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 1: A clear set of business goals.
Every developer relations professional should know how their work contributes to helping their organization achieve its business goals.
It’s one of the most frequently omitted forms of support for Dev Rel. Many times, people in Dev Rel roles are sent out in to the world with little more direction than “get developers to try our platform!” Basic requirements like a list of metrics or measurements are often overlooked in favor of undefined generalities.
Most of the time, this isn’t due to any malice or negative intent, it occurs because the function of Dev Rel is relatively new within an organization and poorly understood. That lack of familiarity leads others in the organization to leave Dev Rel practitioners to figure things out on their own. And while some degree of autonomy is useful, communication around objectives and outcomes is fundamental to making sure Dev Rel is treated as an essential strategic investment.
So, do you really have a clear set of business goals? To determine this, consider the following questions.
Questions to ask:
- Do people with Dev Rel functions in your organization have a clear definition of “success”? Will they know when they’ve achieved it?
- Can people in other roles define what the Dev Rel staff is trying to achieve? Can they articulate what Dev Rel is responsible for delivering?
- Can senior management explain why the organization is investing in Dev Rel, and what return is expected on that investment?
By setting expectations from the outset, and clearly communicating these goals, we set up Dev Rel professionals for success.