Developer Advocacy

Understanding company goals

Whenever it has come asking as to "what is the main role of DevRel team"? The answer-- "It totally depends", which definitely raises more doubt in the mind of the person asking it.

Summary

  • Importance of understanding the main role of DevRel.

  • Empowerment of developer community should be a priority, always.

  • It is important to understand the difference between metrics and vanity metrics.

  • Work output might not measure impact but does give short-term numbers to assess the situation.

  • To successfully prove the value of our work, we need to attach the main goals of the Developer Relations department to the goals that are shared by the company as a whole.

  • Libby Boxes, a predictive framework popularized by Cornell Accounting Professor Robert Libby, allow us to draw directly from the company objectives all the way down to the specific work output we’re working toward during a specific sprint (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.)

  • Libby boxes for DevRel team ensure they’re working toward common company goals while still serving the community.

Scribbles

Main goal of DevRel

  • No matter what company you're at -- is to support the company's empowerment of the developer community

  • A stable Developer Relations team that can easily point to the value they're bringing to the community as well as the company.

Metrics

  • Metrics should prove the value and impact of the work

  • Understanding the difference between metrics and vanity metrics is a must

Vanity Metrics

  • Items that are easy to track but don’t often speak to the larger business value of the work you’re doing.

  • Examples:

    • Social Media Statistics

    • Number of Downloads

    • Number of Talks Given or Tutorials Written

    • What Gaps You’ve Filled (e.g. Technical Support Staff for the Community Forum, Events Management, Social Media Management, Project Manager for Product or Engineering Teams, etc.)

Work Output

  • Second category of metrics that are tracked

  • Example would be like tracking the output of the tasks you have done over a span of time which can give you short term numbers.

  • These might not be able to measure the impact of the work on your community or company.

Filling gaps

  • One of the most debated questions -- "Which team or space does DevRel fit in"?

  • There is no such space or team that can truly define the unique qualities that DevRel brings to the table.

Finding the right goals

  • In order to successfully prove the value of our work in a way that the company understands and sees as beneficial, we need to attach the main goals of the Developer Relations department to the goals that are shared by the company as a whole.

    • This work has to be done in a way the company understands

    • This work needs to be seen as beneficial

    • The work that we’re doing needs to be attached to the team goals -> pointing to broader company goals

Big Question

How can we help our colleagues, using our own unique talents to support their goals, while still providing value to the community?

  • Gather community opinions and translate them into actionable feedback.

  • Connect with community members one-on-one and start a relationship

  • Make introductions between community members and our coworkers

LIBBY Boxes

  • Helps the DevRel team ensure they’re working toward common company goals while still serving the community.

  • Gives senior leadership a way to see the direct impact the DevRel team

  • The top row of boxes is for the concepts or ideas that you’re working toward

  • Lower boxes can be utilized once general ideas are identified for various initiatives one wants to follow.

  • Gives way to easily trace your day-to-day work back to the company goals as a whole

Should you care?

  • Yes! Even if you aren't working on DevRel strategies or work for an organization that doesn't reply on proving your values derived from communities. You should!

  • Attaching our day-to-day work to the broader company goals is how we ensure the longevity of our role.

In order to successfully prove the value of our work in a way that the company understands and sees as beneficial, we need to attach the main goals of the Developer Relations department to the goals that are shared by the company as a whole.

  • Developer Relations goals are attached to the broader company goals.