The Business Value of Developer Relations: How and Why Technical Communities Are Key To Your Success ペーパーバック – 2018/10/11
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Discover the true value of Developer Relations as you learn to build and maintain positive relationships with your developer community. Use the principles laid out in this book to walk through your company goals and discover how you can formulate a plan tailored to your specific needs.
First you will understand the value of a technical community: why you need to foster a community and how to do it. Then you will learn how to be involved in community building on a daily basis: finding the right audience, walking the tightrope between representing the company and building a personal brand, in-person events, and more.
Featuring interviews with Developer Relations professionals from many successful companies including Red Hat, Google, Chef, Docker, Mozilla, SparkPost, Heroku, Twilio, CoreOS, and more, and with a foreword by Jono Bacon, The Business Value of Developer Relations is the perfect book for anyone who is working in the tech industry and wants to understand where DevRel is now and how to get involved. Don’t get left behind – join the community today.
What You’ll Learn
- Define community and sell community to your company
Find, build, and engage with the community
Determine how and when to hire community managers
Build your own personal brand
Who This Book Is For
Any business leaders/owners/stakeholders in the tech industry, tech evangelists, community managers or developer advocates.
Mary Thengvall is a connector of people at heart, both personally and professionally. She loves digging into the strategy of how to build and foster developer communities and has been doing so for over 10 years. After building community programs at O’Reilly Media, Chef Software, and SparkPost, she’s now consulting for companies looking to build out a Developer Relations strategy. She's the author of the first book on Developer Relations: The Business Value of Developer Relations (Apress, 2018).
Mary is a co-host of Community Pulse, a podcast for community managers and developer evangelists who are looking for information on community building. She curates DevRel Weekly, a weekly newsletter that brings you a curated list of articles, job postings, and events every Thursday.
She is also a member of Prompt, a non-profit that encourages people to openly talk about mental illness in tech. She speaks at various conferences and events about building and fostering technical communities as well as how to prevent burnout in yourself and your team.
She can be found on Twitter @mary_grace.
Background: About 5 years ago, I left academia (research computing, large scale genomics data) and into industry with the mission to move the field to leverage the cloud more. Needless to say, their were no guideposts and by necessity we made made things up as we went along. A lot of mistakes were made, but we learned from those and kept at it. Eventually our group closely resembled what this book describes as a Developer Advocate group, but with a larger component of outbound market development activities. I am very proud of the work we did and largely we succeeded in transforming the genomics community to embrace cloud, which allows for every scientist, not just those at leading institutions with $$$$ to have world-class HPC centers, to work with petabytes of data and make novel discoveries.
One item that we never tackled well, however, was engaging the internal stakeholders to convince them that our core mission of shaping and growing the market were valuable in and of themselves, and we kept getting measured by direct sales contributions, or confused as pre-sales engineers. Needless to say, the group was underwent about 4 re-orgs during my time there and eventually I left the team, which was shortly disbanded after that.
The practical advice and the language used in this book would have saved us a lot of pain if we could have clearly communicated the business value of a group like ours to the broader business. Personally, reading the book allowed me some self-reflection and a framework to analyze just what went wrong, and how I can structure my initiatives in the future. I am already implementing some of the guidance and can already see the difference in understanding in the new group I am a part of now.
So thanks for the book! I just wish I had it 5 years ago ;-)
And now to the crux of the biscuit - chapter 4. Yes, this is the answer on "how do you measure this thing?!". No silver bullets, no magic solutions, but a great analysis on what can help. Brilliant!
In the book, the author makes a great case for the ROI of developer communities; the tactics to cultivate, build, maintain, and grow those communities; and exactly how to create independent and objective measurements around the goals you have for that community.
While this book is tactical enough for developer relations professionals, product managers, LOB leaders, and even founders and investors should pick up a copy and share it with their teams. You may end up choosing to invest in a community before some other, less useful tactics because of it.