A New Idea for Developer Relations

Developer Relations (or DevRel) has always been a murky term. Even the job titles associated with the concept have huge variance: Community Engineer, Dev Evangelist, Technical Advocate, Community Manager, Dev Relations Guru. Over the past several years I’ve had many of these titles.

Being part of a Community, especially in tech is an interesting thing. It’s possible to be an observer, passively watching what happens and hoping the things you want will come to pass through no willing action on your part.

This has never been me.

I’ve focused on actively participating. Delving into the world of Open Source, both the concept and shouting about specific software and tools, I learned early on being a member was the best way to help a community grow. Building and talking about the developer tools that make things better for the developers in a community has been my focus, and when the community benefits, the companies and organization supporting it and supported by it benefit.

For years now, I’ve been working to combine my love of interacting with people with my love for the members of tech communities. Whether this be via speaking engagements, blog posts, attending conferences, or just talking with folks and discussing things on a human level — I love tech and I’m passionate about studying the way people act and interact.

It’s about the people, really

I’m very lucky in the fact there is a position for people like me — people who in fact love to build code and write programs, and at the same time like to work with people and build communities so we can not only sustain these activities, but improve upon previous models. Iterate not only the applications we build, but the way we work together to build them.

It’s with this idea in mind that it came time to do something different. Up until now, a person working in DevRel worked for a company, usually with an agenda, and usually with a budget. I’ve worked for large and small companies — big enterprises and startups. Along with an agenda, they’ve always had some foresight or goal and the financial ability to be members of a community. Any community they wished to be a part of.

Not so for smaller companies.

Recently, the time came to try something different. With some urging from a colleague and good friend, I started DevRelate.io — a first of its kind Developer Relations as a Service Platform.

As mentioned earlier, DevRel can mean many different things. And DevRelate.io is hoping to provide these things to companies and organizations who wouldn’t have the capability or capacity to have a full time DevRel team (or individual) to help them.

The things I do include:

  • Conference Representation — Talks, Panels, Keynotes
  • Meet-up Representation — Talks, Organization, Attendance
  • Blog Posts — Direct posting or Ghost Writing of technical articles relevant to your audience
  • Community Representation — in forums (StackOverflow, HackerNews, etc.) and social media
  • Event Assistance — helping your team to know where to go, where to show, and how to plan events and meet-ups around the things you want to do
  • Training — working with you to train speakers, from CFP submission to talk execution

By customizing for each client, DevRelate.io is able to provide the best DevRel service to meet the needs of an organization. The idea is to participate — to help people move away from the wall and get into the communities they want to be a part of.

Developer Relations is emerging as a necessary part of any company or organization in tech. DevRelate.io is hoping to be the people who help connect those who are unable to do it for themselves with the people who can help them take the next steps.