Under the Hood of Developer Marketing: Best of Season 1 | Part 2

Missed Part 1? Read it here.

How important is your community?

Only the core of all your efforts.

Community is probably the #1 theme that came up in our podcast episodes, coming strong even from the first one. As soon as a product/service is available, a community will be created with regard to your product. Mary, Adrian, Jeremy, all DevRel professionals, agreed on what “community” means. It’s people who interact or work with it and get together to seek information on how to best solve problems or talk about features they love or hate.

The strategic decision is where you will choose your community to live. Are you going to leave it “out in the wild”? Andreas asked in our first episode. Jeremy discussed how running a coffee shop helped him better manage a community in episode 4. You just have to offer a space that people will want to visit and make sure you take different tastes into consideration. Adrian gave us the basis for all communications with your community: be authentic.

Mary sums it pretty well:

Your community is out there so it’s just a matter of how and when you’re going to engage with them and engaging with them where they already are, is your starting point. Then bringing them back to your site or creating a forum, if that’s even necessary, is the next question to ask. But figuring out where your community exists is the first step in where they’re already talking so you can be engaged in the conversations of the platform where they already are.

Do you need to be a developer to become a Developer Advocate or work in developer marketing?

Short answer – no.

You don’t need to be a developer. But you need to be tech savvy and have the 4 skills we mentioned in Part 1: passion, curiosity, empathy, inclusion. Curiosity will get you started. You need to be curious so you can understand how your product/service works and what users have to say about it. Passion is a must. DevRel is based on being in the middle: between the company and the community and you need to be passionate in bringing those two to work together effectively. Empathy is also crucial, if you don’t understand the struggles or concerns developers have in using your product/service, you won’t be of much help to them. Inclusion is key, make sure you are taking care of all members of your community and offer a welcoming space for the newest members.

Is every developer valuable?

Absolutely.

Every developer is valuable as they add to your community and help it grow. Adam adds the business value of each developer:

“Talking to developers is a critical part of what means ‘business success’. A developer actually means something to you. It might even mean that the solution you just sold to a customer will be implemented in a correct way and become successful.[…] By engaging with developers you open up your ecosystem to expose yourself to new opportunities and potential customers.[…] If you know what the value of the developer is to your business, you can use that to work out what you can be doing to change or invest in those different channels.”

How do I engage my community?

For this question, we will rely on wisdom collected from all episodes. To keep engaging your community, you should offer a space that serves your community’s purpose. A space where all developers can interact, share and solve problems. Communities are self-sustained when built but you need to be there and help Make sure you remain authentic and inclusive, the community should have a place for everyone. Stay up to date and make sure your space is tidy – trolls are everywhere – but to offer real value, focus on content that helps developers be and work better. If all goes according to plan, the result will be a community that functions independently and you should only take action when and if needed.  

Hopefully, it will be one that even your engineers will want to crash their meetups as Arabella says in episode 6.

 

Season 2 will be coming soon. If you like what you read in these posts, make sure you listen to the episodes. There are a lot of insights that couldn’t fit in these blog posts.

If you want to join as a guest in season 2 or want to be notified for new episodes, check out our podcast page at developermarketingpodcast.com

Under the Hood of Developer Marketing: Best of Season 1 | Part 1

At /Data, we pride ourselves on being the analysts of the developer economy. Developer marketing and developer relations (or DevRel for industry insiders) are in our DNA. In our annual Future Developer Summit event, we bring together some of the champions of the industry and ask them how they do it. In September 2018 we published the output of the insights from those events,  a walkthrough guide to successful developer marketing, essential to new professionals in the field and still relevant even to the most seasoned veterans.

Still, we felt that we had so many more topics to cover and many more professionals we wanted to be heard. So, in March 2019, we launched our podcast series Under the Hood of Developer Marketing, where we invited professionals to share their success and failure stories in 40-minute interviews.

After 6 episodes, we’re ready to wrap up our first season. Here’s a collage of some of the best parts from our first episodes, but we encourage listening for yourself so you don’t miss anything!

 

Developer marketing and developer relations (DevRel) are not the same.

They are interlinked.

 

Jo Stichbury, our podcast host, tackled that topic specifically in a previous blog post. Yet, if we were to sum it up here, we’d use Andreas Constantinou words from episode 1:

“I’ve been grappling with that distinction for a while. For me, it maps roughly as marketing vs client relations map in any other field. Marketing is about defining target audience, marketing plans, engagement channels, how to reach developers, product marketing and communications. Relations is about all the fieldwork, working with developers to help them understand how to use your tools to build better apps. Going from the company to the developer and then from the developer to the company. Some companies call that Developer Advocates.”

 

What skills should a DevRel professional possess?

Passion. Curiosity. Empathy. Inclusion.

 

Passion

By Mary Thengvall

“They [DevRel professionals] are passionate about their community. They want to enable the developers and community they are working with, to do their best possible work. […] That passion leads them to give talks about best practices or connect more people because they’re interested in digging those relationships within the community. And that passion for their community really drives it and you can see it on the technical work they’re doing, and the community work they’re doing.”

By Jeremy Meiss

“I love building relationships. I think it is just exciting and brings a lot of a purpose to do what I do. It is what really drives me to be a part of [DevRel] and spend this as my career. It’s something I’ve I really passionate about.”

 

Inclusion

By Katherine Miller

“The events that have been done really effectively are the ones that really understand the different audiences and craft experiences and content that match the needs of those audiences. Whether you are there as an attendee, as press, as an analyst, as a partner, as a practitioner, there’s a place for you at the event and you know how to find it. And when you walk away from an event, you feel that you have gotten out of the event that what you’re looking for.”

By Adam FitzGerald

“With Diversity, the most important thing is to make sure the internal culture has the sorts of tools and mechanisms that make for better understanding.”

By Arabella David

“We have the online component and the in-person component. The in-person component helps me measurably in increasing the diversity and inclusion. There is always a venue and a reason for people to come and hang out together and do something together. Once you boil these basic human needs to get together and make things together, you have unlocked a whole new level of inclusion.”

By Jeremy Meiss:

“You have to know, what’s your audience like and why are they coming there, what are the things they enjoy the most. So that you can help craft an experience that meets that.”

 

Empathy

By Arabella David:

“What helps me get the best out of everybody and produce the best for developers, is always keeping their needs and what they want prioritised.”

By Jeremy Meiss:

“Developers don’t care that you know, until they know that you care. That embodies that empathy and developer advocacy so much.[…] It’s important to have a good code of conduct, you can’t deal in just black and white. There’s the importance of understanding that each situation is different and keeping community trajectory and health at the forefront of your decisions ”

By Adam Fitzgerald:

“You really need to understand that talking to developers is a critical part of what means business success. A developer actually means something to you and might even drive your [product] success.”

 

Curiosity

By Adam Speyer

“[For me] I think what happened is…I just jumped in. You need some technical acumen or an interest and really a good dose of curiosity. I think understanding of the things that matter, just jumping in and learning in that way.”

By Adam FitzGerald

“Curiosity I would say is the one thing [on how to extend yourself.] I like keep being curious. It’s the one thing that I would keep reinforcing to my younger self.

 

What do developers think of marketing?

Fasten your seatbelts because Adrian Speyer sums it in a great way

Most of the time the answer I got from them [developers] is that they want frictionless experiences. They just want to get the answers, they need to move the project forward. They really enjoy seeing how people are ingenious and doing things and solving problems. And of course they’re very, very allergic to obvious marketing ploys. So I think authenticity is really important. I think really it was hard with marketing messages and is probably not the way to go. And certainly focus on showcasing people that are creating crazy or cool things with your project.

You can find Part 2, which further highlights season 1 of our podcast series here.

In the meantime, why not listen for yourself and let us know about the common themes you spotted in the interviews. We noticed more than a few!

You can listen to all our episodes and get in touch at developermarketingpodcast.com