Technical Storytelling: What and Why?

Back in my school days I learned coding online and started developing mobile apps. I teamed up with a few like-minded individuals in my network to start a ‘developer community’ for everyone who wanted to learn different technologies. I spent the last four years exploring the people side of technology i.e. technical storytelling.

As explained in a blog by HubSpot -

Storytelling is the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. It’s an art, which requires creativity, vision, skill, and practice.

Storytelling can help us simplify the complexities of new technologies. I discovered that Technical Community Management is one of the best roles for people who enjoy using both their technical and their people skills.

To be a community manager, it is important to be a ‘people person’, you tell stories to inspire people to join the community. You support this community by creating helpful content, from sample code to tutorials, blog posts and videos. You help your colleagues to improve the product/technologies by collecting feedback from the community.

Progate Learning Experience Workshop at a school in Bangalore, India

Three key aspects of Technical Community Management -

  1. Tech
    To be able to help developers, you must be a developer yourself. This means you are comfortable in understanding and writing code.
  2. Communication
    You should be excited by the prospect of speaking in front of an audience. Technical Community Management largely consists of communicating with developers. Sometimes you let your code do the talking, but more often than that you need to speak and write to reach your audience. You should, therefore, be able to communicate complex technical concepts clearly and effectively, both in spoken and in written form.
  3. Empathy
    Listening may be the hardest problem in computer science, but it is one of the most essential elements when building a community. To help your community succeed, you must be able to understand its problems and needs. Being a technical community professional requires your people skills as much as your coding craft.

As mentioned in a video by Microsoft,

Our goal as storytellers is to step back and shine a light on our customers’ achievements. Their work, in all its variety, proves that the best way to make a connection is to say, “Let me.. tell you.. a story..

A coder turned community manager. Currently managing student developer communities, partnerships, and growth for Japan’s Progate.com in India.

A coder turned community manager. Currently managing student developer communities, partnerships, and growth for Japan’s Progate.com in India.