Words of wisdom

Sharing the fantastic insights from our contributors below!

Mike Pegg, Head of Google Maps Platform Developer Relations
You need to want to do it. Love to do it. Every day in DevRel shouldn't feel like it's a job
Nicolas Grenié, Developer Advocate at Typeform
Do what feels good for yourself, your community and your product at the time. One step at a time. It's not because so and so company have done it this way that it will certainly work for you.
Mike Stowe, Director Developer Marketing, RingCentral
Take time to understand what DevRel is, and what the job you're looking at is really like. For example, Developer Evangelism is definitely not as much fun as it looks. Go in and be genuine, act with integrity, and be curious. Have a desire to learn, don't be afraid to try new things. And have fun - DevRel can be one of the best jobs in the world if you know what you're signing up for.
Mary Thengvall, Director of Developer Relations at Camunda
Don't be afraid to try all of the things, even if you don't feel like you have the skills right now! Speak at meetups, write blogposts, ask to be included on a livestream, and most importantly, learn how to use your software to the best of your ability. You'll figure out which areas of Developer Relations you truly enjoy and excel at.
Miten, Global Alliance Officer, Fractal.ai
Focus on what devrel community can do to solve your company's problem and how would you recognise and reward them for same.
Hannah Lee Aubry, Developer Communications Manager
LISTEN! Your community knows what they need and will tell you.
Samudra Weerasinghe, Community Manager at WSO2
Learn about your market thoroughly - if you are coming from a marketing background, don't try to apply what you have learnt directly to developer relations, most times it won't work. Have a deep understanding of your product or solution and why it would benefit different kinds of developers.
Daniel Madalitso Phiri, Developer Advocate at Strapi
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Focus and prioritise and always try to see how your activities affect the company goals.
Suyash Joshi, Cloud Developer Advocate at Oracle
Watch DevRel Conference videos and learn from those who have successfully walked this path before you.
Sami Kizilbash, Developer Relations at Google
Spend as much time with your developer community as possible before deciding how to design or improve DevRel programs, and always remember that their success IS your success.
Juhi Singh, Developer Marketer at Freshworks
Live like a developer.
Raymond Camden, Lead Developer Evangelist at HERE Technologies
Work on communication (writing, speaking) skills and try to put yourself into the mindset of a new user.
Tim Falls, Community-builder & Climate Activist
Maintain a beginner's mindset, even when you're no longer a beginner. Stay humble. Remember that the "Rel" in DevRel stands for "Relations" -- ie, this practice and craft is all about building meaningful, trustful, and respectful Relationships between humans.
Scott McAllister, Developer Advocate at PagerDuty
Always stay eager to learn and adapt. You need to always be focused on the needs of your community, and those needs might change.
Ain Indermitte, Head of Developer Relations at Open Networking Foundation
The field is still immature and evolving; execs do not always understand the value of DevRel; you have to constantly show your relevancy
Tessa Mero, Developer Advocate at Cloudinary
Market yourself by branding your name. Post on forums, build communities, participate at events, write blog posts, build a personal website and summarize all of your community involvement, get involved in public speaking gigs, and be EVERYWHERE! Also, follow DevRel folks on social media, and learn from them. Find a mentor and figure out what your next steps are based on your goals. Use the tag #DevRel on twitter if you don't know anyone. We will find you!
Olle Pridiuksson, Co-Founder, Devrel.Events
Double check if they're actually up for this kind of work
Jon Peck, Technical Advocate at GitHub
Be genuine, stay developer-focused. Don't let other departments' needs send you astray.
Jason Koo, Developer Advocate at Sendbird
Start with making tutorials using tech you love.
Leon Stigter, Sr Product Manager at Lightbend
Talk, but listen more. You want to listen to the community as they have valuable feedback about your product or service and that's feedback your product team needs. Obviously you want to share a lot too, but listening is definitely an important skill.
Michael Lynn, Principal Developer Advocate, MongoDB
Get out there. Let your passion drive you and be fearless. DevRel is difficult - know this going in and you won't be lulled into complacency. Set big audacious goals and then build smaller objectives that lead to these goals.
Hemchander S, Developer Advocate, Freshworks Inc.
Always ask questions until you are clear about the product/ platform vision. Never assume the persona that the company describes. Go see it for yourself.
Max Katz, Program Director, NA Developer Advocacy at IBM
Launch a blog. Get into a habit publishing content.
Michael Arguin, Senior Software Engineer at Brightcove
I think that understanding the APIs and products you will be representing is key to becoming a strong DevRel engineer. You are seen as the go-to for knowledge sharing and distribution and should be able to communicate best practices and problem solving skills. Once you are comfortable with the tech you will be representing, start by writing blog posts or responding to questions on popular Q&A sites, forums and boards to build up your communication skills. Always admit when you don't know something but do the necessary research and follow-up in a timely manner. No matter what department DevRel falls in at your organization, build a strong internal network of resources in Product, Marketing, Support and Engineering so that you can leverage this network to help you meet customer needs and expectations, channel ideas back into product and point out potential pain points to Support and Engineering.
Lakmal Warusawithana, Senior Director - Technology Evangelism @ WSO2
Don't try to sell anything :) Try to understand dev problem and try to help them
Leandro Margulis, VP Developer Relations, UnifyID
There are resources to look into, from Jono Bacon's books to the Essential Guide to DevRel Marketing and Relations by SlashData to Mary Thengvall's books " The Business Value of Developer Relations". Buy and read them all.
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