How to become a good Developer Evangelist / Advocate / Buddhist?

Jonas M. Kress
Nov 24, 2018 · 3 min read
Steve Evans from Citizen of the World, Contemplative Buddhist monks from Bhutan — babasteve, CC BY 2.0

Evangelist according to Wikipedia:
A commissioned Evangelist in the Anglican Communion is a lay person who has received professional training in Christian outreach ministry, and been commissioned by episcopal authority. In practice, almost all those formally admitted to the office of Evangelist are members of the Anglican mission and outreach agency, the Church Army. Evangelist is one of the commonly acknowledged lay ministries of the Anglican Communion internationally, along with the ministries of Lay reader, and Deaconess.

Advocate according to Wikipedia:
An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries’ legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English law-based jurisdictions could be a barrister or a solicitor. However, in Scottish, South African, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Scandinavian, Polish, South Asian and South American jurisdictions, “advocate” indicates a lawyer of superior classification.[1]

“Advocate” is in some languages an honorific for lawyers, such as “Adv. Sir Alberico Gentili”.[2] “Advocate” also has the everyday meaning of speaking out to help someone else, such as patient advocacy or the support expected from an elected politician; those senses are not covered by this article.

Buddhist according to Wikipedia:
All Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood.[6][7][8] Buddhist schools vary in their interpretation of the path to liberation, the relative importance and canonicity assigned to the various Buddhist texts, and their specific teachings and practices.[9][10] Widely observed practices include taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, observance of moral precepts, monasticism, meditation, and the cultivation of the Paramitas (virtues).

According to ashleymcnamaras Developer Advocacy in a nutshell the main key points are being a perpetual learner, to love documentation, not being afraid of public speaking, care deeply about community and to help developers.

According to Chris Heilmanns Developer Evangelist Handbook the following points are very important:

Why do you need developer evangelists?
What you really need is enthusiasm about your product — honest interest in using it and the right message to the right group.

Every day millions of dollars are wasted in companies because non-tech people and tech people either don’t communicate at all or completely miss each other’s points.

One very crucial part to becoming a successful developer evangelist is to remove the brand from your thinking. […] If your competition has a better product than yours and people ask you which one is better do admit that this is the case.

Training evangelists is a tricky thing — by definition evangelists should be found and empowered and cannot really be “made”.

Your integrity is your main weapon

Like any other skill, becoming a great public speaker means first and foremost doing it a lot.

If you are invited to speak at a conference, you should be present at the conference.

Nothing makes you a better presenter than being who you

Start with a single point you want to make […] What do I want people to remember of my talk?

Simple is not stupid […] Writing very simple texts is hard work.

“hello world” code teaches people to write code, but not how to solve issues with it. […] Write very good copy and paste examples. […] your code examples should be the cleanest and cleverest code you ever write.

It is not about you celebrating yourself and giving a show but about you bringing information to the audience in an engaging and interesting way.

Sometimes a picture explains what you want to achieve much easier than a bunch of instructions.

Attribute the content to the originator by name and resource.

Organizing conferences is quite a tough job so a nice thing to do is support the conference you speak at.

Introduce yourself
Use humour
Build bridges to the real world
Pace yourself
Avoid “Hello World”
Be fresh

What do you think is important to be a good Developer Evangelist/Advocate/Buddhist ?

Future Vision

Jonas M. Kress

Written by Open Source & Open Data enthusiast

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