As we charge ahead into February, it seems as if people are realizing the need for sustainability not only in their personal work/life balance, but in their DevRel strategy as well. From maintaining consistent content and making sure our focus is on relationships instead of transactions to best practices for developer communities, everyone is trying to make sure that the plans they've laid out are manageable.
I too am realizing this, as speaking engagements start to crop up and travel took more out of me than I anticipated this past week. Balancing our workload isn't just about keeping an eye on the length of our to-do lists, but acknowledging what else is going on in our lives that week, both personal and professional. I'll be addressing this more in the days to come as I roll out a few changes to the newsletter, both behind the scenes and visibly.
The next issue marks one year since I started DevRel Weekly and I couldn't be more proud of this community. Thanks for your support, your encouragement, and your commitment to the greater DevRel community.
Focus on What Really Matters
If you focus on the relationships, the transactions and advocacy will come organically.
If you focus on the transactions, you may never get relationships that generate value organically.
Choose the Front Row
If you're at an event to network, sitting in the front row is such an easy hack.
It's always open, and speakers make eye contact with the people in the front row. Even better if you nod when they talk. Speakers love that.
They'll recognize and trust you when you say hi later.
DevRel is Servant Leadership
I think to be great at #DevRel, you have to care more about the community than yourself. At its best, it’s servant-leadership.
1. Amplifying others.
2. Doing the right thing, even if it’s not popular.
3. Making tech safe for everyone.
4. Admitting when you’re wrong.
5. Focusing on the engineers, the tech and the tools.
6. Using your platform to build others up.
7. Providing feedback and encouraging people even if it’s not one of your KPIs.
8. De-escalating instead of adding fuel to the fire.
9. Working hard.
11. Telling stories. Both externally and internally.
12. Spreading love and compassion.
And so much more. But that’s a good start.
Community, Content, and Connect
My take on #devRel is pretty simple and straightforward:
👥 community: meet developers where they are (online, at conferences, through #OSS, etc.)
📚 content: create and curate content across all mediums that empowers developers
🔗 connect with engineering to improve products
Looking for More CFPs?
I just discovered See CFP this week thanks to John Coghlan. I signed up for the newsletter and look forward to learning about new CFPs!
DevRel Advice Column
Got advice to give? Help your fellow DevRel professionals here. Got questions to ask? Hit reply and let me know what question you'd like to pose.
Hey DevRel folks: this is my first Developer Adovcate gig. I've done it "unofficially" as a maintainer of an open source project for years though. What's one thing you wish you knew before you started in DevRel? RT for visibility?
Hello y'all #devrel folk (and ppl who do similar activities). What are tools y'all love?
I'm thinking things like Caffeine (stops your computer from sleeping), Mousepose (highlights your cursor), @TextExpander, QuickTime+http://ezgif.com (GIF making)...
State of Community Management 2019 Survey
Involved in maintaining an online community? Carve some time out of your schedule this week to take part in the State of Community Management 2019 Survey. This survey, run by The Community Roundtable, results in crucial industry data that can be shared with stakeholders and executives throughout your company in order to invest more in your community programs in the future.
Community Manager Appreciation Day
Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD) was this past week, which blew up my RSS feeds in a big way, and the increased appreciation was great to see! Here are a few highlights:
*Trish Fontanilla referenced a fantastic infographic that GetSatisfaction published in 2013, called Inside the Mind of a Community Manager.
*Modsquad published their 8 top traits for Community Managers, which are applicable to everyone in DevRel!
*Moblize published their 2019 predictions for the Community Industry, including this one, which I love:
The conversation will shift from the value received by the organization (Return-On-Investment) to the member value (return-on-involvement).
*ArtsWok Writers crowd-sourced answers to the question "What is Community Development" and put together a beautiful infographic with quotes from participants.
*I asked Community Managers & other DevRel professionals to brag on themselves for a moment, listing their greatest accomplishments from 2018. Check out the thread to see some of the awesome things that we've done as a community.
*Lastly, keeping with our recent theme of sustainability, Evan Hamilton challenged all of us to celebrate CMAD by taking better care of ourselves. Take a look at some of his suggestions as you embark on this new week.
A Retrospective on REdeploy (or Lessons Learned while Running a First-Year Conference)
Thinking about creating a new conference? I took the time to write about some of the lessons I learned last year while producing REdeploy. Stay tuned for Part 2, coming this week.
Why early-stage startups should sponsor hackathons
Still trying to convince your company to participate in college hackathons after reading Aydrian Howard's blogpost a few weeks back? Here's another article for you from Zeenia Framroze, Business Development Manager at Smartcar. In it, she covers business reasons why it's helpful for early-stage startups to spend time mentoring students and sponsoring college hackathons.
Best Practices for Developer Communities
As companies around the world are starting to implement their new DevRel strategies, everyone's looking for best practices when it comes to developer communities. Which companies are doing it "right"? Whose example should you follow? Which programs can you simply hit copy/paste on to make it work for your company (hint: none of them). But there are some programs that shine a bit brighter than others for their specific use cases.
Josh Dzielak and Patrick Woods walk through the basics of what a developer community involves and the questions you'll need to ask before creating your own. They also give examples of a few companies who are providing relevant and interesting content for their developer communities. Read the full article here.
Next up, Andrea Susman gives examples of some of the best brand community landing pages. While not all of these are tech companies, there are important principles that can be applied to any company.
Lastly, if you've ever wondered why your developer site isn't getting much traffic, perhaps you need to evaluate its ghost-town status. Developer Economics walks through the four maturity phases of developer marketing in this recent blogpost, laying out parameters for what each phase should look like and examples of companies to keep an eye on.
Keep in mind, building a developer community takes strategic patience. A successful developer community doesn't grow overnight. It takes time and planning, communication and experimentation. The latest blogpost from Fabian Pfortmüller reminds us of the importance of strategic patience and helps build a case for long-term efforts rather than expecting short-term results.
Content Strategies (and how to maintain them)
If you've implemented a new content strategy this year, you may be starting to realize just how much work it is. After all, finding authors, curating content, and coordinating schedules can take a lot of time! While we know that content is key, how do we go about maintaining the cadence that Jono Bacon recently suggested?
Content is key for building communities.
Create an editorial plan that combines a multi-media approach (articles, video, audio). Brainstorm upfront, assign authors, have a regular cadence of content. Surprise people, keep it focused, and tie it to your community.
One way to make sure your content pipeline doesn't run dry is to crowd-source your content. Rachel Reid gives a few suggestions on how to do this (and why it's important) in a recent blogpost.
Whatever you do, make sure that you aren't neglecting your platform once you've built it up. Nothing turns people away faster than seeing that questions haven't been answered or a lack of fresh content.
The Era of “Move Fast and Break Things” Is Over
"Move Fast and Break Things" has been the Silicon Valley startup mantra for quite some time now, but companies are finally starting to push back. This article from the Harvard Business Review calls employees, founders, and even VCs to make a stop to these irresponsible business practices.
We in DevRel need to be cautious of moving too quickly for our communities as well. As I mentioned above, strategic patience is key. While we need to make changes if we see things that are broken or impacting the community in unintended ways, we also need to be certain that the levers we're pulling and the decisions we're making are the right ones and not just a convenient choice.
*Timirah James: Personal Branding for Developers - Talks at Andela. Whatever channel you choose to use for your social media presence, personal branding can be more difficult than it appears to be at first glance. In this talk hosted by Andela, Timirah James talks about what your personal brand should include as well as how to build a successful brand.
*Alison Michalk And Darren Talk About Social Media, Online Communities And Crisis Management - Managing Marketing with Darren Woolley. Alison Michalk, CEO of Quiip, talks about how to handle social media during a crisis, as well as all of the various departments that Community Management works with.
Developer Relations Events
The new year is still fresh! Lift your eyes from your computer screen for a moment and set your sights on your 2019 goals. Attending conferences and meetups is a great way to learn, connect, and grow, so check out this list of upcoming events around the globe.
Developer Relations Jobs
Jobs, jobs, and more jobs! Take a look at our awesome Toby collection to see a list of over 140 DevRel and Community Manager jobs.
Developer Avocados 🥑
This tired avocado gif seemed appropriate for this week's newsletter. Don't let the winter slump get you down! I know a lot of us are either sick or recovering from being sick, or perhaps you were caught in the middle of the Polar Vortex. Whatever it is that's got you down on this Monday, I hope these articles help you to reset, refresh, and keep running the race!