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Be a Developer Advocate on Your Terms

Eric Bishard
Senior Developer Advocate for @Couchbase (NodeJS)
・6 min read

FYI: This article is in part a story about my journey in DevRel as well as an attempt to let others know about job openings for my company "Couchbase" for Python and Mobile Developer Advocates.

If you want to take a look at these job opportunities I will place the links here and at the end of the article.

Developer Advocate - Python
Developer Advocate - Mobile

My Story as a DA

I have been in DevRel for over two years and worked for two different companies Progress Software and Couchbase. I wrote an article about my transition from Software Engineer to Developer advocate and you can read more about the projects, talks, and traveling I have done on ReactStateOfMind.com.

I'm lucky to have had the opportunity to continue being an advocate for JavaScript, my stack of choice, and more specifically React.

At Progress Software, I was the DA for their KendoReact UI library and got to travel all over the US and Europe and really learn about the traveling aspect of the DevRel, networking at conferences before COVID and I am so lucky to have had that opportunity.

I loved the position because I am passionate about UI and React, but one thing that happened is that my fullstack skills atrophied. I was not flexing my fullstack muscles as much and in a fortunate turn of events, there was a change of management and restructuring that gave me the opportunity to look for a new DA position.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to network as a DevRel with other developers and advocates when you are traveling. One of those connections that I made with another developer advocate made a huge impact on him enough to recommend me to a company that he had interviewed with but did not end up taking the job.

That company was Couchbase and if not for that recommendation I may not have ended up working at a Company that I love and being able to truly work everyday fullstack in JavaScript.

You see, a lot of DA positions require you to focus on one area of the overall stack. If you are a DA for a UI library, guess what, you will mostly be teaching people how to use that UI library. For some and for me, this was a great opportunity, but I really liked working across the entire JavaScript stack from client to server. This is something I just didn't get the opportunity to do while working at that first DA position I took. But again, I wouldn't give up that experience for a do-over. I met so many amazing people at their HQ in Sofia Bulgaria and for the first time in my life got to travel internationally and speak. Such a great opportunity!

But as a developer, I was missing something. I also really love building APIs and understanding the full stack from client to server and database.

Enter Couchbase

First off, I want to say that I am not writing this because my company put me up to it, in fact, they have no idea I decided to write this article. I did it because I think that not only is there an opportunity for others interested in a DA position to apply for a few positions we have open, but to also give them the ability to work as a DA and continue to be an expert in their stack of choice.

Working for a database company as a DA does require some focus on the database and I do spend about 20% of my time learning about the database side of things. The rest of the time I am given the freedom to work in whatever JavaScript client I want, be it React, Angular, Vue, or whatever. I'm able to choose to talk about GraphQL or REST if I wanted to, and outside of the database I get to show developers the benefit of working with a Document Database. I do that by picking the different pieces of the stack that I love and am most passionate about.

I want others to be cognizant when picking a company to work as a Developer Advocate, and think about if that position you take is going to force you to focus on one area only? Is it going to limit the freedom you have to talk about different technologies?

For instance, I really love React and state management, tools like Apollo, RecoilJS, and building GraphQL and REST APIs. And since I work for a database company, as long as I am talking about how to use all of that with our database, I have the freedom to choose my stack. I think this is a very important consideration you should have going into a DA role.

We are Hiring at Couchbase

Now to get to the reason I wrote this article, I want to let Python and Native Mobile developers know about some opportunities we have to join our team as a Developer Advocates.

We have two positions that are available, Python and Mobile DA.

Do you want to have the freedom to pick your stack and focus on any Python tools you want in order to teach others about our database? Do you want to be able to work in your choice of Android, iOS, or maybe React Native 😉?

If you don't want to be tied down as a DA and could see yourself working for a database company that really opens up the options of what technology you choose as your weapon of choice in either Python or Mobile development, maybe you should talk to us.

Below are links to the two positions and a list of our SDKs, and I would say, just because we are not currently hiring for Go, Scala, PHP, Ruby, .Net, or C does not mean that we wouldn't entertain talking to you and keeping you in mind when we expand our headcount. Could be next year, could be next month. So please, take a look at these links and if you have any questions, hit me up on Twitter @httpJunkie!

I can take a few mins to Zoom with anyone to give them a better insight into what it's like working here or you could just send in your resume. But I would say that time is of the essence. We are already looking to fill these positions. Make yourself stand out from the pack and show us what you can do as either a fullstack Python or Mobile/Native developer!

We are looking for those with plenty of experience as a developer and those who may have existing DevRel experience. The more of each of these you have, the better your opportunity. I would also say that we are an equal opportunity employer and at Couchabse we really care about diversity in people and ideas. This is a remote postition.

Don't forget to tell them that Eric Bishard sent you! 😉

Developer Advocate - Python
Developer Advocate - Mobile

Couchbase SDKs and potential areas we might be hiring for in the future:

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