act as the voice of our R&D team, connecting JFrog’s innovation with the development community in Japan. You will also act as the liaison for our community to effectively deliver feedback to the JFrog technical and business teams.
Take center stage and act as the voice of JFrog in Japan! You are about to become a rockstar and an influencer, online and in real life. People in the development community in Japan will want to hear what you have to share and people at JFrog will take your feedback to heart.
The mission of the Bose Developer Relations group is to enable a growing community of innovators, developers, and content creators to deliver amazing experiences to our customers. We do this by engaging our community around the world, at key events, in key regions, and online through our portal, workshops and other channels. Representing the needs of our community and partners back to platform teams at Bose, we will make 3rd party integration easier and scalable. Working with outstanding members of our community and with supporting groups at Bose, we will find the best ways to embrace these innovations, showcasing them to our customers and inspiring continued integration and increased value of our platforms.
Developer Relations Jobs
Do you ever get tired of the number of DevRel jobs that are available? If so, hold your breath, because they're not slowing down! I predict that in 2019 we'll see an even greater explosion of DevRel jobs, and companies will start to understand what an enticing and accurate DevRel job description looks like. In the meantime, here are 148 jobs that are waiting just for you. Best of luck with the job hunt!
Developer Avocados 🥑
California Farmers Say Avocado’s Future Looks Dim
While the future of Developer Relations is looking up, the future of our avocado mascot might be taking a turn for the worse. This article from Food Republic gives more information about the struggles associated with fluctuating temperatures and increased demand.