Perhaps, you could be a potential DevRel
Developer Relations & Developer Advocates. What do you imagine about this job role? Well, I've misunderstood, it's a job for celebrity devs. In fact, I didn't realize until I was told that all my activities were exactly what DevRels do.
Hey! I'm Arisa, a DevRel Engineer at Storyblok.
What do you imagine if you hear about Developer Relations (DevRel) and Developer Advocates? (If you already have heard those job roles, I'm sure you know why I put an avocado image 🥑)
Maybe, someone super famous influencer devs? Or someone talks at a lot of conferences and events? Or perhaps, devs who represent companies.
To be completely honest with you, that's what exactly I was imagining what DevRels and Developer Advocates are doing for their jobs. And somehow, I had a completely wrong idea that these jobs are not for me because I'm not famous.
In this article, I want to share with you that you could be naturally behaving like one without knowing it.
The moment I realized that I could apply for DevRel jobs
Let me get this straight.
I was told that the things I was doing are DevRel by a friend who works as a DevRel. At that moment, I was about to have a first job interview with Storyblok.
Long story short, she told me that the things I've been doing are the reason why I already could apply although I've never worked as a DevRel.
Things I've been doing
Tech blog posts - average 7 posts/month
Podcast - every Wednesday
Teaching front-end - over 45 students in 3 years & about 10 of them got jobs
Talk experience - since 2021
Organizing a community (about 50 members) - my own community, Lilac to fill the programming course cost gap & to share the tech skill, knowledge, and experience
Got used to travel frequently - my previous job was a cabin crew etc...
That's what I did in 5 years if I include the travel experience of my previous job.
I bet you find that you did the same for some of the things above.
Let's take a look at the definition of DevRel.
"DevRel is the marketing technique used to ensure that one's company, products, and developers establish a good, continuous relationship with external developers through mutual communication."
We don't find "blog posts" or "talk in conferences" etc. Those are one of the ways to approach external developers.
It means, technically, if we just write tech blog posts WITHOUT gaining the relationship between companies/products and develops, it's not following what's defined above.
The key in here is that DevRels and Developer Advocates GAIN the relationship between companies/products and external developers.
The relationship does matter.
This is why sometimes (not always), DevRels and Developer Advocates are in various departments depends on each companies' definition.
So, the things I was doing were just one of the ways to approach external devs to build relationships.
This is why we see some DevRels and Developer Advocates are good at Twitch live coding, and some others are good at in communities to take a lead.
In fact, I've never done Twitch live coding. (Maybe, I'll try that out because my other DevRel friend inspired me to do a live coding streaming ✨)
Plus, the numbers of Twitter followers are just a measurement of how you can build relationships from them.
If you have over 10k followers, but can't reach them out much, the numbers of the followers are just the numbers in this case.
But if you could reach them out and gaining relationships with them, that will lead to great numbers of relationships with external devs.
Technically, you can already prepare from the moment you start to learn to program
If I'll be more honest with you, I didn't plan to be a DevRel. I started to know DevRel just 2 years ago.
I figured out that DevRel could be a job role that something I enjoy doing with a help of my DevRel friends.
In fact, DevRel is still a quite new job role. In Japan, we don't have many DevRels although, most of all famous devs are DevRels in my opinion.
The point I want to make here is that the software developer job roles are not the only positions for you to get a job.
You could be a DevRel one day from what you do.
I'm sure DevRels and Developer Advocates are going to be more familiar. By that time, you could already start to try out what you like to share your programming experience with others.
If you're a potential DevRel, people will come and talk to you to know what you're doing. I believe that's how community starts.
Once you build your community, it's up to you to build a stronger relationship with them or not.
Teach, code, write and help
In my private time, I teach as a volunteer mentor at Frot-End Foxes School. In there, I had very good advice from my role model.
She shared her 4 pillars as a Developer Advocate - teach, code, write and help.
It all made sense to me right away, because that's what I want when I need certain solutions or consider to try out something new tools.
I like tools with amazing hands-on documentation and I love the tools with great communities. Her advice made all sense to me because I like tools with these 4 pillars of hers.
And another surprise was that I love to DO all these 4 pillars of hers. It was unexpected that the things I was doing were all in the category of DevRel.
In my case was that I did all those without knowing it, but you could be already a potential DevRel from what you do.
Life is full of unexpected surprises 🎁
I'll be happy if my blog post bring you a chance to realize that you're also a potential DevRel.