Today, I start a new job as a Developer Educator for the Conversation Platform Developer Experience team at Expedia Group.
(FYI, not to be confused by Expedia, the online travel agency and metasearch engine owned by Expedia Group.)
So far, I've seen it placed under Developer Experience orgs. It appears to be a hybrid role that also bears a lot of similarities with Developer Advocacy (DA), which is how I accidentally got interested in this area.
Here's a snippet of what my new job entails... 😄
- Build, maintain, and own the Conversation Platform documentation and training content.
- Build quick start samples, demos, example apps, and other developer productivity tools.
- Contribute to and provide feedback on APIs, SDKs, and platform functionality.
- Provide developer support for the Conversation Platform concepts, tutorials, and APIs.
- Maintaining support channels such as Slack, GitHub, etc.
This is the blurb that originally caught my eye and I thought it would be cool to share it directly with you too.😃
"Do you want to work with state of the art technologies such as real-time streaming, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning? Our goal is to build the best conversational bot platform that can meet customers on any channel (social, SMS, web, or voice), use AI/ML to understand/anticipate their needs, and deliver unparalleled service."
The Conversation Platform enables millions of travelers to have natural language conversations with an automated agent via text, Facebook, or their channel of choice. It lets you book trips, make changes or cancellations, and asks questions:
-“How long is my layover?” “Does my hotel have a pool?” How much will I get charged if I want to bring my golf clubs?”-
Then it takes all that we know about a customer across all of the Expedia Group brands and applies machine learning models to give customers automatically a straightforward answer or a complex new itinerary.
Well, there were mainly 2 components of this decision.
One, I am autistic and tired of DevRel teams acting "iffy" about me being an out-of-the-closet autistic woman with the need for a service dog. Oh, they all pretend that there isn't prejudice in the world about "being autistic," but it's a lie. DevRel still has a lot of growing up to do, and it's still largely run by egos and techies obsessed with being seen on stage. Until the DevRel world truly diversifies more, I really needed a break. At least for a little bit.💕
Two, you've probably noticed by now that the Developer Educator job sounds extremely similar to the Technical Writer job also found at the big tech companies.
For a long time, I have been DYING to transition into owning API Docs and training content. But even though I applied to quite a few Technical Writing roles at several of the big tech companies, nothing was really moving forward. (Thank you, Corona🦠.)
I was starting to feel disappointed about this when I came across these Developer Educator roles popping up. (In the past 2 months, I interviewed for this role at 3 different companies.) When I saw how that role fit under Developer Experience and that it would allow me to own developer docs, I basically FREAKED OUT with excitement!
Just like that, I KNEW that I wanted to try this out.
One, it helps when they actually give you an offer.
Ok, I snark. 🙃
Two, the hiring director and interviewers started the interviews by asking about Canela🐾! They even wanted to see her! I don't think any other company started their interviews by getting excited about my service dog?! LOL!
It's the little things 🙃...
Three, I didn't run into any of the typical 🚩red flags🚩 I look out for as a #WomanInTech. You know, things like arrogant team members in the interview loop or a hiring manager that comes across as less than stellar.
I also have to add that because during the past 2 months I'd been talking and/or interviewing with 10+ companies, I was EXHAUSTED. When I jumped on the Expedia Group interview loop, I remember being particularly brain dead.😂 And yet, each of the interviewers made me feel valuable! They also really showed concern about me getting breaks between the interviews.
When they sent me the offer, it was a great and fair one. But, I of course asked for 10K more, since I honestly felt that was fair to ask. At this point, I waited to see if any 🚩red flags🚩 came up. What I mean by this, is that I have actually had several bad experiences with male hiring managers acting surprised when a woman asks for more money. I wanted to make sure the New Boss wasn't one of those, if you get what I mean!
To my surprise, they approved my extra 10K in 2 days!
This speedy turnaround honestly made me feel that the hiring director did, in fact, value my work experience and knowledge. And having leadership that values you is seriously the most important part sometimes.
But that's another blog post, for another day. 😉
~Alejandra💁🏻♀️ y Canela🐾