Dealing with the Developer Relations lifestyle

Hello again, airport (photo by Ales Kladnik)

1. Weekends? What are those?!

2. Downtime? What’s that?!

3. Not enough people liked my tweet!

In summary

  • Remember not to overdo the events and get enough rest in between.
  • Ensure that you get regular downtime and that your colleagues can cover you when you need time out.
  • Don’t treat it as a competition, focus less on your likes and focus more on helping developers.

Update, Jan 2018

  • In this role we usually have a lot of freedom and the ability to set our own agenda. So it’s important to keep setting goals for ourselves — ones that are realistic, yet push ourselves in a positive way.
  • Sometimes it could be hard with the variety of our schedules to maintain healthy and productive routines. Here is some advice I wrote earlier about forming good habits.
  • We should ensure that we have quieter periods and travelling breaks every now and then, to reflect, re-plan and re-energise.
  • It could be good sometimes to take a solid couple of weeks or more out, to focus on a more in-depth coding project. (Summer and winter might be good times to do this, with the usual conference peaks being spring and autumn).
  • Hopefully we can be mostly in control of our own calendars. If we’re travelling because it’s an event that we chose ourselves, it’s probably going to be easier to motivate ourself, than for one that’s been mandated that we attend.
  • It’s of course easier to give the same talk multiple times, or riff on a theme or two, than try to come up with a new topic to speak about every time. For brand new presentations, we need to be accepting of the time commitment and schedule our events accordingly. Then again, it can feel good to keep things fresh, so we need to find the best balance for ourselves.
  • Different people enjoy travelling different amounts. It’s OK and natural that in our team we might have some people who speak more often and some people who concentrate more on other things. This can be healthy for a team to get the right balance.
  • It’s possible, especially if we’re feeling run-down, to get into a spiral of negative thinking. If one or two events don’t go so well, or we get a string of rejected CFPs, we should put it to the back of our minds as quickly as we can and know that we can and will do better in the future.
  • We should remember to stay positive about ourselves and resist comparing ourselves to others all the time; remember that we can’t be as good as everyone at everything!
  • We can feel free to pat ourselves on the back sometimes! Keeping a record of our achievements — including the ways we have helped people — can be a good way to remind ourselves that we’ve been doing okay!
  • Finally, a new year can naturally bring new ideas and fresh motivation. Happy New Year everyone!



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