What is Developer Relations (DevRel)? A Complete Guide.

by | Sun 2 Apr 2023

Developer Relations, commonly known as DevRel, is a rapidly growing field within the tech industry that focuses on fostering relationships between companies and their developer communities.

DevRel professionals bridge the gap between companies and developers by providing technical guidance, support, and resources. This allows companies to better understand the needs and perspectives of their developer communities, which ultimately drives the growth and adoption of their products and services.

Here is a video guide too that might help:

What are the roles and responsibilities in devrel?

DevRel professionals come from various backgrounds, often with experience in software development, technical writing, community management, and marketing.

The primary roles within DevRel include Developer Advocates, Developer Evangelists, and Community Managers.

Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of activities such as:

Technical content creation

DevRel professionals create technical resources such as tutorials, blog posts, and documentation to help developers understand, use, and integrate a company’s products and services effectively.

Public speaking and workshops

Developer Advocates and Evangelists often attend and speak at conferences, meetups, and webinars to share knowledge, engage with the community, and showcase the company’s technology.

Community engagement

DevRel professionals facilitate communication between developers and the company by engaging with the community through forums, social media, and other channels. They gather feedback, address concerns, and provide support to enhance the user experience.

Internal advocacy

A key function of DevRel is to represent the developer’s voice within the company. DevRel professionals collaborate with product, engineering, and marketing teams to ensure that the company’s products and services align with the needs and expectations of the developer community.

Developer programs and initiatives

DevRel teams often create and manage developer programs, hackathons, and other initiatives to incentivize and recognize community contributions, drive adoption, and strengthen the developer ecosystem.

Why is devrel so important?

Developer Relations offers numerous benefits for companies.

By fostering relationships between the company and its developer community, DevRel can significantly impact the growth, adoption, and success of the company’s products and services.

Here are some key benefits of DevRel for a company:

Improved product adoption

DevRel professionals create resources, provide support, and share knowledge that enables developers to understand and use a company’s products and services more effectively. This leads to increased product adoption, usage, and market share.

Enhanced user experience

DevRel teams gather feedback and insights from the developer community, which helps the company iterate on its products and services to better meet the needs and expectations of developers. This leads to an enhanced user experience and higher customer satisfaction.

Stronger brand loyalty

By fostering meaningful relationships with developers and providing valuable resources, DevRel teams can create a sense of trust and loyalty towards the company’s brand. This can lead to long-term commitment from the developer community and promote advocacy for the company’s products and services.

Faster innovation

An engaged developer community can contribute valuable ideas, features, and improvements to a company’s products. By encouraging collaboration and innovation, DevRel can help the company stay competitive and agile in the fast-paced tech industry.

Expanded developer ecosystem

DevRel initiatives like hackathons, developer programs, and open-source contributions can attract more developers to the company’s ecosystem. This can lead to the development of third-party tools, integrations, and add-ons that enhance the functionality and reach of the company’s products.

Valuable feedback

DevRel professionals serve as a bridge between the company and the developer community, ensuring that feedback from developers is taken into account when making product decisions. This can help the company prioritize features and improvements that truly matter to the users.

Increased visibility

DevRel professionals often attend and speak at conferences, meetups, and other industry events, showcasing the company’s technology and sharing expertise. This increases brand awareness and visibility within the developer community and the broader tech industry.

Cost-effective marketing

DevRel initiatives can provide a cost-effective means of marketing and promoting the company’s products and services. By focusing on creating valuable content and resources, DevRel teams can organically attract and engage with the developer community, reducing the need for traditional advertising and marketing campaigns.

Internal advocacy

DevRel professionals act as the voice of the developer within the company, ensuring that product, engineering, and marketing teams understand and address the needs and concerns of the developer community. This leads to better-aligned products and services that cater to the actual needs of the users.

What is a typical devrel salary?

The typical salary of a DevRel engineer can vary widely depending on factors such as experience, location, company size, and industry. In general, DevRel professionals can expect to earn a competitive salary compared to other software engineering roles.

Over the course of my 22+ years helping hundreds of companies build technical communities, the average base salary for a DevRel engineer in the United States is around $90,000 to $130,000 per year.

However, more experienced DevRel engineers, particularly those working for large tech companies, could earn significantly more, with salaries exceeding $150,000 or rising above $400,000 in some cases. Some of the larger companies even get to $1m+ for notable devrel leaders.

It is essential to note that salaries can also vary significantly by country or region.

In addition to the base salary, DevRel engineers may also be eligible for bonuses, stock options, or other benefits, which can further increase their total compensation.

To get a more accurate and up-to-date picture of DevRel engineer salaries, you can consult various resources such as Glassdoor, Payscale, or other job and salary websites. You can also network with DevRel professionals in your area to gain more insight into the earning potential within this field.

How to measure success in developer relations?

Measuring success in Developer Relations can be challenging due to the diverse range of activities and goals associated with the field.

However, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that can help evaluate the effectiveness of DevRel efforts. Here are some common ways to measure success in Developer Relations:

  1. Community growth: Track the number of developers joining your community, participating in forums, or subscribing to newsletters. A growing community is a strong indication that your DevRel efforts are resonating with developers and attracting new members.
  2. Engagement: Measure the level of interaction within the developer community, including forum posts, social media mentions, or event attendance. High engagement levels show that developers find value in your content and resources, fostering a more active and vibrant community.
  3. Technical content consumption: Monitor the usage of your technical resources, such as blog views, tutorial completions, and documentation page visits. This can help you understand which topics are most valuable to your audience and guide your content strategy.
  4. Developer satisfaction: Conduct surveys or collect feedback from developers to gauge their satisfaction with your products, resources, and support. High satisfaction levels indicate that you’re meeting the needs and expectations of your developer community.
  5. Product adoption: Track the number of new users, active users, or API calls made by developers. An increase in these metrics demonstrates that your DevRel efforts are contributing to greater product adoption and usage.
  6. Developer contributions: Measure the number of contributions made by developers, such as bug reports, feature requests, or pull requests. This can help you assess the impact of your DevRel initiatives on fostering collaboration and innovation.
  7. Internal advocacy: Evaluate how effectively your DevRel team is representing the developer’s voice within the company. This can include the number of product improvements or feature requests driven by developer feedback or the level of collaboration between your DevRel team and other departments.
  8. Event success: Assess the impact of your events, such as webinars, workshops, or conferences, by tracking attendance, feedback, or leads generated. Successful events will increase brand awareness, community engagement, and product adoption.

Remember that not all KPIs and metrics will be equally important for every organization or DevRel team…

…so, identify the key goals of your Developer Relations strategy and select the most relevant metrics to measure success. Regularly review and adjust your strategy based on your findings to ensure continuous improvement and alignment with your organization’s objectives.

How to find a developer relations job?

Here is a video I put together that will help:

Go on…go watch it…it just might help. 🙂

Finding a Developer Relations job involves a combination of research, networking, and showcasing your skills and experience. Here are some steps to help you find a DevRel job:

Start by researching the industry. Familiarize yourself with the DevRel landscape, including the various roles, responsibilities, and skills required. Understand the differences between Developer Advocates, Developer Evangelists, and Community Managers, and determine which role best aligns with your interests and strengths.

Next, update your resume and online profiles. Be sure to highlight your relevant experience, technical skills, and accomplishments related to DevRel, such as public speaking, content creation, community management, or event organization. Ensure your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or portfolio showcases your expertise and passion for DevRel.

If you haven’t already, create a presence in the developer community. Actively participate in developer communities, forums, or social media platforms related to your area of interest. Share your knowledge, answer questions, and engage with other members to build your reputation and visibility.

It might sound a little cheesy, but network with DevRel professionals. Connect with DevRel professionals through social media, conferences, meetups, or online communities. Networking can help you learn about job opportunities, get advice, and gain insights into the DevRel job market.

As part of this, be sure to attend industry events. Attend conferences, meetups, workshops, hackathons, or webinars related to DevRel or your specific technology interests. These events can help you learn about the latest trends, network with professionals, and discover job opportunities.

Be sure to develop a content portfolio. Create and share technical content, such as blog posts, tutorials, or videos, to demonstrate your ability to communicate complex topics effectively. This will serve as proof of your expertise and communication skills, which are highly valued in DevRel roles.

Always start by leverage your existing network if you have connections. Reach out to your professional network, including colleagues, friends, or alumni, to inquire about DevRel job opportunities within their organizations.

If you don’t have connections, use job search platforms. Use job search platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, or specialized tech job boards to find DevRel job listings. Set up job alerts to receive notifications when new positions become available.

A great way to get started is to apply for internships or entry-level positions. If you’re new to DevRel, consider applying for internships or entry-level positions to gain experience and build your portfolio. This can increase your chances of landing a more specialized DevRel role later on.

Importantly though, tailor your application. When applying for DevRel jobs, customize your resume and cover letter to match the specific requirements and responsibilities of each role. Highlight your relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments to show your fit for the position.

How to prepare for a Developer Relations interview?

Preparing for a DevRel interview involves understanding the role, showcasing your technical knowledge, communication skills, and passion for engaging with developer communities.

Here are 10 tips to help you prepare for a DevRel interview:

  1. Research the company and its products: Learn about the company’s products, services, and technology stack. Understand the target developer audience and familiarize yourself with the company’s existing DevRel efforts, such as documentation, blog posts, and community forums.
  2. Review the job description: Carefully study the job description and note the specific skills, responsibilities, and requirements. Be prepared to discuss your experience and accomplishments related to these aspects.
  3. Prepare your portfolio: Compile a portfolio of your technical content, such as blog posts, tutorials, videos, or code samples. Be ready to discuss your thought process, challenges faced, and the impact of your work. If you have experience speaking at events or hosting workshops, mention those as well.
  4. Be ready to showcase your technical knowledge: DevRel roles often require deep understanding of the technology you will be advocating. Be prepared to answer technical questions related to the company’s products or your area of expertise.
  5. Practice storytelling: Develop clear and concise stories about your experiences engaging with developer communities, solving technical problems, or creating content. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your answers and demonstrate your problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills.
  6. Prepare for behavioral questions: Be ready to answer questions about your teamwork, conflict resolution, time management, and adaptability. DevRel roles require strong interpersonal skills, so interviewers will be looking for candidates who can work well with others and handle challenging situations.
  7. Demonstrate your passion for developer communities: Share your experiences participating in or leading developer communities, forums, or open-source projects. Highlight your enthusiasm for helping others, learning from peers, and staying up-to-date with industry trends.
  8. Prepare questions for the interviewer: Show your interest in the role and company by preparing thoughtful questions about the DevRel team, company culture, goals, and expectations. This will also help you determine if the position is a good fit for you.
  9. Practice your communication skills: DevRel roles require excellent communication skills, so practice speaking clearly and confidently. Consider rehearsing your answers to potential interview questions with a friend or recording yourself to identify areas for improvement.
  10. Follow up after the interview: Send a thank-you email to the interviewer, expressing your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterating your interest in the position. This can leave a positive impression and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role.

All in all…a fun and rewarding job

So there we have it, a comprehensive overview of Developer Relations. If you want to up your game in DevRel, be sure to join the Bacon Bulletin, where I regularly send out valuable tips, tricks, and guidance for building incredible communities. It is totally FREE.

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