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Under the Hood of Developer Marketing: Best of Season 1 | Part 1

At /Data, we pride ourselves on being the analysts of the developer economy. Developer marketing and developer relations (or DevRel for industry insiders) are in our DNA. In our annual Future Developer Summit event, we bring together some of the champions of the industry and ask them how they do it. In September 2018 we published the output of the insights from those events, a walkthrough guide to successful developer marketing, essential to new professionals in the field and still relevant even to the most seasoned veterans.

Still, we felt that we had so many more topics to cover and many more professionals we wanted to be heard. So, in March 2019, we launched our podcast series Under the Hood of Developer Marketing, where we invited professionals to share their success and failure stories in 40-minute interviews.

After 6 episodes, we’re ready to wrap up our first season. Here’s a collage of some of the best parts from our first episodes, but we encourage listening for yourself so you don’t miss anything!

Developer marketing and developer relations (DevRel) are not the same.

They are interlinked.

Jo Stichbury, our podcast host, tackled that topic specifically in a previous blog post. Yet, if we were to sum it up here, we’d use Andreas Constantinou words from episode 1:

“I’ve been grappling with that distinction for a while. For me, it maps roughly as marketing vs client relations map in any other field. Marketing is about defining target audience, marketing plans, engagement channels, how to reach developers, product marketing and communications. Relations is about all the fieldwork, working with developers to help them understand how to use your tools to build better apps. Going from the company to the developer and then from the developer to the company. Some companies call that Developer Advocates.”

What skills should a DevRel professional possess?

Passion. Curiosity. Empathy. Inclusion.

Passion By Mary Thengvall

“They [DevRel professionals] are passionate about their community. They want to enable the developers and community they are working with, to do their best possible work. […] That passion leads them to give talks about best practices or connect more people because they’re interested in digging those relationships within the community. And that passion for their community really drives it and you can see it on the technical work they’re doing, and the community work they’re doing.”

By Jeremy Meiss

“I love building relationships. I think it is just exciting and brings a lot of a purpose to do what I do. It is what really drives me to be a part of [DevRel] and spend this as my career. It’s something I’ve I really passionate about.”

Inclusion By Katherine Miller

“The events that have been done really effectively are the ones that really understand the different audiences and craft experiences and content that match the needs of those audiences. Whether you are there as an attendee, as press, as an analyst, as a partner, as a practitioner, there’s a place for you at the event and you know how to find it. And when you walk away from an event, you feel that you have gotten out of the event that what you’re looking for.”

By Adam FitzGerald

“With Diversity, the most important thing is to make sure the internal culture has the sorts of tools and mechanisms that make for better understanding.”

By Arabella David

“We have the online component and the in-person component. The in-person component helps me measurably in increasing the diversity and inclusion. There is always a venue and a reason for people to come and hang out together and do something together. Once you boil these basic human needs to get together and make things together, you have unlocked a whole new level of inclusion.”

By Jeremy Meiss:

“You have to know, what’s your audience like and why are they coming there, what are the things they enjoy the most. So that you can help craft an experience that meets that.”

Empathy By Arabella David:

“What helps me get the best out of everybody and produce the best for developers, is always keeping their needs and what they want prioritised.”

By Jeremy Meiss:

“Developers don’t care that you know, until they know that you care. That embodies that empathy and developer advocacy so much.[…] It’s important to have a good code of conduct, you can’t deal in just black and white. There’s the importance of understanding that each situation is different and keeping community trajectory and health at the forefront of your decisions ”

By Adam Fitzgerald:

“You really need to understand that talking to developers is a critical part of what means business success. A developer actually means something to you and might even drive your [product] success.”

Curiosity By Adam Speyer

“[For me] I think what happened is…I just jumped in. You need some technical acumen or an interest and really a good dose of curiosity. I think understanding of the things that matter, just jumping in and learning in that way.”

By Adam FitzGerald

“Curiosity I would say is the one thing [on how to extend yourself.] I like keep being curious. It’s the one thing that I would keep reinforcing to my younger self.

What do developers think of marketing?

Fasten your seatbelts because Adrian Speyer sums it in a great way

“Most of the time the answer I got from them [developers] is that they want frictionless experiences. They just want to get the answers, they need to move the project forward. They really enjoy seeing how people are ingenious and doing things and solving problems. And of course they’re very, very allergic to obvious marketing ploys. So I think authenticity is really important. I think really it was hard with marketing messages and is probably not the way to go. And certainly focus on showcasing people that are creating crazy or cool things with your project.”

You can find Part 2, which further highlights season 1 of our podcast series in the next article.

In the meantime, why not listen for yourself and let us know about the common themes you spotted in the interviews. We noticed more than a few!

You can listen to all our episodes at the "Podcast" page.


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