Dev Rel needs a structured way to impact product

Dev Rel Bill of Rights, Article 3

Developer Relations is one of the most strategically important roles for any company that wants to build a successful technology platform. We’re working with the community to create a Dev Rel Bill of Rights. In this article we explore article 3: A structured way to impact product or platform.

Developer Relations often has the clearest insights into specific needs from the community, and should have a defined way of sharing those insights with the product or platform team.

By spending so much time with developers, customers and the community outside of the organization, a good Dev Rel team will often gain valuable information on how to improve the product or platform that they’re evangelizing. But too often, that feedback gets lost or even worse, ignored when it’s time to evolve the product.

Doing right by and making the most of Dev Rel requires building a process where their valuable feedback finds its way back into improving the product. At an immediate level, it’s powerful for developers, users and potential users to see that their ideas and insights are being heeded by the platforms that they choose to use. But there’s a more subtle and less obvious benefit, too — following through on feedback that the community gives to Dev Rel helps to build the credibility of Dev Rel efforts. That investment in trust powers a virtuous cycle of improving results and collaboration over time.

Questions to ask:

  • Does the Dev Rel team have a specific place to collect feedback from developers, users and the community?
  • When community-submitted ideas are shared by Dev Rel, is there a predictable, visible process to monitor how those ideas are incorporated into the product or platform?
  • Do you “close the loop” — letting the community know that their feedback to Dev Rel resulted in specific, tangible improvements?

Read the original Dev Rel Bill of Rights and discover the other articles in this series. And check out Glitch for Platforms, where we’re building the first set of business analytics tools for Dev Rel professionals.