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  • Writer's pictureArsalan Khattak

Early Days as a Developer Advocate at XYZ company


Welcome to your new journey as a Developer Advocate at XYZ company! This guide is here to help you learn the key things to remember, making a great impression on your manager, directors, and team.

Note: This guide is for when you've decided to join the company and have signed the contract.


Before Day 01

Whether coming from a different company, shifting from another role like software engineering, or stepping into your first job, taking a week off before day 01 is beneficial for your health.

Take this time to relax with family, go on a trip, or enjoy activities that refresh your mind. This break will help you start your new job with fresh energy and enthusiasm.


Getting Familiar

You're stepping into a new world with a new position, new responsibilities, a new team, and a new environment. It's natural to need some time to adjust and let your brain get used to the new setting and role.

The first few weeks are about learning and getting comfortable in your new environment. Progress might feel slow, but that's a part of the onboarding journey. Things will pick up speed as you start understanding more.

Now is the time to learn and absorb, not to rush into planning strategies or defining roadmaps. Meet with your team members, especially your manager or the person you'll report to. Understand the expectations and learn what the company hopes to achieve with your role.

Based on these expectations - you will be planning your strategies. For example, if you’re the first one in the DevRel team and you’re reporting directly to the CEO, the following are the expectations of the stakeholders:

  • Actively engage with the online and offline developer community to build a positive brand image.

  • Create regular content on Social media (i.e., Twitter and LinkedIn)

  • Host annual XConf in collaboration with other tech companies

  • Gather and share informative content such as tutorials, blogs, and videos to educate and assist developers

  • Gather feedback from the developer community to internal teams to help improve production and services.

Once you understand the expectations, you can use them later to measure success by comparing your progress with those expectations; we will discuss that later.


Planning your strategy

Now that you have a grasp on the company’s expectations and you’re learning the new skills you need to acquire, it’s time to plan your strategy. Begin by setting short-term and long-term goals aligned with your company’s objectives. This will help you narrow down.

Short team goals:

  • Establish a regular schedule for engaging with the developer community both online and offline.

  • Start creating and sharing content on social media to build a presence.

Long-term goals:

  • Organize the annual XConf and other collaborative events to foster partnerships.

  • Develop a feedback loop to continuously improve the company’s products and services based on community feedback.


Feedback loop creating

At this point, you’re still new to the company, and you have to learn new things. One thing that is quite helpful is establishing a mechanism for collecting and acting on feedback internally and externally.


Internally

Start with asking for feedback on social posts and video content from the team. Ask for improvements and suggestions. You will be able to get feedback on this, like the content tone, which can be improved before publishing content.

Ensure to include your manager or the person you directly report to. This will ensure both of you are aligned in terms of work.


Externally

A second feedback can be taken from people outside the company - this is like a beta access. You’re sharing content outside the company but with a few people.

Please think of this as you’re writing a book, and you need people to review it, so you reach out to some friends and industry experts and ask them to give you a read to your book before you make it public and available to everyone.

This type of feedback doesn’t tell you about the content tone and alignment with the company, but it can give you an idea of how an outsider will digest the content.


Creating Systems

As you start taking responsibility, start documenting it to make it easy for others to understand what’s happening, especially your manager. Moreover, begin creating processes or systems to help you repeat the tasks.

For example, for posting content on social platforms, there should be a platform where everyone can view the upcoming posts and a specific time for every post if anyone wants to provide feedback.

Everything should be planned and go through a process before you make it public. Creating that process is a time-consuming task, and you have to experiment with something, but once you have a basic system, you will see things speed up. Moreover, start with a fundamental process and go from there; don’t overcomplicate things.

Note: You may not always need to create a system. There might be a process that’s being followed already. If that’s the case - look for improvements. Otherwise, create one from scratch.


Measuring success

At this point - you have to start looking at the success to see if the work you’re putting in is creating an impact and you’re getting closer to the goals.

One of the standard practices companies follow is using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure success. The KPs are measurable values demonstrating how effectively a company or individual achieves vital business objectives. You can define the KPIs when you start working on the content.

If your company doesn’t follow the KPIs practice, you can write your quarterly KPIs and try to achieve this. Example KPIs are:

  • Publish at least ten insightful blog articles to educate the developer community.

  • Grow the Twitter community to 10,000 followers through engaging and relevant content.

  • Produce at least ten in-depth video tutorials and a minimum of 25 bite-sized video snippets to assist and educate developers.

At the end of the quarter, you can review this list and compare it with your work to measure the success. It’s possible and expected that by the end of the quarter, you will achieve 2 out of 3 KPIs; if that’s the case, you can move the unfinished KPIs to the next quarter.

When writing your KPIs, balance realistic goals and going too easy. Write KPIs you think you can achieve, but ensure they are not too simple or easy. For example, publishing one blog article is a too easy task for a quarter.


Conclusion

As you delve deeper into your role, remember the essence of a Developer Advocate lies in fostering a symbiotic relationship between the developer community and the company. Your continuous efforts in engaging with the district, enhancing your skills, and measuring your success against well-defined KPIs will propel you forward and contribute significantly to XYZ company's vision.


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