I think it’s easy to focus on features but that’s not what Developer Advocacy is about (at least in most cases).
Developer Advocacy is about showing what developers can do with your product/service, what problems developers can solve and what solutions developers can build. I covered this topic earlier in this blog post: Share outcomes and results, not features.
Our job is to help, show and educate what rad things developers can build.
Developer Advocacy is how to make developers awesome 🙌
When I shared this blog post with Burr, he told me he uses another phrase:
Our job is to give developers super powers
So here you go, two really great phrases to describe Developer Advocacy from Burr Sutter:
Our job is to make developers awesome
Our job is to give developers super powers
The following online meetups we hosted in October 2019 with links to watch the recordings. I also encourage you to join our meetup so you will always know when our online meetups are scheduled. Our meetups are hosted by the wonderful Lisa Jung 👋.
⭐️ Managing Kubernetes Traffic with Istio (October 9, 2019)
In this online meetup, IBM Developer Advocate Mofizur Rahman showed how Istio can be used to manage traffic in a demo application running microservices. Developers also learned why Kubernetes need “service mesh” and how does Istio improve network traffic management.
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.
It’s not true that developers don’t want to be marketed to, they are simply very very educated “consumers”.
Here is an example of buying an espresso machine (such as Nespresso)
People will spend a disproportional amount of time learning about the machine and how it works. When they go to the store to buy it, if the sales person knows less than the buyer the buyer will be frustrated. We don’t like when we go to buy something and we know more about the product than the person selling it to us.
There are many great books on marketing out there. A great book I recently read is This is Marketing by Seth Godin. Here is how the book defines marketing:
Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.
and this one:
Marketers offer solutions, opportunities for humans to solve their problems and move forward.
There is nothing inherently bad about marketing to developers. Companies simply need to be helping solve developer’s problems. If we do this, then we won’t need to say that developers hate marketing (hopefully).
I think here is one good example of that (there are thousands more of course):
Webflow is a No Code platform to build websites. Above is their home page. Webflow is not telling people that they have a visual HTML editor – that’s a feature. They are telling people what problems they can solve, what is the outcome – build a better website, faster, without coding.
Whether you call it developer marketing or something else – let’s help developers solve their problems, show them solutions, outcomes and share knowledge 🙌
The following online meetups we hosted in September 2019 with links to watch the recordings. I also encourage you to join our meetup so you will always know when our online meetups are scheduled. Our meetups are hosted by the wonderful Lisa Jung 👋.
⭐️ Build an Intelligent Chatbot with Watson and PubNub (September 7, 2019)
On September 24-25 I attended the Future Developer Summit in Menlo Park, CA. It’s an event where about 60+ leaders discuss the future of developer marketing and developer relations. Here are pictures from the event. I created collages so you will see more than 10 pictures 😉
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.
This week I attended Data Evans Developer Marketing Summit. I was there for just half a day but still attended very interesting sessions and snapped some pictures that I want to share. I will share notes from the summit probably next week.
Content (articles, tutorials, videos) is one of the best ways to scale your Developer Relations program. Once content is published it can be consumed by developers any time, anywhere in the world. You are no longer limited to just the local developers coming to a hands-on workshop (of course hands-on workshops have other benefits, but that’s for another blog post). Here are some of the recent blog posts I published that cover content creating and publishing.
There are thousands of books on how to be a manager and I’m sure many of them are very good. I just finished reading The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhou. I loved the book and highly recommend to new managers, not so new managers and people who might want to be managers one day.
Many management books out there give you a lot of theoretical advice on how to be a manager or just advice that’s not applicable to real world. What I loved about Julie’s book is that it’s full of very practical advice and tips. You can take it and use today. I liked that Julie wasn’t afraid to share that she was scared many times, that she wasn’t sure if she made the right decision and that’s it’s OK (and actually beneficial as that’s how we grow) to make mistakes because we are all humans. Reading the book I said many times “oh yes, that’s how I felt” and “oh, and I was in exact the same situation”. This kind of connection makes this an excellent book that I highly encourage to read. Seeing how the Julie dealt with various challenges and grew to be VP of Design at Facebook, is a great learning experience.