Dev Rel requires a well-defined place in the organization

Dev Rel Bill of Rights, Article 2

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 2: A well-defined place in the organization.

Developer Relations staff deserve clear lines of reporting, with well-articulated lines of accountability.

Because Dev Rel is a practice that touches on many different functions across both technical and non-technical roles in an organization, Dev Rel team members are often stuck with “dotted line” reporting structures. This leaves Dev Rel professionals in a situation where they may not know where to go to get the resources they require, and it may even be unclear who they are accountable to for delivering on their goals.

But for Dev Rel teams to succeed, they can’t be wasting time wondering who the decision-maker is for a particular need, or whether their budget is coming from the CTO or the CMO. Both management and workers should fight to achieve clarity in Dev Rel’s place within the organization. Then when changes or transitions happen, that clarity will help keep the Dev Rel team running smoothly.

Questions to ask:

  • Does everybody on the Dev Rel team know exactly who their boss is?
  • If there are “dotted line” or complicated reporting structures, does each team definitely know who its leaders are, and where to go for help or resources?
  • When there’s a reorganization or a structural change, is its impact communicated clearly and effectively to Dev Rel?

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.