It's been an eventful week! Between DevRelCon Tokyo, SXSW, SCaLE17x, and at least 3 other tech conferences, DevRel professionals were spread all over the globe as this wonderful thing called the World Wide Web turned 30 years old.
In addition to that celebration, this week we celebrate what may be the first Chief Community Advocate position to exist in tech. There were a few more predictions tossed out as far as what the future of social communities will look like as Facebook continues to struggle.
I also put out a call for DevRel professionals to come forward with what the most difficult part of their job is, as well as what keeps them going despite the hard times. I spent much of last night going through the responses, alternately nodding along in understanding and applauding the difficult work that's being done. I'm so grateful for this community and for the huge strides that we've taken in the past few years!
I won't keep you here any longer. Enjoy the various tidbits, tangibles, and tangents today, and as always, feel free to reach out if you'd like to chat!
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DevRel is More than Travel
Things to do before you book a flight:
- Write a blog post
- Fix a bug
- Write some docs
- Make a member of your community feel valued
- Ask: how would this trip serve our strategy?
Build Your Internal Army
In #devrel we do a lot of externally facing work, but the internal work can be just as important, if not more.
I recently had someone reach out to me about a speaking opportunity after not interacting with this individual for over a year.
Great example of what I mean when I say "build your internal army".
There are a few predictions that have been made about where our community industry is going lately, including this one from Greg Isenberg:
There isn’t going to be “the next big social network”
The next big social network is the 1000 social networks built with purpose for a specific community, with a specific purpose
Facebook, LinkedIn etc are being splintered
We Speak for the Geeks
I told my son that i was going to be a Developer Advocate.
He asked me what "advocate" meant, so I told him.
He said, "So like The Lorax?"
"I am Chet. I speak for the geeks."
What's Difficult? And What Makes it Worthwhile?
As I mentioned above, I'm interested in hearing what the hardest (and best) parts of your jobs are! I've loved reading this thread so far and would love to keep the conversation going.
I'm working on a blogpost about the 5 biggest challenges that #DevRel professionals face in their day-to-day work and I'd love to hear from all of you!
What's the most difficult part of your role?
And conversely, why do you keep doing it despite the difficulty?
Community Growth Isn’t All Numbers
Growth has become synonymous with success in startup culture, but what exactly does that mean when it comes to communities? Quantitative data doesn't always tell the full story, as I'll be quick to remind anyone who asks me.
Majorie Anderson encourages us to look at growth differently, from activity to connectivity to the internal impact you're having at your company. I couldn't agree more! Be sure to check out the rest of her suggestions.
But what do you do once the community does start growing? Some tasks simply aren't scalable, after all. Tirza Austin walks through a few key items that shouldn't be automated.
How to Handle Q&A in a Human Manner
Q&A is brutal. We've all been there when an audience member stands up and says "It's more of a comment than a question..." or when there's follow-up after never-ending follow-up. There's got to be a better way. Dylan Meconis suggests we handle Q&A with index cards instead of passing the mic. By sifting through to choose the best 5, the speaker has a good experience, the audience gets to enjoy a variety of questions, and everyone leaves just a little bit more happy than they would have otherwise. If you're planning an event in the near future, be sure to look at his tips.
One Big Step for DevRel
David Spinks has been banging on the "community needs to be its own department" drum for a while and I've been cheering it on all the way. In the first big step toward this mission becoming a reality for companies big and small, Chris Pirillo made a big announcement this week: he's taken on the role of Chief Community Advocate at Intel.
He said this in his public Facebook post:
Intel is taking the effort seriously. I'll be there to ensure the community always has a seat at the table - so, this really isn't about me so much as it is about the greater 'you.' My voice remains my own, but any influence within Intel is now vicariously yours.
I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of impact he can have at Intel as well as what impact this will have on the DevRel community as a whole!
Not Replacing The Community Manager
If there's any doubt that an effective Community Manager makes a tremendous difference at a company, look no further than this graph. Rich Millington illustrates exactly why you want to hire (and keep) a good Community Manager, and why it's essential to replace them if they happen to leave.
Tim Berners-Lee on 30 years of the world wide web
It's been a wild ride for the last 30 years as the world wide web has grown and subsequently changed the world as we know it. The Guardian recently interviewed Tim Berners-Lee on his experiences and observations over the past three decades. He closes with this quote, which should resonate with every DevRel and Community Professional:
“The web is for everyone,” he says, “and collectively we hold the power to change it. It won’t be easy. But if we dream a little and work a lot, we can get the web we want.”
-Lessons Learned From Organizing Tech Events - Community Pulse. In this episode, our hosts are joined by Aaron Aldrich and Quintessence Anx, both of whom are Developer Advocates who also have experience organizing community events. Together, they discuss the challenges, lessons learned, and tips for organizing events for a technical audience.
-Developer Relations and Tech Evangelism With Rachel Black of Lisk - The Weekly Squeak. Chris speaks with Lisk's new tech evangelist to find out what the developer experience focussed blockchain project has been up to since summer 2018.
SCaLE Community Talks
If you missed SoCal Linux Expo last weekend, you should definitely add it to your list for next year! It may not be an obvious choice for community leaders, but there are a number of relevant community building talks for both open source and proprietary companies, not to mention the hallway track.
I tried to gather up all of the community-related #SCaLE17x talks in this Twitter moment. If you're aware of any that I missed, be sure to let me know!
DevRelCon Tokyo Wrap-up
My Twitter exploded this weekend with folks posting from DevRelCon Tokyo. It made me happy to see such an international audience coming together to learn more about DevRel and work together to find solutions to some of our biggest questions.
If you have the time, go browse the hashtag. Here are a few of my favorite moments:
-Fascinating statistics from Ali Spivak on the effectiveness of particular content based on how long a developer has been in their career.
-Tomomi Imura quoting Matthew Revell's talk about making sure we're representing our jobs properly.
-Brian Douglas's slides about how to optimize for an environment that "sparks joy" for everyone in your community.
Developer Relations Events
2019 Spring conference season is right around the corner, are you registered to attend an event yet? Check out our list of awesome upcoming events here!
Know of an event that should be on this list? Let me know!
Lead Developer Evangelist
Nylas is looking for a trailblazer to be our Lead Developer Evangelist. In this role, you will serve as the official spokesperson, mediator, and translator between the Nylas technical teams and the wider developer community.
Developer Relations Engineer
Developer Relations at PubNub is all about teaching every software developer in the world how and when to use PubNub. You'll write and promote open source software to educate the masses on building real-time experiences into apps! You'll advocate on behalf of PubNub at meetups, hackathons, developer conferences, webinars, and be the developer voice to the rest of the company.
Developer Relations Jobs
It’s such a great feeling when you find the right “fit” at work, whether it be the culture, the product, or the growth potential. If you’re looking for a better fit with a company or role, check out our extensive list of developer relations and community manager jobs.
Developer Avocados 🥑
Happy Avocado-versary! 🎂
Between the 30th anniversary of the world wide web, the 2 year anniversary of the Microsoft Dev Advocacy team, and the addition of a Chief Community Advocate at Intel, we've got reason to celebrate this week! Be sure to light that avocado candle (maybe the whole avocado?) and sing a little song. What's your wish for the DevRel industry? Let me know!