Is developer relations right for me?

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Software engineering versus developer relations engineering

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Time spent coding

Size of coding projects

Large DevRel projects look different

Broad versus narrow

Focused on people

Evaluation of contributions is different

  • community growth/support
  • growth of product awareness
  • product influence
  • communication regarding product launches
  • delivery of technical content

Pros and cons of moving into DevRel

Be prepared to answer this question if you move into DevRel.

Pros:

  • Requires being good at a different set of skills, which might be a better fit for you than pure engineering, creating a higher ceiling for your career than you may have with traditional software engineering.
  • You have a chance to see the world. Most DevRel jobs involve travel and if you like to travel, it’s one of the best parts of the job.
  • You’ll be closer to the people who use the product and be able to see the immediate impact of your work, which can be very rewarding.
  • There are less DevRel jobs than software engineering jobs, so picking this path may close off future opportunities.
  • Most people understand the value a software engineer brings to a company, it’s not as clear in developer relations. You might not be seen as core to a company’s success and you may have to battle misconceptions about the role to prove your value.
  • You will have to explain what you do.

DevRel signals

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  • Actively participated in or organized programming events, contests, hackathons, or workshops.
  • Spoke at technical conferences or meetups.
  • Founded a company.
  • Have a mixed background of engineering and product or project management.
  • Academic background or teaching experience of technical subjects.
  • Created an open source project or make contributions to open source.

DevRel mindset

Finals thoughts

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Google Developer Relations — BizComms — All opinions are mine and mine alone.

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Sean Falconer

Sean Falconer

Google Developer Relations — BizComms — All opinions are mine and mine alone.

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