Why do I call my position Developer Advocate?

Ivan Novikov
Apr 30, 2016 · 2 min read

Big technology companies have Developer Advocate positions. Sounds strange for somebody and we can only guess what does ‘Google Developer Advocate for Go’ imply. So, there are reasonable questions. What actually it is? Why do I call myself Developer Advocate?

In general, a Developer Advocate is a software-focused technical person who has good communication and community-building skills. I should explain every responsibility I have in this role:

1) I act as a steward of open-source projects that the company starts or sponsors, including performing code reviews, every day contributions to the projects. I use to help drive the direction of projects like https://github.com/nspectator or https://github.com/slantstack and adopt third-party Javascript libraries to the .NET developers needs. You can reach out all of them following links on my github page.

2) I write and support public, open-source libraries to wrap APIs for the company’s products and help to integrate those into existing open source projects that might make use of them. Sometimes it is really hard work with google hangouts meetings and so on.

3) I consider myself as a consultative source of information for other team members inside or outside the company to help them understand the importance of the projects to which you are assigned and the role that open-source plays within it.

4) I always participate in product-focused development planning and sprint meetings as an advocate for developer customers to ensure that issues in the product which result in bugs being opened in open-source software that uses your product or are brought to your attention within the developer community are addressed appropriately.

5) I choose the right technology directions and integrate agile development tools into ‘continuous-family’ process. I communicate with other ‘developers for developers’, for example, with OSS department in Jetbrains to find out the most useful cooperation and community growing.

6) I try to understand the developer customer use case of the product and drive direction in API development, documentation, feature development, and test processes.

In other words, my activities is not an advocacy of the specific language or company. I position myself as a person who has arguments of choosing right tools and make the development process robust and effective. There are some additional responsibilities but all of them are corresponding to growing loyalty and happiness of developers.

Ivan Novikov

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