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How to use DEV for DEVeloper relations

dzello profile image Josh Dzielak 🔆 Updated on ・5 min read

If you work in developer relations or are working to get adoption for an open source project, API, or developer platform, then being a member of the DEV community can help you reach your goals! 📈🏆🎉

This guide will walk you through the benefits of being on DEV, how to get started, and how to make the post of your presence.

Who am I?

Hi, I'm Josh. I'm @dzello here on DEV. I'm a developer advocate and love helping developers learn new technologies and build awesome projects.

I've been a member of the DEV community since December 2017, both personally and as a developer advocate for Algolia. I'm now the co-founder and CTO at Orbit.

At Algolia we published content on DEV and also responded to questions about our API, search, and any other topics we thought we could be helpful about. We were also one of the first sponsors of DEV, which was a great experience 👯‍♀️

Why use DEV for DevRel?

DevRels must go where the Devs are so that they can Rel with them.

The DEV community is BIG and it's growing like crazy. The team behind DEV is very transparent, and creator and cofounder @ben regularly shares metrics about the growth of their platform.

But growth is only one part of the story. What matters even more is culture. The members of the DEV community are generally curious and helpful. Asking questions about something you don't know is safe here. You'll find many developers sharing their learnings as they go, i.e. learning in public.

Not only does this make DEV an enjoyable place to hang out, it also makes it easier to do advocacy. DEV members are interested in learning about new tools and technologies. They raise their hands and ask for help when they get stuck. If DEV members are using your product, you stand to learn a lot from the experiences—positive and negative—they're posting about.

Tip: Use tags and search to find people discussing the products, projects, trends you're interested in.

Who's on DEV?

Lots of organizations are already using DEV for DevRel. Here are some notable ones.

azure image
twilio image

There are lots more! Just look for the a tag with an organization name above post titles to spot them. Here are a few others:

Are you using DEV for DevRel? Send me a message and I'd be happy to add you to this list.

What to do on DEV

Here are some different ways that developer advocates and their teams contribute on DEV.

But first: if you're not too familiar with DEV yet, I suggest reading this extensive guide by @aspittel first to get up to speed.

Create an organization

An organization is the way to group all of your team's content. The concept is similar to GitHub. You'll want to set this up first.

A badge with your organization's name and custom color will appear next to your content, making it easy for users to identify. Your organization will also get its own landing page, like this one for Angular.

These are the steps to create a new organization:

  • Click your avatar in the header
  • Click the @-handle to go to your profile page
  • Click the "Edit Profile" button
  • Click "Organization" in the sidebar
  • Click "New Organization" in the header
  • Fill out the form and submit

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Once the organization is created, you can invite your teammates. Their avatars will automatically show up on the organization's profile page. In their dashboard, they will see the organization and can view the analytics for the organization's content.

Tip: Visit DEV's Organization Info page to learn more about organizations.

Create content

Content on DEV is written in Markdown with front matter and various liquid tags for common tasks. Check out the editor guide for a full rundown.

Content that you post on DEV ends up in user feeds, helping your content be seen. Users can heart, unicorn, and bookmark posts. These reactions boost the post's signal and makes it more likely to appear in users feeds.

If your post is really popular or spurs a lot of comments, it might be
included in roundup-style posts shared by the DEV team, like this one:

These roundups are also emailed to users in a weekly newsletter.

Twitter

Posts are sometimes tweeted out to the large and loyal @ThePracticalDev twitter following, which has 165k followers as of September 2019. This can create a lot of engagement and help developers discover your twitter handle. ✨

Tip: Make sure you set your twitter handle in your DEV profile.

There are other twitter handles that tweet out posts from specific tags on DEV, like @the_ruby_dev does for #ruby.

Analytics

Your DEV dashboard will tell you how well your content is performing. It has one tab for your personal account and one for each of your organizations.

Here's an example. I can see my total number of post reactions and views, shown here for my DeveloperMode organization.

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I can also see my stats at the individual post level.

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Cross-posting

DEV welcomes cross-posted content and lets you specify a post's canonical_url in the post front matter. That way Google will send visitors directly to your site when the post appears in their search results and the post will accrue to your site's SEO.

This is a very attractive option for organizations who are also investing a lot in their own blogs.

If your blog doesn't have a commenting system or doesn't get many comments, cross-posting to DEV is likely to get you more conversations and feedback than you would otherwise. Make sure to keep an eye out for replies after you post and actively reply to the thread.

Ask and answer questions

Just like your team might monitor StackOverflow or Twitter for questions about your technology, you can also do that on DEV.

The tags and search features will help you find posts about the topics you are interested in and could help out on.

You can ask questions too, which is great for getting opinions and feedback. Content on DEV doesn't have to be long to get good engagement. I recommend making the question succinct and using it as the post's title. Add any additional details in the body and publish.

Sponsor

If you'd like to kick your DEV partcipation up a notch, the team behind DEV does offer sponsorships. Check out the Sponsorship Information page to learn more.

The DEV team does a great job of highlighting their sponsors around the platform. Here's an example:

The #devrel tag

Last but not least, developer relations teams should be aware of the #devrel tag right here on DEV. This is a great place to post content and talk shop about developer relations.

If you have any questions, send me a message or drop them in below. Thanks for reading! 🙏

Posted on Sep 30 '19 by:

dzello profile

Josh Dzielak 🔆

@dzello

Co-founder & CTO at Orbit · Developer advocate and indie hacker · formerly Algolia and Keen IO

Orbit

We believe software is adopted, not sold. Orbit helps organizations build high gravity communities that attract and retain enthusiastic developers.

Discussion

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This is a seriously incredible post, Josh. Thorough and also highlighted some aspects of the platform that people oftentimes overlook.

 

Thanks Peter!! ❤️ I'm hoping this will be helpful for all the developer 🥑s out there.

 

Great post and thanks for including Twilio as a notable organization. We love being on DEV for the great community here too!

 

This is a superb post. Sort of like a complete meetup what I did about Dev.to last year is enlisted here in this one post. Thank you, Josh! 💜

 

Thank you Ahmad! Love reading your #OneDevMinute posts on here 💻 ⏱️

 
 
 

Thanks Ben! 🤗 If you think of anything else I should add here, just let me know.

 

I found this post super insightful. Thanks for writing and sharing this Josh.

 

So glad you did, thanks for letting me know!