My name is Amanda and I work as a Developer Advocate for Wix. This month is my one year anniversary in the role and I am writing to share my experiences in hopes that it helps others considering devrel or new to the role in some way.
If you are thinking about developer relations, know that each company and individual perspective will be different. At Wix, for example, my role is directly tied to the Marketing team and I report to and work closely with marketing management. This does not mean I have to sell anything or create advertisements, but it is likely different than a company where devrel sits under engineering.
Within developer relations teams everyone has different roles. My role is "community" so what I do also varies from others on my team who work on product and content pillars.
And finally, some companies have developer relations in charge of producing technical documentation and examples like the quick start guides you see on the sites. At Wix, however, we have a technical documentation team so while we inform and provide docs feedback, we do not write it. So if you are on the job hunt, make sure to ask lots of questions about what the team you are considering is responsible for. The responsibilities can vary depending on strategy and company size.
If you are interested in learning about Velo, I'm not going to talk about it in this post but there are some links at the bottom in resources and you are welcome to reach out with questions.
Oh - also, I work in a fully remote and distributed team. I like it, but that's not for everyone.
tl;dr I talk to people online. Like alot alot.
My day starts with ALL the notifications: Discord, Slack, Email, Twitter, YouTube, Forum, Email.
I pay special attention to any channels we have where users may be providing important feedback, bugs, or need help and no one from the community has stepped in. I might help someone problem solve a bug, link documentation or examples, or have an in depth conversation about something tricky they are facing.
If there is any news about events,product updates, calls for testers,etc. I will check to see if it's been shared throughout all of our channels yet.
Generally I have some items to follow up on with various members of the product team regarding user feedback.
I'm in alot of meetings. As a remote team especially, being on zoom to catch up or work on strategy is something you have to accept into your life.
I make sure to take a look through any recently released documentation and load up any new features so that I understand how they work and am ready to answer questions and help.
I love working with our developer community and am truly excited to see them build so having these conversations all day and working with them is rewarding for me.
There are many other efforts that I collaborate on, but the above are things I complete most days. If you have questions, I'm happy to answer!
Year one brought a ton of new experiences, and there were alot of "wins". I will share a few as this post is a bit long already, but know I feel very lucky and proud of the past year.
♥️ Published my first personal, not for work, blog. (It's this one, you're reading it!)
♥️ Helped build a devrel program from almost nothing with an amazing crew. We learned alot together and are still evolving.
♥️ Created public technical blog posts and Youtube videos - and learned to do video editing (and how LONG that takes)
♥️ Hosted an online hackathon workshop - and my code failed LIVE! Yay! (Don't worry, the workshop attendees were successful)
♥️ Helped plan and execute the first ever Wix DevCon in NYC which was a great success. Keep your eyes out for 2023!
♥️ Learned how to review CFP's and prepare speakers
♥️ First time as a speaker at a developer conference just last week which was so much fun. I presented as a co-speaker with my teammate Emmy and it was a really cool experience to plan with another perspective on the topic. Not to mention it's super fun to have someone else to present with!
*Note that the conference itself is one I cannot reccomend anyone be involved with in the future, it was still an amazing experience for me as a first time speaker due to the incredible folks in the dev and devrel community. To read more about that if you are interested, see the resources section.
⚡ You cannot do ALL THE THINGS. The community may not sleep, but you need to. Time management and learning to say no and not spread myself too thin has been a challenge. I love to learn and am naturally helpful.
⚡ I missed writing code. More than I thought I would. I've recently started contributing to Open Source (s/o to Eddie for the inspo!) and this seems to be a perfect way to fill that need. But...see first lesson learned, there's a potentital to burn out here as well.
⚡ You will fail! Alot. And it's totally okay. Every community is different and evolving so you will need to assess your plan and approach and be willing to spin up and abandon ideas.
⚡Be ready to explain what you do confidently to anyone in your company and build relationships internally. Not everyone will know just becuase your team exists.
🌿Find a good balance for Open Source contribution consistency. This is not directly related to my product but keeps me learning and giving back. After all, I was drawn to this profession to help others.
🌿Submit more CFP's and go to more conferences!
🌿Share more about the product I work on with external communities. This one is hard for me. A year ago, I would have told you I was actively against talking about work on my personal social accounts. I’m not naturally a “social media person” but I think there is a lot of value in sharing interesting things with others. I also get ideas from content that others share, so why not give back to that? I’m not looking to only talk about my company or get “twitter-famous”(or mastodon famous? What do we do now?) but think it’s worth seeing if there is a balance to highlight some things I think are cool about whatever products I'm working on out in the world.
🌿Learn more about measuring and talking about devrel in quantifiable ways. Folks like data!