An imaginative depiction of a WordPress conference scene, with a giant avocado emoji at the center, its pit replaced by the WordPress logo. Around it, a diverse group of people representing various ethnicities, genders, ages, and abilities are engaged in conversations, emphasizing inclusivity and accessibility within the community.

Exploring Developer Relations: Shaping Open Source and WordPress Communities

Developer Relations (DevRel) is all about connecting tech companies with developers. It’s a key part of making sure techies have the tools they need and feel part of a community where their ideas and work are appreciated. DevRel pros build this important bridge, ensuring smooth communication and collaboration. Especially in open-source areas like WordPress, they play a huge role in bringing together different people to innovate and respect each other’s contributions, making tech better for everyone.

As highlighted by Joost de Valk in his article on the need for more DevRel within WordPress, there’s a gap in awareness and implementation of DevRel practices. Much like Community Management and other career paths, Developer Relations is a profession wider than the WordPress community. It is key within many technology companies and not limited to web development.

This is the first post in a blog series, aiming to illuminate the DevRel field, explaining its roles, impact, and how it can foster growth and innovation within WordPress. By doing so, I hope to bridge the knowledge gap and showcase the value of DevRel in nurturing the community and enhancing collaboration.

Developer Relations: job descriptions, areas of focus

"An infographic titled 'Developer Relations Objectives' with a central diamond-shaped diagram divided into four key components: 'Developer Education', 'Developer Success', 'Developer Experience', and 'Developer Marketing'. Arrows connect these components in a cycle, with words along the arrows indicating the flow of engagement: 'Awareness', 'Activation', 'Engagement', and 'Retention', converging into 'Community' at the base. The graphic has a minimalistic design, primarily in black and white, and includes the handle @DevRelBook and the website at the bottom, with a Creative Commons BY-SA license symbol."
Developer Journey Map
  • Developer Advocates/Evangelists: Promote technology via content, speaking at events, and social media. This is the broad job title, while the remainder of titles here are specific areas of focus.
  • Developer Education: Offers resources for learning and effective product use.
    • Technical Writers: Create documentation, tutorials, and guides for developers’ understanding and use.
  • Developer Marketers: Specialize in communicating within developer communities.
    • Event Marketers: Specialize in promoting and increasing event attendance, creating memorable experiences that align with developer interests.
    • Field Marketing: Engages directly with potential users or developers in the field, often at events or meetups, to build relationships and gather product feedback.
  • Developer Experience Engineers: Enhance developers’ product interaction, focusing on SDKs, APIs, and usability.
  • Program Managers: Organize DevRel activities like events and sponsorships.
    • Open Source Program Directors or Managers mix open source into company strategy, ensure rules are followed, boost community ties, and push for both internal and external open source contributions.

Why do we need Developer Relations?

Developer Relations is pivotal internally for fostering product innovation and understanding user needs, externally for building and nurturing a developer community around a product, and within an open-source ecosystem for encouraging collaboration, contributions, and shared advancement. It ensures that products are developer-friendly and meet community expectations, enhances brand loyalty, and drives technological growth through collective input and effort.

Contributing to WordPress as a Developer Advocate at GoDaddy aligns with my role’s core objectives: enhancing GoDaddy’s offerings and understanding WordPress better. It’s about engaging with the community, sharing knowledge, and directly contributing to WordPress’s growth. This involvement helps me gain insights into users’ needs and challenges, ensuring GoDaddy’s services remain relevant and beneficial for WordPress users. It’s a reciprocal relationship where both GoDaddy and the WordPress community benefit from shared expertise and improvements.

Looking ahead in Developer Relations

Throughout this series, I’ll cover topics like:

  • A day in the life of a Developer Advocate
  • Community Management within DevRel
  • Developer Advocates contributing to WordPress and Open Source
  • Developer Advocates working for WordPress hosts and extenders
  • DevRel Strategies for Success
  • DevRel Resources, Tools, and Technologies
  • Building and Nurturing Developer Communities
  • Contributing to WordPress: A Guide for Developer Advocates
  • Future Trends in Developer Relations and WordPress

Let’s dig in to DevRel

As I wrap up this introduction to Developer Relations, I’m excited to delve deeper into its significance within the WordPress community and beyond. Together, we’ve explored how DevRel bridges the gap between tech companies and developers, fostering collaboration and innovation. Join me on this journey as we uncover the intricacies of Developer Relations and its profound impact on open-source communities like WordPress. Let’s continue to learn, grow, and shape the future of technology together.