Dave Nugent and I sat down together and Dave asked me the following questions about Developer Relations:
How do you prove the value of DevRel inside a large company?
How valuable is consistent messaging for DevRel?
How does leading DevRel differ between a startup and enterprise?
How does your team interface inside IBM?
How has your mission changed since you started at IBM?
Who in DevRel would you like to call out?
Q: How do you prove the value of DevRel inside a large company?
Probably one of the best ways and my favorite is to explain that developers today have a lot of influence. In other words, developers make decisions what software to use and buy. Many years ago software was purchased by executives and pushed down to developers (top-down approach). In most companies today it’s the complete opposite. Developers try software and if they like it they go to their managers/executives (who has the budget) and ask them to buy the software. Instead of top-down it’s now bottom-up approach. In some companies developers not only influence what software to buy but they also have the buying power.
IBM Developer NA West team had a great 2019, the team accomplished a lot. A big thank you to the team 💙. I want to share some of the highlights of what the team did in 2019. You can also check out the cool infographic below.
Scaling your Developer Relations program is a challenge faced by virtually all organizations. It doesn’t matter if you are a startup with 10 people or IBM – you still need to scale your efforts.
IBM probably has one of the biggest Developer Relations organizations in the world. Even with such size, Developer Advocates cannot be everywhere to host in-person workshops, meetups and attend conferences. You cannot scale with people.
Even if you could send a Developer Advocate to every meetup or conference, there are many more developers who don’t attend meetups or conferences. There are many reasons, maybe they leave in an area where there are no meetups or they don’t have conference travel budget. You need to reach these developers and also scale.
The way to scale a program is through content, online meetups (webinars), videos and online forums. I shared how to scale with online meetups and content before:
All these resources are available to anyone with an internet connection regardless of location and can be consumed any time of the day or night. In addition, all these digital resources can provide value for a long time, months or even years.
On Friday, September 27 IBM Developer SF hosted a 1-day Containers Developer Summit. We started with a hands-on workshop on how to build your first container-based application followed by talks from Alibaba, Kong, Robin.io and IBM. Here are 10 pictures from the summit.