Sometimes finding the right solution to a problem means taking a step back and looking at the larger picture first. This week's newsletter has a lot of quotes about focusing on who you're solving problems for, being thoughtful in planning, and creating a good strategy, which lines up nicely with my week! Given that I was scheduled for jury duty this week, it gave me an opportunity to clear my schedule of meetings and use that time for planning and strategy-building instead.
We've been talking about how to make DevRel more sustainable as an industry, but I'm also digging into how to make 2019 a sustainable year for myself. From my business to my personal life, I'm turning over each element and inspecting it, making sure it's where I want it to be and then resetting it, building a fortress of sustainability around myself before I invite everyone else back in. It's been a refreshing and invigorating time and has resulted in more ideas and inspiration than I've had in a long while! But I've needed to be very intentional about how I use this time. It's far too easy to just relax and not use the time wisely, or focus on other items that aren't actually a priority.
I know I've felt this at previous jobs as well. I could set aside the time to plan out what I'll be doing for the next 6 months, or I could just keep forging ahead with my to-do list. The piece that we so often miss is that setting aside a week, a day, or even just a few hours, can mean the difference between solving generic problems and focusing on specific problems that can define the future of your DevRel program.
If you haven't done it recently, I highly encourage you to take the time to walk through your current strategy with purpose. If not this week, perhaps the next. Need someone to walk through it with you? Don't hesitate to reach out. I'm always happy to help!
In the meantime, enjoy this week's newsletter, and happy almost Friday!
Match Your Words to Your Audience
Quantify for your boss, tell stories for the company.
Who's Impacted Most by the Problem You're Trying to Solve?
Communities exist to help people solve problems.
The most successful communities focus on problems people think about every day (health, work, family...)
If you're launching a community, identify the people who experience the problem the most. Focus on them.
Be Thoughtful when it comes to Travel
This year I aim to be more thoughtful with my #DevRel travel:
• take the train whenever possible
• avoid travel that requires flying
• do more with remote-friendly events
• focus more on what’s already close to me
I challenge you to do the same.
Burnout: A Sign of Poor Strategy?
Burnout, to me, is an indication of poor strategy.
If you are burnt out as a #cmgr the best thing you can do is update and get agreement on your strategy and associated roadmap.
You cannot do everything.
This freak out about Facebook removing group members who HAD NEVER INTERACTED WITH THE GROUP is a classic sign of the engagement trap.
It doesn't matter how many members you have in a group, it matters who you have and what they do.
Advocate + Activist
You can't be Developer Advocate, and not be a Developer Activist. The first speaks to the anguish and pain that developers suffered. The second stands up and confronts the force that caused it.
Surveys, Surveys, Everywhere!
If you've been receiving DevRel Weekly for a little while now, you'll know that I've shared some of the work that Fabian Pfortmüller has done in the past. He and his colleagues are looking to revamp the Community Canvas and are interested in hearing more about what folks are looking for these days. Help them out by filling out their survey and co-create the next version!
Based in Australia? This year's Australian Community Manager Survey is out and they're looking for participants. Take a few minutes to share your information.
The Art of Booth
As you prep for conference season, don't forget to write up your internal documentation. What's expected of your teammates? How should they handle scanning people's badges? And what about swag? Heidi Waterhouse recently released a blogpost she wrote for her internal team. Trust me when I say you'll want to read The Art of Booth!
So what is it you do, exactly? 🤔
As I've mentioned before, there have been all sorts of great "What is DevRel?" and "What are Developer Advocates?" posts popping up lately. This week, two more of these posts surfaced, and I'm a huge fan of both! Go learn more about DevRel and Developer Advocacy from the viewpoint of your counterparts and then spread the word:
*DevRel and the Increasing Popularity of the Developer Advocate
2019 Predictions for the Community Industry
David Spinks, CEO of CMX Hub, shared a few predictions on Twitter at the beginning of the year. They ranged from tech industry trends (a shift away from VCs) and social media (the backlash will continue) to the community industry (the industry will become better at measuring the value of communities -- yes please! 🙏).
He's expanded on each of these predictions in a blogpost released this week and I encourage you to carve some time out to read it. Whether all of these predictions come true or not, as he mentions at the end of the post, 2019 is sure to be an exciting year for our industry!
Pass the Torch without Dropping the Ball
If you missed Rain Leander & me in avo-cat shirts at DevRelCon London, don't dismay. The video is here! This is the 2nd time I've given this talk & it's quickly become one of my faves. We talk all about why it's important to not only document your API, but your job.
Missing other talks from DevRelCon, DevRel Summit, or one of the many other events that happened this past fall? Pop some popcorn and catch up on all the things in this collection.
Are you showcasing diversity on social media?
You don’t realise how important inclusive imagery is, until it smacks you in the face.
As outward-facing employees of our companies, it's incredibly important that we not only build a diverse community, but have a pulse on how our company is representing said community. Are all of the stock images that they're using white men? Are they all similarly-dressed and of a similar age? Are they all bespoke startup offices that look like they're off the set of Silicon Valley?
As you're making the effort to be more inclusive both in person and online, keep in mind what Margot said in her recent post if you need a business-related defense for your actions:
Diverse representation is craved, and when brands and businesses deliver this representation, it isn’t ignored; it’s picked up by the media, it’s picked up by influencers and consumers are making the effort to spread their support for brands and businesses that are finally making the conscious decision to be inclusive.
*Big Company, Little Company - Community Pulse. Hosts Jason & PJ discuss the similarities and differences of working in developer relations and advocacy in large organizations compared to small ones (or startups). Joining in the conversation is Nathen Harvey of Google, Maureen McElaney from IBM, and Matt Asay from Adobe.
*The Art of Developer Relations - The New Stack Context. Emily Freeman, Software Engineer & Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, joined the crew at The New Stack to clarify what DevRel is and the value that we bring to the table.
*The Dark Side of Algorithms - Community Signal. Bruce Ableson, Director of Evangelism and Enablement at Adobe, digs into the moderation and management of social media platforms with host Patrick O'Keefe, uncovering the algorithms often used to lure you into engagement.
Developer Relations Events
Feeling bored or uninspired at your job? Meetups and conferences are a great way to reignite your passion and inspire you to take a new approach at work. Check out our list of upcoming events to see if one sounds interesting to you. Know an event that should be on the list? Let me know!
Head of Developer Relations
We at HyperTrack understand that in order to provide value for the developer community, we need to be involved in that community. We also understand that being a part of the community includes gathering customer feedback that contributes to Product roadmaps and feature development. The Head of Developer Relations will be responsible to build up processes around these initiatives and work closely with other leaders at HyperTrack to fulfill the company mission. View the job description and contact us if you're interested in learning more.
Developer Relations Jobs
Not happy with your job but not sure what else is out there? Take a look at our list of jobs and see if anything jumps out at you.
For tips and tricks of what to (and not to) do in order to land your dream job, check out this post, published last year by CMX Hub.
Developer Avocados 🥑
If you're anything like me, nothing makes you more excited to plan than a new notebook. Good thing I'm not in the market for one, because if I were, I'd be snatching up this one in a hurry. Warning: don't get lost in the "Customers also viewed" section. It's quicksand. 😅