Hello, Today I decided to write about something that has been my favorite subject these last few months: Developer Relations.
2020 has been my year of job search.
I kept a part time job most of the year, but it wasn't enough financially nor learning wise, so I have applied for every role that I felt I fit > 50% of the description. In one of this applications I piqued someone's interest, and we started chatting. She asked me: Are you interested in DevRel?
Well dear reader, I had no idea what a DevRel was !
I didn't want to say I didn't know what that was so I asked some friends and did some googling. After I got a grasp of DevRel, as I am not one to pass opportunities, I answered honestly: "I have never thought about working it it, but I would love to try".
And that friends, opened me the door to the Developer Relations Universe
For this particular job, I did Twitter engagement and writing.
I also write Articles and do research about Dev News.
You may think that anyone could do that, but it is not that simple.
The company wants to build authentic relationship with developer, so the DevRel has to be authentic, care about the developers and about the company work.
Now, while this is what I have been doing as a DevRel, there is MUCH more than that.
Lots of things!
They create content (Talks, podcasts, articles, YouTube videos and more),
They answer questions and support the #DEVcommunity,
They listen to what said community is saying, what is trending, and what needs to get betters. With this feedback, they advocate with companies to make their products more developer friendly.
You know was the funny thing was? When I finally understood what a DevRel was, I realized I was kind of one already!
I have been Streaming live code on twitch and had a pretty good audience. I started writing articles on Dev.to almost as soon as I started learning to code.
Also, I spent 2020 being super active on Tech Twitter building relationships and sharing my journey.
So if I am picking your interest and you would like to consider the career, here are some tips that you may even be, like me, doing already:
Write articles: Here on Dev.to or in your own blog. Writing is building a portfolio. You can write about what you are learning, or teach something you know a lot about. It doesn't always has to be technical, as long as it is relevant to other developers.
Here at The Relicans is a great place to post your articles!!!
Plan on giving talks: On conferences or meetups. Everything is online currently, so this may make things a bit easier for you simple you can apply to talk anywhere you speak the language. I have an article about choosing what to talk about right here.
Live coding is my Jam: That is not for everybody, but if you want to give it a shot, get a Twitch account, a project to work with, and press Go Live. I will write mote about it in the future, but learning by watching is always great, so come watch me someday!
Be active in communities: It can he here, or Twitter or some forum where people from your preferred programming language hang out.
Keep coding: What makes a DevRel a DevRel is their connection with the community of developers, so it is much easier to connect if you are a developer yourself. There are some less technical roles out there, but being comfortable around code will make you comfortable around developers.
While this is a somehow "new" and not as well known side of the developer's world, I have recently read some great resources:
Getting Started in Developer Relations (eBook) by Sam Julien was the first book on the topic I ever read, and it was a great introduction. I learned a lot and decided that I want to work with Developer Relations thanks to this book,
And I am sure there are many more out there, but those two are books I have personally read and enjoyed ( btw there are no affiliated links ).
Being a Developer Relations can be a great career change for many people, because it allows you to keep coding but do other things as well. It is not for everyone though, as many people started into programming because they wanted to, well, program LOL.
But if you think you would thrive as the connection between Developers and Companies, this may be for you.
I hope this article was helpful and now you know what a DevRel is. If you have any questions or think about anything related that would make a good post, let me know and I may write about it!