How to move up in your organization

How does one move up in their organization as a DevRel? What does that "up" even look like if it even exists! Let's take notes from Chris Noring who is a Developer Advocate at Microsoft.


Promotions don't just happen by hard work, it's a mental shfit, it's a promotional comapaign, it's a ton of work. But for the right company for the right mission, it will be worth it.


  • If you already have a career in DevRel, you must've already done all/most of the following-

    • Created written content

    • Created video content

    • Spoken at meetups and conferences

    • Working with the product team to advocate for user's feedback

  • Okay, so that's all done, what comes next? How does one move up in their organization and what does this "up" look like?

What's Next?


  • Managing various functions or teams.

  • Genuine interest in people and wanting to see them grow is important if you choose this path.

Individual Contributor

  • This is a great option if you want to continue what you are already doing.

  • It's all about the impact and choosing your time wisely.

  • Time being a finite resource, make sure you make it count.

How to make the time count?

  • List of did I questions --

    • Improve the product?

      • DevRel was hired to grow the product in some way or another.

    • Change the way we work?

      • Finding a way your team and you perform tasks more efficiently.

      • Suggesting ways to do the job, better.

    • Are people aware of the work?

      • Making sure that people are aware of the work that you do.

      • Internal communities shouldn't be left out. Let the people you are working with know what you are up to.

      • Helps in increasing trust once people start seeing you as someone who brings about changes and comes with valuable input.

    • Measuring Impacts?

      • The aim should be to constantly measure the impacts of almost everything. But can all activities be measured in terms of impact? Arguably, yes and no, but that at least gives you a little push to measure activities you do.

      • If you can't put in terms of numbers, become a storyteller. Stories are way easier to explain than numbers.

How to get there?

  • One definitely needs to keep growing their skills. If you are a great content creator and struggle to strategize or talk to management -- learn how to.

    • Write a strategy doc

      • Missions, Visions and the impacts of the work that you are doing.

    • Put yourself in a manager's position

      • Whatever position you are aiming for-- put yourself in their shoes and think about how they would their jobs and how they formulate their strategies for such a massive crowd under them.

      • Looks at their way of communicating -- their style of email writing.

      • Basically, watch 👀 and learn.

    • Be brave

      • Opportunities come knocking? Take it!

      • Fire, passion, courage, Rambo it!

      • Things will be outside your comfort zone -- adopt a growth mindset.

    • Laugh in the face of hardship

      • Times might get tough, high-level management, politics

    • Get a mentor

      • There's always someone who has taken the same path before as you. Even though their journey might not be your journey, listen, there's something to be learnt about human behaviour.

    • Tell people you want up

      • Tell people you work with/around you that you want to "up".

      • Align yourself to the mission.

      • Committing publicly pushes you harder.

    • Having/Making the manager believe in you

      • The blog mentioned about "having" a manager that believes in you, will make you deliver above your ability. It's true, but if you don't "have" one, "make" them believe in you by working hard.

It's sometimes very hard to navigate being a manager or mange things at a high-level cause it's all about politics. Sometimes you need to circle the problem and listen and just live to fight another day.

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