Metrics was, of course, the most popular topic of DevRelCon (no surprises there!) but folks weren't only bemoaning the need for them as has been the case at previous conferences. Instead, we were offering suggestions and frameworks that could make it easier to prove business value in the future.
Steve Pousty spoke about formalizing our work and putting a more professional face on Developer Relations. Jeremy Meiss had a great Twitter thread that highlighted points from Steve's talk. This quote from Suzanne Fortman caught my attention in particular:
Bring more intention. We can justify our #devrel existence without numbers.
Josh Dzielak spoke about the Orbit Model. As Nicolas Grenié tweeted,
The Orbit Model for #devrel
Gravity = Love x Reach .
🌎 = 💖 x 📣
Each member of your community has some gravity power
it’s your role to increase it
I for one am really looking forward to trying out the Orbit Model in the weeks and months to come!
Lastly, I spoke about DevRel Qualified Leads: what they are, why they're not related to sales metrics (I promise), and how I think they could change the way that our industry is viewed by our business counterparts. Interested in learning more? Check out my blogpost.
This question was brought up by a number of different folks, including Ana Jimenez Santamaria and Shy Ruparel. However, unlike past years, almost all of the speakers agreed that what matters far more are the goals of your department (and their stakeholders), rather than the name of the department you report into.
As DevRel roles can report to different departments, they are also connected and should always be seeking to build relationships with developers. (Ana Jiminez Santamaria)
"Care less about what department #devrel is a part of and more about empowering and educating developers" (Shy Ruparel)
Documentation was a new track at DevRelCon this year and it was clearly needed! Here's a sampling of what I saw from the Twittersphere:
Oh look. Another statement saying that docs and good examples are the most important aspect of developer experience.
Jolly good, let’s hope that ecosystems respect humble tech writers more then 🤗😬🥰
“As developer advocates, we represent those who are using the API for the first time... as educators we need to contribute to the content to bring beginners to mastery.” -@ShyRuparel
"Docs are about helping ppl to find what they need, where they are and where they cld go from here. We need to make doing the right thing about doing the easy thing" says
-Suze Shardlow (click through for the full thread)
"Good documentation is like a love letter to your future self." -@evpari
For those of you who are looking into the possibility of DevRel or trying to figure out what to do next with your career, Jessica Rose gave loads of tips about what hiring managers are looking for, as well as what areas to focus on. Suze Shardlow gave a fantastic recap of the talk via Twitter.
Uttam Tripathi approached the conversation about career growth from a slightly different angle. If you aren't familiar with the concept of "Ikigai" (I wasn't!), it's essentially a Japanese framework that will help you decide whether your work will be fulfilling to you long-term. This lens gives us a great way to look at the work that we're accomplishing as DevRel professionals. Christie Fidura sums it up well:
Love this great Venn diagram - do what you love, what you’re good at, what pays you, and what’s good for the world. Less than all 4 can lead to “questionable career choices,” says @tripathiuttam