Happy Solstice, everyone! I've had my windows open several times this week, which is a rare treat in San Francisco. I hope everyone else has had an enjoyable and productive week as well.
I don't know about you, but I'm simultaneously in disbelief that July starts on Monday and also in the throes of planning my fall schedule. As the weeks start to fill up, I'm having to be more deliberate about prioritizing tasks and making sure that the work that I'm doing is not only urgent but important. My travel schedule is starting to come together for the fall as well and I'm hoping to run into some of you while on the road! Here's my current list:
- OSCON - July 15-18; Portland, OR. Use discount code FRIEND to get 20% off your ticket!
- Abstractions - August 21-23; Pittsburgh, PA.
- CMX Summit - Sept 5-6; Redwood City, CA. Use discount code join-me-at-summit for 10% off registration!
Feel free to reach out if you'd like to meet up in person and I'd love to hear about the additional events you'll be at as I finish fleshing out my calendar.
One last tidbit for this issue: I'm working on a new blogpost and would love to hear more about your pre-DevRel background. I have a journalism background and I know that it gives me a unique perspective when it comes to Developer Relations -- I'm always on the lookout for an interesting story or a problem to solve and I love being able to tell a story in a way that helps other people understand a situation that's outside of their experience. How does your background influence your work? Shoot me an email or keep an eye out for a tweet to reply to in the next few days.
DevRel Weekly Patreon
p.s. Thanks to our new sponsor, IBM Developer for their support! They'll be rolling out interviews with their Developer Advocates over the next few weeks, giving us a glimpse into DevRel life at IBM. Take a look at the first interview below and stay tuned for more interesting stories soon.
The Importance of Translation
A community builder can speak the language of their members.
A community professional can speak the language of their members and their executives.
They translate community to business and business to community. That’s what makes them a professional.
Speaking Pro Tip
I recently attended a talk by Tilde Thurium, who used this trick to find out the spectrum of knowledge in the audience:
Go for the Cohesive Option
A simple but important reminder from Rosalind:
Developer experience and user experience don't have to be mutually exclusive.
DevRel Advice Column
Anyone any tips for maintaining a healthier lifestyle while travelling 10-20 days a month?
I'm OK at going to the gym when I'm home, but completely demotivated when staying in a hotel.
And if course, eating out when travelling makes it even more difficult to eat well.
12/15 studies find gamification as a significant effect to increase engagement.
Do you think Community Managers should practice gamification and rewarding their people for community engagement?
Open Source Documentation: Why Is It a Good Idea?
I've run into a handful of people in my life who genuinely love writing good documentation, but for most people, it's a necessary part of their job, but not necessarily one that leaves them dancing at the end of the work day. Add into that the complication of having multiple programming languages (as well as spoken languages) that need to be catered to and the complexity of trying to accommodate different learning styles, and, well, good documentation starts to seem like an impossible goal.
Sherene Mahanama approaches this problem from a unique angle: What if we open sourced our documentation?
What Members Want To See When They Suggest An Idea
Getting unsolicited feedback from engaged community members is a great achievement! But what do you do with that feedback once you receive it? And what are the community members typically looking for in return? Rich Millington shared a short list of expectations that community members will likely have upon submitting significant feedback or ideas. How many of these items are you doing and which ones could fairly easily be adopted by your team?
Going Beyond ROI: Finding Balance in Developer Relations
"What's the ROI?" is likely the biggest question that you hear from your company stakeholders on a regular basis. But is that the right question to be asking?
Jesse Davis walks through the changes that DevRel has experienced in the last few years, from driving empathy and awareness to being put on the ROI metric train. He argues that what we need is a happy medium, and he gives a few ideas of how to achieve that zen state in this recent Devada blogpost.
Building a Developer Relations Team from The Ground Up
Being a team of one has come up a handful of times in the last month, and this interview that Dave Nugent conducted with Sarah-Jane Morris is a fantastic summary of how to make sure you're able to create a successful DevRel program as a company's first DevRel hire. From tooling to your first goal to measuring success, this article contains a lot of tips for setting you (and your future team) up for success.
Confessions of a Speaker: 50+ tips for conference organisers
As fall conference season looms, event organizers are in crunch mode, figuring out the last few steps of the CFP, solidifying schedules, and selling tickets. If you're in this boat, you'll appreciate this resource from Grishma Jena -- a list of 50+ tips for conference organizers borne out of her experience speaking at conferences around the world.
Navigating Q&A: An Academic Perspective
If you've ever refused to do Q&A at a conference or been terrified about the possibility, you're not alone! Being in the spotlight while people you don't know ask questions (or make snide remarks that aren't actually questions) can be a nervewracking experience. Eve Tuck has a different way of approaching conference Q&A, including giving people time to talk through their questions with their neighbors prior to the mic being passed. Read the rest of her tips in this Twitter thread.
We usually consider stages of community building as
- Build 🏗️
- Engage 🗣️
- Scale 📈
But what are the hidden in-between steps which every newbie #cmgr should know before starting it off?
This question sparked a fantastic discussion on Twitter, including many steps that are usually bypassed by folks setting up a new community. Be sure to take a look when you have a moment -- chances are, you'll have more than one aha! moment.
Interested in more information?
- Rohit wrote up his own thoughts in this blogpost on how to build a community from scratch.
- This article from Vanilla also has some fantastic tips on how to set your community up for success.
Effective Developer Advocacy for Highly-Technical Projects
While our tasks may be similar, different companies approach Developer Relations in slightly different ways depending on the needs of their particular community. Our most recent sponsor, IBM Developer, took the time to interview a handful of their Developer Advocates to show us what Developer Relations looks like at IBM. Lennart Frantzell focuses primarily on Blockchain communities and in this interview, he talks about how he approaches this deeply technical group of people, from events to onboarding new community members and more. Stay tuned for more interviews with the IBM Developer Advocate team!
- DevRel and Community Building for Authentic Relationships with Mary Thengvall - Frontier Podcast. Mary and Ledge talk authenticity, career paths, relationships, and much more in this deep dive episode.
- Communities Transform Organizations - Conversations with Community Managers. Rachel Happe and Peter Broadley discuss key findings from the State of Community Management 2019 research.
- The Loot Chest That Launched a Career in Community Management with Joe King - Community Signal. What does community management look like in the gaming industry? Joe shares his strategy for engaging with gaming communities.
- It’s the Heart You Have that I Want - Evil Genius. Dave Slusher recaps his experience at DevRelCon SF and talks about his role as a Developer Advocate.
Kelsey Hightower's Approach to Developer Relations
Kelsey Hightower is well-known for his work in Kubernetes, and while Google is the first place he's had an official Developer Relations role, he's had a heart for education and developer experience for years. He recently sat down for a chat with Tamao Nakahara on the DevRelCon stage, taking the time to talk about his approach to mentorship, community, and how empathy is a key part of his role. Watch the video or read the transcript on DEVREL.net.
Developer Relations Events
I feel like time is going by so quickly this year! I also feel like I say that every year 😜 Don't let awesome events pass you by — take a look at our collection of upcoming conferences, meetups, and webinars to see if there's one you'd like to attend.
Rasa is looking for a passionate developer advocate to join them at their office in San Francisco and help them grow their open source community. The developer relations team at Rasa owns the full funnel from developers first hearing about Rasa to contributing to our open source products and has one simple goal: constantly simplifying the experience with our products so that developers can get started faster, build better AI assistants or contribute to our open source.
Developer Relations Jobs
The average worker spends 2,080 hours working per year — about 24% of their year. Do you like where you are spending your time? If not, maybe it's time to take a peek at our collection of open positions to see if there's somewhere else you would rather be.