This was an interesting two weeks in DevRel-related content land! There were a lot of articles that were tangentially related to DevRel industry news, from Microsoft's focus on open source and developer experience to YouTube's new content standards.
I also saw a surprising number of articles naming community care (instead of self-care) as a solution to loneliness, which made me wonder if Mental Health Awareness Month has led us to a place of too many pithy refrains (treat yo'self being one of my favorites) and not enough practical solutions. Relatedly, there have been a handful of blogposts exploring the idea that online relationships are simultaneously helpful in preventing loneliness while also a possible cause for loneliness. We live in interesting times! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this complicated matter.
Special thanks to our new sponsor this week, Gun.io. They've been producing a great podcast that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I've called out one of my favorite episodes below. Be sure to click through and subscribe!
Until next week!
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We are the Human Face of the Company
People want to communicate with humans, not brands. People want to be considered, be unique as they are. Technology is emotional in many ways. It’s why developer relations exist: we are the social, approachable, technical, friendly & human face of the company. We are humans...
Want to Improve Developer Experience?
Better docs === better developer experience
Focus on Marketing? or Community? A Discussion
As a company: What is the difference between focusing on community and doing marketing? Why would one prioritize the former instead of the latter?
This question led to a fantastic discussion about the differences between (and complementary ways of) marketing and community building. Be sure to check it out!
Start Small, then Scale
I highly recommend building a small, experimental community before putting all your resources into going big. Having a trusted + engaged group you can bounce ideas off of and get feedback from is invaluable.
What Creates a Good Developer Experience?
Jarkko Moilanen listed out his 7 standards for a good API developer experience at the recent API Days Finland:
- Creates value (Solves a problem)
- Low learning curve
- Up-to-date accurate documentation
- Unified and consistent
Thanks to Sirkka Andersén for capturing this.
3 Tips on Launching a Successful Community
Had a great convo w/a fellow CMgr today launching a new community. Quick takeaways:
1) Buy-in is crucial. Ask for what you need.
2) FOCUS on what can realistically happen.
3) Speak your audience's language. That's how you get #1.
State of Community Management 2019
The 2019 State of Community Management report has been released! Trust me when I say you'll want to set time aside to dig into this soon. This report is packed full of research that can help you make definitive changes within your company's DevRel initiative, engaging your stakeholders and helping them understand the true value of what you're accomplishing on a day-to-day basis.
Here are a few highlights to hold you over until you download your own copy:
Forget engagement rates, value, ROI...
THIS is why healthy communities matter. They empower people to feel seen and heard - like they matter. That empowers them to ask questions, share experiences and LEAD.
This is why communities are powerful change agents.
Many community professionals have avoided business skills because they aren't sexy and they feel that they know better. There’s a strong correlation between that line of thinking and those that are stuck without buy-in, resources, ROI.
"34% of community managers are a team of 1 and 50% are highly burnt out"
This is already one of my big takeaways from the 2019 State of Community Management report from @TheCR showing how we need to better support CMs
The Truth About DevRel & How To Make It Work
I recently wrote an article for OpenView Venture about why "DevRel Qualified Leads" is the #1 metric I tell my clients to track. When it comes to telling a story that demonstrates business value contributed to every department, there's nothing better. If your first thought is "But I thought Mary said that DevRel teams shouldn't have sales metrics!" you're right, and I stand by that! However, using business terms that other folks understand (like qualified leads) is an important step toward helping ppl understand our value. Take a look and let me know what you think!
Happy, Healthy, and Whole: How to Diagnose and Treat Your Online Community
Measuring the health of our communities has long been one of the most difficult (and debated) topics of community management. What items should go into that measurement? Which strategies are best? What do the resulting metrics actually mean in terms of growth rate? In this recent post from Vanilla Forums, Kenny walks through a variety of ways to approach and evaluate community growth.
Once you have goals in mind, how do you track your success? Ana Jimenez Santamaria talks about 3 of the most common KPI sets in this helpful post from Bitergia.
Eco-Friendly Freebies: 11 Ideas for Sustainable Swag
Looking for a way to make your swag more eco-friendly but haven't quite been able to convince your coworkers to embrace the no swag route? Maria Keenan brings you a round-up of eco-friendly swag ideas.
Presentation Tips for Technical Talks
Whether you're new to speaking or a seasoned veteran, this list of tips from Tanya Janca is a must-read. From making sure your slides are legible to taking a deep breath in between slides (it won't seem weird to anyone else, and actually lets the audience process your previous point!), this article is a goldmine of quick tips and resources.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting Inclusive Developer Meetups or Events In Your Office
If you're new to hosting events, you may be intimidated by the number of things you're responsible for. As Sarah-Jane Morris says,
Hosting events can be time-consuming and resource intensive. From finding speakers, coordinating logistics like food and seating, and being empathetic to attendee wants and needs, there's a lot to consider.
Lucky for us, she's taken the time to write up a step-by-step guide. Even if you're not in the throes of event-planning right now, you'll want to be aware of these details so you can be prepared for future endeavors!
Frontier Podcast by Gun.io
There’s an interesting new podcast getting some traction in our space these days. The Frontier Podcast by Gun.io is an interview-style, commute-length conversation with host, Ledge, and a fantastic array of engineering leaders and innovators from across the industry. Many of the topics they cover are near and dear to my heart, so I’m excited that they’ve jumped on board as a DevRel Weekly sponsor.
Episode 33 is one of the first episodes I listened to. Ledge interviews David Feinman, CEO of Viral Ideas Marketing. They cover sustainable content versus viral content, why marketing and building relationships is the only way "if you build it, they will come" is even remotely possible, and more.
There's a great variety of topics covered in this week's list of podcasts! From 1:1 interviews to deep dives about burnout, event management, and proving the business value of your work, there's something for everyone. Let's dig in:
- The Legacy of Rachel Held Evans - The Daily. In a brief but prolific career, a young writer asked whether evangelical Christianity could change. In doing so, she changed it.
- Building Technical Communities with Mary Thengvall - Real World DevOps. Community building has been around for a very long time, so why are we suddenly acting like it’s a new thing?
- Conversations with Community Managers – Monique van den Berg - The CR. Monique shares how Atlassian thinks about community and how external validation from awards can help increase internal exposure for community programs.
- Meet Your New Work Wives - Relevant Experience Podcast. Regardless of where you’re at in your career, we’ll show you how aligning the personal and the professional is the key to doing your best work: that’s Relevant Experience.
- Preparing for Public Speaker Life (Or: Don't Burn Yourself Out) - Bits Of B. Public speaking is fun, but it can also be a cause of burnout in DevRel professionals. How do we focus our energy and choose where to spend our resources so we don't waste them?
- How Udemy Consistently Brings Value to the Company using Community - The C2C Podcast. The instructors on Udemy are key to the company’s success. James Dunbar shares how Udemy supports its huge community of online instructors.
- Todd Lewis, Founder of All Things Open - Conversations with Bacon. What goes into great events, how do you get the right balance of content and taking care of sponsors, and more.
- From Cult Survivor to Developer Advocate at AWS - freeCodeCamp. Cult survivor, activist, and developer advocate: Alejandra's journey into tech.
Developer Relations Events
There are so many wonderful conferences going on right now! There’s still time to get tickets to them before the summer lull sets in so check out our list of upcoming events here.
Know of an awesome event that should be added to the list? Let me know!
Samsara brings together connected sensors and software in order to improve the safety and efficiency of operations for customers around the world. We are looking for a lead developer advocate to empower our developers to build applications and integrate Samsara’s IoT technologies into mission-critical systems. While we are currently working with a myriad of partners and large customers to build out solutions, we’re looking for someone who can help scale our developer program to the next level.
Developer Relations Jobs
Summer is a great time to start looking for a new DevRel job because the first wave of conferences has passed and you’ll have time to settle into your new role before the second wave hits. Plus, if you’re lucky, you can take time off in between gigs and enjoy the nice weather or travel somewhere new! Take a peek at our jobs collection here.