This week brought a lot of trends, including this prediction from David Spinks that influencers would change from creating audiences to creating communities.
It also brought increased conversations about the need for greater understanding of the technical role of Developer Advocates.
Lastly, it brought travel (for me, at least). I'm finishing up this issue of the newsletter while sitting at the Pittsburgh airport, having spent the week at Abstractions Conference. I'll be offline this coming week, taking some much-needed time away from my computer, but rest assured that there will be a "Best Of" issue hitting your inbox next week.
Have a great weekend and I'll see you back online soon!
DevRel Weekly Patreon
P.S. If you'll be at CMX Summit let me know! I'd love to meet you in person for high-fives and hellos.
Know Your Audience.
Knowing your audience is such a valuable thing to consider.
Who is going to listen to this? What should they take away from it?
Who will read this? What do they need to know first?
At what level should I explain this information? What is relevant to my audience?
People Want to Connect with People
Encourage your community managers to use their own voice.
If you force them to use your voice, it will come across as fake and they won’t be engaging.
No one wants to connect with your "brand voice". They want to connect with other humans.
This, in a nutshell, is why DevRel is important & why "traditional" marketing doesn't usually work. Building relationships with people, truly getting to understand their needs and struggles, and then seeing if your product is a good fit, is the way to build trust and loyalty.
We Work with People
Developer Relations is not a fix for Marketing, nor is it marketing.
DevRel is not a boon or leverage for sales, nor is it sales.
DevRel is not Product or Architecture.
We work with all these teams, but we work with the community. Not MQLs or SQLs, but people.
Share the Bad Alongside the Good
Talk about the good and bad experience of your product. Good experience is there to be shown. Bad experience is there to be improved.
Being honest gives you credibility, tells that you're objective and that your opinion matters. Don't let anyone silence you. but be polite.
DevRel Advice Column
Your fellow DevRel professionals have a lot of questions this week! Hop on Twitter to help them out and join in on the discussion.
So I'm putting together a plan to create more interactive developer video content. What are people's thoughts on @WatchMixer, @twitch, or @YouTube? Where do devs prefer to watch?
Hey speakers / conference lover friends! I'm doing a #workshop on speaking at #tech #conferences and I'm looking for some beautifully crafted slide deck examples to showcase. Hit me up! 🚀🚀🚀 (links are much appreciated and retweets likewise 🙃)
As a conference speaker, in how many conferences did you have to sign a Speaker Contract? I'm looking for samples since I'm trying to understand if what one conference is asking me to sign is reasonable or not.
DevRel folks: what are your favorite ways to decompress after an event?
I did Write Speak Code and SIGNAL in a 2-week time period. Both were excellent but I'm feeling a bit like I need to recharge.
I’d love to chat with any developer relations people/managers. What does it to take to make you successful? What pitfalls should be avoided? Pretty much just pick your brains! Happy to buy ☕️/ 🥘 if you’re in London in thanks!
Fellow peeps in #DevRel (community, evangelism, content), how do you keep your engineering skills sharp? Side consulting? Open source? Build it into your work plan?
Latest Round-up of Speaking Tips & Tricks
This week brought a new set of blogposts and Twitter discussions about speaking, from submitting CFPs to giving someone else's talk. If you're looking to up your speaking game, but sure to dig in!
- The challenge of preparing to give someone else's talk by Jeremy Meiss
- How I overcame my fear of public speaking by Geraldine Zanolli
- I’m Going to Speak at a Large Tech Conference …and you should too! by Hanna Holler Kamperud
- My Top 5 Tech Speaking Tips by TJ VanToll
- Stages of Submitting a CFP by Molly Struve
Cross-communities collaboration: A new era to develop communities
Daniel Izquierdo from Bitergia worked with the team at Red Hat over a span of a few months to find community members who were involved in similar but adjacent open source projects. This valuable information has allowed them to connect with new community members thanks to an increased relationship with the folks who form these "bridges" between communities. Once again, data is queen!
So You Want to Run a Developer Conference
Interested in running your own conference? Step 1: Take a deep breath and recognize that it's a lot of work! Step 2: Read this excellent article from Brian Rinaldi.
‘With’ Them or ‘For’ Them?
Richard Millington recently made the distinction that building a community for your audience is very different than building one with them. I’ve been having this conversation with a fair number of clients lately as well. When we “work out loud” and explore options with our community members, integrating their feedback and taking their needs into account, we open ourselves up to a far more engaged, far more excited audience than if we had simply tried to make decisions on their behalf.
One way this can be accomplished is to sit with your community members as they walk through your product. Another way to understand what they may engage with is to understand which topics they're drawn to. Devada highlighted five interesting topics in a recent blogpost. Take a look to see how these topics match up to your current content plan.
Think your product isn't ready for this stage of community-building yet? Read the thread to hear from Olle Pridiuksson why working out loud is important to the success of your product, no matter what point you're at in your growth plan.
Is Developer Relations the Same Thing as Community Management?
Matthew Revell tackled this topic in an interesting way, representing Developer Experience, Developer Relations, and Community Management as three separate entities that can have overlapping pieces but are largely separate in goals and function.
There are some parts of this article that I agree with more than others, but I'm curious to hear your opinions. Is Developer Relations the same thing as Technical Community Management? Hit reply and let me know what you think!
- The Developer Experience with Divya Sasidharan of Netlify - JAMstack Radio
- React Native Developer Advocacy and Documentation Engineering with Rachel Nabors - Inside Facebook Mobile
- The Lonely Work of Moderating Hacker News - The New Yorker (click through to play the article via audio)
- All Things Cloud with Bob Quillin, VP of Oracle Cloud Developer Relations - Adventures in DevOps
- Communities Propel Engagement with Jeff Ross and Rachel Happe - Conversations with Community Managers
CMX Summit 2019
Over 2 days, CMX Summit will expand discussions, techniques, and tactics applied to community building for businesses and support communities and their CEOs, CMOs, and builders at scale. (That’s you!) You’ll gain insights from the best in the industry and make lifelong friends.
Get amazing insights from speakers like Kim Scott, author of Radical Candor and Nick Mehta, CEO at Gainsight. And don’t forget to network with other community builders!
Developer Relations Events
Fall conference season is almost upon us and there are so many amazing events coming up soon, including CMX Summit 2019 and all the others listed in our Toby collection.
These past few weeks have been packed full of conferences! Here are highlights from a few that we noticed have a DevRel bent to them.
The Write/Speak/Code Conference (a conference focused on visibility and leadership for technologists with marginalized genders) happened last weekend in the Palace of Fine Arts, SF. Here are three of Kate's takeaways and thoughts:
- Write - Your voice is unique. Write about what you want, even if you’re the 5th, 6th, 20th post on the subject. You never know who might learn because of your teaching. - @techgirl1908
- Speak - Fave takeaways from @LearningNerd ’s “An introvert’s step-by-step guide to public speaking:”
(1) say hi to # of ppl
(2) go on a run to lower anxiety
(3) PowerPoint parties - great practice on giving fun informal presentations
(4) Teaching & talking to people in public = public speaking
- Code - Want your Open Source (OS) project to be successful? Think about building a welcoming & empathetic community, and think about working on your contribution documentation. What other things should someone think about in order to make a successful OS project?
Want more takeaways from the Write/Speak/Code Conference? Check out #WSC2019Conf
My top @swarmconf takeaways this year:
1/ It’s time for community managers to step up & shape our shared future
2/ Show your work, own your narrative & share your stories
3/ Owned communities are untapped power that can & should push back on social media
In addition to awesome takeaways in the #SwarmConf19 hashtag, SwarmConf attendees took collaborative notes throughout the conference, which is a fantastic idea for any event organizers!
Open Source Summit North America
From the newest developments in the Open Source world to talks about community leadership and metrics, the conversations at Open Source Summit North America were buzzing. Check out the hashtag to see some of the highlights.
There were so many DevRel-related tangents at Abstractions this week that I lost track of the number of relevant tidbits. Lucky for you, many of them were recorded for posterity. Check out the #abstractionscon hashtag along with #abstractionsconf.
Product Manager - Developer Experience
Making developers successful is key to creating platforms that have long-lasting impact. As the Product Manager for Developer Experience, you'll help build InterSystems into the first choice for developers building massively scalable, interoperable, analytic applications. This is an exciting opportunity to act as the key connection between developers and the rest of the team, responsible for creating and executing the vision InterSystems’ developer experience. You'll work closely with multiple groups in the company to define the vision, identify opportunities, and drive impact for both developers and InterSystems. The ideal candidate has a solid understanding of software developer needs, strong cross-functional and communication skills, and good instincts for balancing process vs value.
Developer Relations Jobs
I've said it before and I'll say it again, fall is the best time to start a new job! All the summer trips and vacations are done, the kids are back in school, and you have enough time to ramp up and settle in so that you can take it easy during the winter holidays. So if you're going to be looking for a new job this fall, make sure our ever-growing collection of Developer Relations and Community Manager jobs is your first stop!