The Unofficial Official Beginner's Guide to starting out in Developer Relations.
3 min read
So you have done your research on Developer relations and confirmed that it is the next step you would like to take in your career. Now you will want to be sure about the actions you can take in developing a career in Developer Relations
In this post, I will share details on how you can build a career in Developer Relations starting where you are, with what you have.
Identify a role in Developer Relations and be enthusiastic about it:
Developer relations consists of various roles that require different skill sets such as Technical Writing, Public speaking, Community management, and Developer education. It is important to try one of these skills using your strengths and being consistent with these skill sets. For instance, through past experiences, I identified Public speaking and Writing as the skills related to Developer relations which I thrive at and I later grew these skills by managing developer communities, speaking at technical conferences, developer education, writing and participating in local technical events.
Develop Interpersonal skills:
As a developer relations engineer, you will be interacting with people a lot, now I know this can seem daunting for those of us who are introverts but the hack to this is making sure that the interaction is organic. When you meet participants or fellow speakers from a conference you will be speaking at, try to start organic conversations with them for example: try to know why they attended the conference, who they will be looking forward to speaking and what their favorite session was, don not get offended or displeased if you were not their best speaker instead try to find out why they enjoyed that speaker's session. Interact with other speakers and do it organically no because you are aiming to gain a sort of connection to the other speakers for certain beneficial reasons, people have a way of telling if you are walking up to them just for your own sake. Always remember that you will interact with people a lot, either through speaking or community management which is direct, or writing technical articles which people will use which is indirect.
Educate your audience:
The main purpose of being a developer relations engineer is to educate the audience and this can be done by learning the goals of your audience, your readers, your listeners, and whatever medium or tools you use when creating content. Make sure you are able to relate to the enthusiasts. Always ensure your audience has a takeaway from the content you create, the event you speak at, or the article you have published. A way to make sure of this is by asking the audience themselves, and get in touch with your target audience, there is no one in a better position to give you feedback than your target audience, the people you intend to reach.
Enjoy what you do:
The only way to give your best at something is to show up and totally enjoy what you are doing and that includes being a Developer Relations Engineer. Whether you are writing, teaching, speaking at a conference or managing a community make sure to give it your best and completely enjoy it, you can achieve this by doing more research on whatever you are ought to deliver on and its in turn will make you confident.
This article was inspired by a session taken by Tejas Kumar at the DX Mentorship programme. He has a youtube channel where he shares insights on Developer Relations and a video I have enjoyed watching is this: