hey DevRel fam!
I've missed you all! Thanks for being so patient with me this past month. It's been a wild and chaotic few weeks of onboarding, creating OKRs (keep an eye out for a blogpost about that coming up!), speaking at a handful of events, planning to speak at more, working on strategy, getting to know my team, recovering from multiple colds, and more. Whew! But enough about me... what's been going on in the world of Developer Relations?
This past month has brought us lots of interesting open source and DevRel-related conferences, including FOSDEM, CHAOSSconf, DevConf, and more that I'm sure I haven't been aware of. Stay tuned for conference talks to be released from those in the weeks to come. In the meantime, fill up on content from DevRelCon London -- more videos are being released every day and I'll keep adding them to this collection as they come across my plate.
It's also brought a slew of fantastic content -- y'all are on a content creation kick and I am LOVING it! Please keep this up. You're making my job difficult but I wouldn't have it any other way 😅The more content that's available, the more we help push the industry forward and level up those around us!
I'm taking a slightly different tactic this week to get through all of the awesome information that's been piling up. I've seen a few common themes pop up throughout the month, so I've included a brief intro to each theme and then let the content speak for itself. Because trust me... it's just that good. Let me know what you think. My "door" (aka inbox) is always open and I'm always up for constructive criticism and feedback.
Let's dive in!
DevRel Weekly Patreon
Documentation, DX, and Content
From how to write better documentation to where to post your content, 2020 seems to be the year to post about writing better content for a technical audience, and I am here for it! This week, we've got everything from how to help others write a compelling blogpost to the 5 main tenants of Developer Experience (DX) and everything in between.
- Editorial Guidelines for Developers and Data Scientists by Maureen McElaney
- Twitter thread for newbie developer content writers from Ali Spittel
- Using GitHub Repository Guidelines to Enhance Developer Experience by Lorna Mitchell
- The Five Ideals of Developer Experience by Niko Heikkilä
I'll leave you with this tweet from Preston So:
My tips for developers wanting to write more:
💡 Start small with a topic you know a bit about
⏰ Carve out #writing time and find your ideal hours
✏️ Try out new tools and writing environments
📜 Don't let perfect be the enemy of good enough
Metrics and Business Value
Y'all know this is one of my most favorite topics (and one that I'm incredibly passionate about) so it's so awesome to watch others get excited about the new tooling, fresh ideas, and revamped analysis of data that's been taking the DevRel industry by storm.
Burnout and Self Care
January 27th saw us celebrating the 10th annual CMAD, but this year, the abbreviation stood for something different. While traditionally, we celebrate Community Manager Appreciation Day, this year, the celebration was renamed Community Manager Advancement Day to be a more assertive title and encourage Community Managers everywhere to the world a new leadership model, as Rachel Happe said. This year's theme was burnout and self-care, another topic I'm passionate about. Let's make this the year that we set boundaries, create priorities, and learn to say no in order to prevent burnout.
- Self-Care Tips for Community Managers by Karen Hansen
- 7 Simple Ways to Add Self-Care Into Your Work Routine in 2020 by Deirdre O’Donoghue
- The Community Manager’s Weekly Planner by Rosemary O'Neill - a fantastic printable resource!
CFPs, Talk Prep, and Speaking
As I've mentioned before, conference season seems to be never-ending these days, but there's definitely been an influx of CFPs opening recently, which tells me that fall is still subtly in the lead for number of conferences per square mile in the span of a single week. 🙃As we prep for the chaos that is fall conference season, let's keep some of these tips in mind.
- How to Find CFPs for Developer Conferences by Phil Nash
- How to win [or at least not suck] at the conference abstract submission game by Robin Moffatt
- This brilliant suggestion from Billy Korando addresses how to store CFP abstracts
- Bonus: If you're going to be speaking, you'll want stickers to bring along. Be sure to read Heidi Waterhouse's 2020 Technology Forecast: Stickers
p.s. Are you a new mama who's back in travel mode? Don't miss this fantastic article from Jade Wang, Head of DevRel at Cloudflare, about how's she's navigated breast pumping while on the road.
Engaging with your Community... Online and Offline
Last but not least, if we're not engaging with and enabling our community, what's the purpose of our work? And this engagement is far more than just vanity metrics on Twitter or your company forum. True engagement comes through collaboration, content, and empathetic relationship-building.
- Broaden your Community and Developer Relations reach through collaboration by Jeremy Meiss
- Why You Need to be Present as a Community Manager by Adrian Speyer
- Five Ways Open Source Communities Can Increase User Engagement by Brandon Hopen
This tweet from David Simmons sums things up nicely:
When someone asks for help, help them. Sounds simple, but you will inevitably benefit more than they will because you will learn something and help someone at the same time.
Is Your Business Producing Wasted Content?
I’ve had enough conversations about technical content in the past few weeks to warrant giving this article its own space. Questions like “should it be produced on a regular cadence?” and “how much content should the team be responsible for producing?” as well as “what’s the point in producing this content?” are swirling as newly formed 2020 goals are starting to rub the wrong way. But what I’m not hearing folks ask is “How do we know that the content we’re producing is actually valuable?” and in my opinion, this is the most important question.
So what’s the first step? We should be aware of the questions our community is asking. Then, are there already well-written solutions to these questions that we can simply be pointing our community to? (Note: if so, why is it difficult for the community to find that content?) If not, then let’s prioritize the value of that content… and start writing!
Need a business reason as to why we shouldn’t simply be writing because we have a deadline, even if there isn’t a specific topic to write about? This article from Dom Nicastro walks through the epidemic of “wasted content” that some many companies fall prey to.
DevRel Within an Enterprise
Curious how differently DevRel functions within an enterprise company like IBM as opposed to a small Series A startup in San Francisco? In this recent article Max Katz, Developer Relations Team Lead at IBM, answers questions about his experience leading a Developer Relations team within a large enterprise.
Speaking of being prolific content creators... there have been too many podcasts released in the last month to list them all here! I've collected them all in a nifty list for you to peruse at your leisure. Know of others that I've missed? Drop me a line.
As the new year picks up steam, you can be sure that there are enough DevRel events to go around. Whether online or offline, there are all sorts of ways to meet up with your fellow DevRel-ians.
Developer Relations Jobs
In the process of collecting articles for this newsletter, we've come across a number of jobs and put them in our Developer Relations Jobs Toby Collection. We hope this February that the people looking for jobs find jobs they can fall in love with!