What is a Developer Advocate?

“Developer Advocate” is one of those terms that is ambiguous; much like “Cloud” or “DevOps”? What do those terms mean? Even folks in the industry can’t agree on a definition. Hopefully I can clean some things up with this post.

“Cloud” simply means someone else’s network — someone else’s storage. That’s all. It’s not magic. The “Cloud” is just a network that is someone else’s problem to maintain, etc.

What does “DevOps” mean? At its simplest form, “DevOps” is just getting servers and applications to behave in a definable, repeatable way from scratch. That’s it. It’s a bunch of tweaking systems and booting until they work exactly the way you want. Once you hit this stage the process repeats.

So now, what is a “Developer Advocate”?

A Developer Advocate is a person that acts as a liaison between a company and its customers. Typically we’re programmers that perhaps better understand the clientele from a in-the-trenches perspective. We’ve been there on the front lines and understand how things are built, deployed, and supported. We in turn help our company understand and tune their offerings to better suit those out there tying all these things together.

We are not salespeople. We are not the first, second, or third line of phone support. We are not commissioned. We are judged by the quality of our help to those developers in need. We run Open Source projects aimed at bridging the gap between systems and developers. We freely give of our knowledge. We sponsor, coordinate, and speak at conferences and user groups. We write blog posts and books.

Our goal is to help you make dealing with the Cloud and DevOps easier.

And yes, Mike Danko: I was paid to say this.