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DRC Survey IX: DevRel Salary Takeaways, 2021


Looking over the plots above, the take-away is mostly things you’d already expect:

  • Know what you’re worth (which hopefully the plots here give you a better handle on) 
  • If you’re a member of a marginalized group, don’t limit your research to people who are just like you; seek out information about the highest pay overall
  • Make sure the role matches your unique skillset
  • Keep moving on if you really want to climb the “*salary* ladder.”

We call out salary specifically because while we acknowledge that total compensation includes more than just your paycheck, we found it near impossible to analyse elements like stock options, RSUs, etc, since they have variable value. It’s also important to consider your non-monetary quality of life, such as remote working, flexible hours, an excellent team or manager, and how happy you are in your current role. As ever, use your judgement!

Future survey rounds

As the data began to come together, we discovered there were additional questions we would have liked to ask. For example, “are you happy in your job?” would have made for an interesting lens. In the next iteration, we also plan to ask what part of the organization DevRel reports to.

It would also be interesting to look at parental status along with genders and career progression. We plan to ask about future plans, such as where the respondent sees themself in five years. And we are always seeking to understand better the ways in which job title could possibly play into salary.

Are there other questions you’d like us to ask or results you’d like to see? Be sure to let us know by emailing

Wrapping up

That wraps up our first take. These results suggest that we’re doing the right thing with this survey – there seems to be confusion around appropriate pay or compensation, and perhaps even duties, for DevRel folks. This confusion perpetuates unhealthy expectations, and if these results can help to break that cycle, we believe that may lead to positive change. 

That said, the sample is small. We would want to look at more robust analyses before we make any sweeping claims for a specific individual.



Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4 | Pt. 5 | Pt. 6 | Pt. 7 | Pt. 8

Conclusion and Takeaways

Appendix A: | Appendix B:

Greg Sutcliffe has been working in community management for a decade, and is currently the Principal Data Scientist for the Ansible Community. He's interested in how appropriate use of data can inform the development and governance of communities, especially with regards to open source projects. He also likes cooking.

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