Fireside with Voxgig for Professional Speakers

Wesley Faulkner

Published On:
Wesley Faulkner
Podcast Host
Richard Roger
Voxgig Founder
Podcast Guest
Wesley Faulkner
Podcaster & Senior Community Manager

On this episode of the podcast Richard speaks to Wesley Faulkner. You may have heard Wesley described as the philosopher of DevRel, and true to his moniker, he brings the deep questions with him to this chat. The nuts and bolts of tech is all very interesting, but equally important to the success of DevRel is the ability to step back and take in the big picture. Wesley has us covered in this department.

We get straight into one of the biggest issues DevRel has faced in 2023: layoffs. We’ve talked about it a lot this year, which isn’t surprising considering the almost fifteen per cent cut in DevRel jobs. It’s not something we haven’t been through before, but it still has quite the effect on morale. Wesley discusses this practice of “trimming the fat” that is beloved by CFOs in times of high interest rates. And we can see why. On the surface, it’s simple - sure, you lose a few talented people, but you also lose those pesky salary payments that have been weighing down the budget.

But in these situations we must ask ourselves why DevRel is seen as such an easy target. As Richard tells Wesley, he’s often wondered why DevRel must spend so much time justifying its existence, but Marketing and Sales and Customer Service departments don’t have to.

According to Wesley, what DevRel needs is to make the PR machine work for us. When the people at the Harvard Business Review, and other publications decide to write about us, others will follow. We can see where he’s coming from. Tech people are like magpies, they like to collect shiny things. Whatever's cool, whatever’s trending. So if there are any celebrity publicists out there looking for a new client, I think DevRel might just need your help.

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See Show Transcripts

Interview Intro

Richard Rodger:  [0:00:00] Welcome to the Voxgig Podcast. We talk to people in the developer community about developer relations, public speaking and community events. For more details, visit All right, let's get started. 

In this episode, I’m speaking to Wesley Faulkner, who, if you have heard him talk, you might well describe as the philosopher of dev rel. In our chat, we cover a lot of ground, and we also discuss the insight that it is not just senior management that must understand the value of developer relations, but actually the wider world. And part of our problems maybe come from the fact that there has yet to be a Harvard Business Review article discussing the value that we provide to industries across the board. 

All righty, let us get philosophical. [0:00:53]

Main Interview

Wesley Faulkner

Richard Rodger:  [0:00:55] Wesley, Welcome to the Fireside with Voxgig Podcast; it’s great to have you on. I’ve been chasing you for a while, so thank you very much for being a guest. [0:01:01]

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:01:03] Sorry for the delay. That was mostly on my part; I’ve been travelling a lot. [0:01:06]

Richard Rodger:  [0:01:07] The world, the life of the dev rel: getting on planes, flying around the place. So glamorous. [0:01:12] 

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:01:13] Yes. Everyone has their cross to carry, so that’s mine. [0:01:17] 

Richard Rodger:  [0:01:18] How do we dev rels take in all that champagne on first class. [0:01:21] 

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:01:23] The massages help. 

Richard Rodger:  [0:01:25] Yeah, they do; they do. No, the one time I got bumped to first class, I had slides to do for a talk that I hadn’t done, so I had to – couldn’t take the champagne. I had to work. [0:01:35] 

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:01:38] I don’t remember the last time I flew first class, ever actually. Maybe two years ago. I still had some legacy status with American and I had to go somewhere, so it’s been a while. I haven’t – I try not to travel, but it’s been a particularly busy time of year, with some lucky things and some work-related things all combining into one. [0:02:04] 

Richard Rodger:  [0:02:06] I don’t – the amount of travel that we used to do, flying that we used to do pre-COVID, was crazy. I used to get chest infections and everything. I’m glad that it’s much reduced now. But speaking of the state of things, the developer relations – the state of developer relations report has just come out. Let’s talk about that a little bit – layoffs, diversity, all sorts of stuff. What’s your – I know you were involved, but what are – I don’t know if the words highlights is correct, but what are the things that we should be paying attention to? [0:02:44] 

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:02:46] First, just for those who aren’t familiar, this is the 10th report, so after 10 years, so it’s great to be able to – it’s a reflection of this part year, but also the way that the report comes together in terms of the questions have evolved over time, so it’s great to have that kind of refinement over the decade. That Carolyn Lewko, who is the person who’s spearheaded the report – so her work in this field is unmatched at the moment. 

Also, this is the first time the report has been 100% online from viewing. Usually, it’s a PDF that you have to download, so it’s great to be more available this year. So, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can go to and view the report right there. You don’t need to – it’s not even email gated or anything like that, so you can just view it. 

One of the things that caught my eye and made me shed a tear is the rate of people being laid off in just the one-year period from the previous survey, a mindblowing 15%. Now when you think about developer relations, it’s still a budding industry or profession, a specialization. And 15% when you think about the limited number of people in dev rel, that is a huge chunk of the expertise and the specialization that people are doing on a day-to-day basis. 

And this was done – I would say the current climate now is also really hard to find a job in dev rel. From – if you think about just the year before, salaries climbed; there weren’t enough people for the jobs that were available. And now it’s a really big shift for 15% to be able to be let go. And with a lot of things, it might have been that what they called – what – the free money phenomenon, where interest rates were so low, there was a lot of investments. 

And there was a specific retention strategy, because people didn’t want to go through the hiring process again. So, they were – even if they ran low on money and funds, they would still retain some employees, because hiring is hard. And being able to let go 15% is hard. But we don’t see this just in the start-up sector; we see it for companies that are- [0:05:32] 

Richard Rodger:  [0:05:33] Right. That’s the scary thing. It was not just- [0:05:34] 

Wesley Faulkner:  [0:05:35] Yes. All across the board. 

Richard Rodger:  [0:05:36] -the startups that couldn’t get series B. It was some pretty established companies. But you gotta think the overall trend has to be upwards, because software is eating the world etc. Everybody needs an API these days. Do you think it’s going to come back? Maybe it’ll come back a little more solidly. 

Wesley Faulkner:  I don’t know. During the recession – when – 2008, I think it was – when the housing market plummeted. A lot of people who were realters or in rel estate lost their jobs because they weren’t able to survive or navigate that. And they said the year before, there was lot – almost free money; houses were selling right and left. And if you just had a license, you were just – you could print your own money. And they said it took that recession to wash out those who were in it for the prestige or for the – to do no work. 

I don’t know if that’s the same with dev rel – it could be the same. But part of the mystique with dev rel – you alluded at the beginning – is that it’s a lot of travel. It’s a lot of going to exotic place; so it’s a lot of doing things that feel very glamorous. And the issue with that is that there’s a lot of work that takes to even get that far. 

If you do public speaking, there’s aa CFP process. There’s a process where you need to make sure that you do the refinement of the talks; you do the refinement of getting a presentation ready. And then delivering, so that you can continue that snowball effect. Those things are really had to do if you’re just talking about public speaking or not also talking about – doing the work. 

Figuring out who wants to hear your message, where those people are going to be gathered. How can you make sure you show value? Because that’s also part of the recession, is people who – not recession, but the layoffs – of showing that what I did matters and what I did made an impact on the basis. 

There’s a lot to navigate, and dev rel in itself is something that takes a lot of stamina. With the people who got laid off, a big chunk of them left. They either went back to either being software developers or going – if they’re career switchers, going back to where they want. When you’re talking about coming back-

Richard Rodger:  We’re seeing a bit of that, where people are like, “Dev rel’s not for me. I’m going to go back to being a coder.” And you’re seeing people say maybe there’s a bit more money in being a staff engineer, something like that. Maybe that’s a better career path. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Or more security, yes, because we – I don’t think we saw the same numbers for developers. 

Richard Rodger:  No. Or the other question is, now I’m a dev rel; I can be head of dev rel. Where do I go next? You – some people feel there isn’t that career path there. We’re talking ourselves out of a job here. 

Wesley Faulkner:  It’s more like having the right expectations, not on a person in dev rel, but also the people who hire dev rel. The number is not just the people who are let go because of them not being seen as ineffective, but also, it’s part of it as not – the people not understanding what they’re getting or what they’re looking for. 

Richard Rodger:  Yeah, and part of it is what you said when we were talking before. There’s an element of liking the job, wanting to do the job for its own sake – being creative, taking part in communities, literally getting a kick out of getting up on stage and talking about your ideas and getting feedback. You have to like that stuff. 

There’s a lot of us – a lot of us end up in dev rel for – I was a coder, Java coder, for 10 years in a backroom, tapping the keys not speaking to anybody. And I like the job, but wow, when I discovered community stuff and conferences and meetups, I like that a whole lot more. And you do have to choose it and it has to choose you, right? 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yes. We talked about we started recording, who I got on this path. And it’s always been, I was exposed to something and then I loved it and I wanted to do it more. Then I was exposed to something else and I loved it and I wanted to do it more. That was part of my journey, is – so this exists and you can do this, and I like doing those things and leaning into my skillset and my interests and then finding a job that fits that, which was a big part of it. 

Richard Rodger:  There’s another aspect to this, which is where do you think the layoffs happen. So, there’s a number of different roles in dev rel, and one of them is this publicly visible role where you are thought leadership, blah, blah, blah, whatever – speaking at conferences. But then you also have dev rel ops, which is people behind the scenes making stuff happen. Do you have any understanding of who suffered more in the layoffs? Was it more of the conference speaker types or the ops side of things? 

Wesley Faulkner:  I’ve seen it all the way across, but surprisingly, the ops got it more. I know several different people. Not just the ops, but also the strategy side, people who are – there is a – it was a short-term investment and not the long-term investment for some of these things, and once they were realized, that’s when they were let go. Once the – and it also felt like a domino. 

I’ve seen a lot of dev rel ops people that go first, and those who help with stats. Those are the people who help with numbers; those are the people who did some of the justifications. Those were the ones that informed budget; those were the people who informed forward looking strategy. And then once those pillars from behind the scenes were gone, then it made it harder for people who are more front and center to justify their impact and show their strategy of where to go forward or where they think are some of the weak points. 

And then they – their work was undermined, and it was a domino from the inside out, where people were trimming the fat. And then almost, the office space – so what do you do here? And – I get the data. You get the data; so you pull the data? Aggregate it from sales and customer service and all that. 

So, they have the data and you just bring it together? Yeah, I bring it together and I crunch those numbers. Can’t we just get an algorithm or – it’s just a lack of understanding of how pivotal and crucial these people are that power these things; you can’t do one without the other. 

Wesley Faulkner:  it still feels to me – because this stuff is still so new. I know this is the 10th report, but it still feels like we are fighting an uphill battle around people understanding the value of developer relations. And I always feel, in my own previous companies that I founded and worked at, developer relations has had such an insanely massive, positive financial impact, critical to the success of this company. 

And I talk to a lot of different people in the industry on this podcast, and that includes founders. Now not just founders of dev tools companies, but founders in general who are using developer relations. Spoke to a guy recently who’s setting up a – it’s a software that helps you design printed circuit boards. 

And it seems like there’s this huge divide between founders or leaders who understand the value of dev rel and they don’t need the metrics. Because they instinctively understand that a conversation had today will generate a sale in two years’ time. Community has fundamental value. 

Versus people who are obsessed with quarterly reports and measurements, and if you’re not demonstrating value, numerically, that’s it. And it seems like we can’t get over that. It seems almost to come from personal leadership as opposed to establishing this profession as a profession that has the same professional standing as accounts or marketing or engineering. It frustrates me so much. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yes. It’s a tenuous chain of people that rely – or you’ll have to rely on for your employment. So, your manager may understand and see that. The vice president, the senior vice president, the director and CEO – all those people need to understand and see that value for that to continue.  You have one break in that chain, one of those people, and that’s enough to have it all crumble down. It's like; I don’t believe you. That’s all the evidence we need. Let’s get rid of dev rel. 

Richard Rodger:  Yeah. What you gonna do? Why are we in this industry again? Why are we… 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah. And that shows – that’s part of the lack of integration. And no matter – I’ve been in several different meetings where people say – and I cannot even understand this from a little bit of – dev rel needs to show its value. Dev rel needs to show why it’s worth it. Dev rel needs to justify continuing investment. 

But when you think about other departments, sales, does sales need to keep saying, “We need sales, because it’s what sales brings.” No. It’s inherent in the notion of sales. Customer support, why do we need customer support? No-one has to keep making the case to exist like dev rel does, and htat’s unfair. It’s more of – there’s – I’m sure you’re familiar with the talk about where dev rel should sit in an org. 

Richard Rodger:  Oh, that one? 

Wesley Faulkner:  Should it be in – should it be under marketing; should it be under product? Where should it sit? And those people need to justify dev rel, not dev rel itself. The justification needs to be, here is what I’m doing to make sure that dev rel is supported and dev rel grows, not the other way round. 

And it’s the lack of leadership from those departments directly correlate to a lack of understanding of dev rel and what it’s good for. And the reason why I can say that with such confidence is because there’s so few people in dev rel that are elevated to those positions. That means that they have lack of understanding. They don’t have that base; they don’t know it intuitively to understand it. 

And the CMO is probably more over-indexed on traditional marketing methods. The CPO is over-indexing on traditional product metrics, because that’s what they’re taught and that’s what their experience is. And so, they are skeptical. It’s like:  “I was successful before dev rel. Why do I need dev rel?” And I don’t think that they really understand it. 

Richard Rodger:  You’ve described quit a few sales meetings for me. What do you think is the future of dev rel? Where do we go form here what do we do What should happen? 

Wesley Faulkner:  I can say what needs to happen. I’m not sure how we get there, but we need validation from those who have the ear of those who make the decisions. I’m talking about industry publications like Harvard Business Review or Ink Magazines or any of these general industry reports that get tons of eyeballs, where people decided to make where there are investments are going to be going forward. Whatever, the Gardiner Magic Quadrant or whatever you have that people – set business tones. There needs to be an emphasis about dev rel, and doing the work to educate those that need to be educated. 

Richard Rodger:  Yeah, because we just look like a bunch of nerds having a lamb party or something, at the moment, right? 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah. And the truth is, developers are different; they’re different. They’re smart; they’re discerning. They are intuitive; they are resourceful. They don’t just choose what’s put in front of them. They choose what’s best for their job, what’s best for their task and what’s best for their workflow. And the workflow is bespoke; their training is bespoke. 

Because we can talk about how they got to be a developer; could be self-trained. It could be bootcamp; it could be from a CS degree. It could be a graduate degree. It could be the – transitioning from multiple different disciplines and different verticals. We can talk about finance; we can talk about tools. 

We can talk about gaming. All of these – quantum computing? The areas are large. And this is one of the things where it’s – you can’t have a generic strategy. You can’t be super high level, but you have to be – meet them where they are. You have to be extremely in their space and in their communities. 

Richard Rodger:  We as developers are critical to a lot of sales processes these days, because maybe we’re not the person you have to sell to, but we’re one of the people who has to say yes to your product. I know I personally check out the API docs, and if I get the wrong sort of vibe from a vendor, I’m skeptical. Maybe we use somebody else for this bit of integration. There’s the value of dev rel right there. It’s -- 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah. And also, I’m sure as a developer, you’ve probably seen companies that sound 100% tone deaf, not only on how they present their product or service, but also how they iterate and adjust. And be like, “You’re going to fix that over this? You’re going to roll out this feature and not this feature? Or you’re actually – we’ve been at 12 iterations since this problem was reported and you’re not even going to hint at when it’s going to be addressed?”

That also – it’s hard to measure the negative, and that is one of the things that dev rel helps with is making sure that those negatives are seen. But when that value – that negative value is in that scene, it makes it hard for people to understand. Like, “We’re getting roasted on this feature.” They’ll be like, “No, people love it. Look at our numbers.” 

Those numbers are going to go away quickly as soon as there’s a competitor, or as soon as our competitor gets dev rel and then they understand our weak spots and be able to adapt those features. People are using our products, but it’s not because they want to – it’s because they have to. And as soon as they don’t have to, they’re going to leave. And not knowing that information could collapse a business. 

Richard Rodger:  This is not theoretical. This is exactly what happened with Stripe. I integrated so many payment systems before Stripe. The pain, the utter pain. All that stuff you just said. And then Stripe comes along; pays attention to developers. They have code on the home – I know they don’t anymore, but they used to have code on the homepage. Who are you going to use? These guys are devs, so that’s who I’m going to choose. They’re one of the biggest payment providers. There you go. Let me ask you a little bit about another trend that’s happening, which is AI. 

Wesley Faulkner:  What does that stand for? AI? This is the first I’m hearing of it, so… 

Richard Rodger:  Well, there was this guy called Babbage in about 1850. Actually, no. One of my favorite anecdotes about Babbage is, he demonstrates his difference engine to the Houses of Parliaments, all the lords. And one of the questions he gets is, “Sir, if you put in the wrong numbers, does it generate the wrong answers?” And his quote is so lovely. It’s like: “I cannot begin to contemplate the confusion of ideas that would generate such a question.” 

And eveyr time I deal with AI and people jumpinginto it and getting on the bandwagon, or tyring to deal with client expectations around AI. And even just talking to friends of mine, who – they are directors of AI in consultancies. The magic pixie dust effect is crazy, the expectations around what it can do versus reality is-

Wesley Faulkner:  What is that saying? Any advanced technology-

Richard Rodger:  Looks like magic, right? 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah, looks like magic. And some people, where their technology – where their base is from understanding, feels like it’s magic. And distinguishable from magic, that’s what it was. That thought that there’s some people who are like, “I have no idea how it works. Let’s ask the people who make it. How does it work?” “I have no idea how it works.” It’s like, “I can’t help you there. I can tell you how much data we put into it,” but yeah. That kind of thing is – that’s the pixie dust effect, is because nobody’s been able to answer the questions of how it actually works. 

Richard Rodger:  We’ve worked with badly behaved, slightly arrogant, self-important junior devs. I love junior devs; work with a load of them. Love mentoring, all that sort of stuff. But there are guys, and it is mostly guys, who think they know it all. That’s – I did; I know I did, back in the day. And it feels like when you get AI to generate software, you get tens of thousands of lines of code built by these extremely optimistic, slightly arrogant junior devs. I’d rather have it written by junior devs who are in a learning frame of mind, because at least that’s maintainable code. 

Wesley Faulkner:  I remember – and I’m sure evyeroen has done this when you first started coding. You make a bit of code and then you look back a bit after you learn a bit more. You’re like, “Oh- 

Richard Rodger:  Oh, God! 

Wesley Faulkner:  -can’t believe I wrote that. Let me review that.” 

Richard Rodger:  Still happens. 

Wesley Faulkner:  And then you feel a little better and then you learna little bit more, and then you’re like, “Oh!” And how that process repeats over and over and over and over. And even with the process of the code of, I have no tests written for this. Maybe I should do that or-

Richard Rodger:  Maybe I should. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Or security – I didn’t – I never cleaned my inputs. Let me sanitize that. And there are so many things that you can keep doing. And if you don’t have a learning mindset and your computer – and you stay in this fixed mindset saying, “It works. It does well,” then that’s totally ignoring that software changes. And there are new versions, and if you don’t continue learning and you also don’t continue reflecting, then you – you’re out of the cycle of how technology progresses. And you will be left in that same spot. 

And then when you go to then saying, “I need to get up to speed, it feels like you’re resetting almost all the way back to zero. 

Richard Rodger:  I do want to reserve judgment though, because it’s – there’s so many examples in history of people – the world will only ever need five computers. Said by the chairman of IBM, I think. So, you gotta be careful. Was t there a famous quote? Somebody asked Churchill or somebody like that what the effects of the Franco-Prussian War were on politics in Europe. 

And he said, “It’s too soon to tell.” We just don’t know. I’m both super excited, and there’s so many awesome things. And I use ChatGPT all the time. And sometimes it’s really dumbass and sometimes it’s awesome. It’s a great time to be alive, because there’s fun stuff happening for sure. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah. We also need to remember – what do they say? The future is here; it’s just not democratized. So, if you’re listening to this podcast, if you’re in this, realize that you’re probably a few years ahead of your colleagues or your family or your adjacent people in your life just for even being aware of how this stuff is being implemented. It may seem like AI is everywhere, going everywhere, but there are much more people who are clueless about this whole revolution thing. 

Richard Rodger:  Yeah. One to watch for sure. I don’t think you should be afraid. Even as a dev rel, you shouldn’t be afraid, because it magnifies your abilities. I would like to end with asking you about your personal journey and how you ended up doing this job. You said you – it wasn’t a choice, because you said previously you discovered the role. But how do you go from, I can code – people will pay me money – to all the stuff you’ve done now. Oh my God, your resumé is unstable. 

Wesley Faulkner:  It’s a culmination. I didn’t come out fully formed in this way, and there’s a lot of experiences that moved me in that direction. I won’t go too far back; I’ll go back to2010-ish, where I was a product development engineer at AMD. And while working there, we were developing a software that was going to ship on OMPCs.  It was called AMD Live at the time; it was for home entertainment PCs, when TiVo and DV-R was starting to flourish and getting into the mainstream. 

And because of my position of working on the engineering team but also working relaly closely inmarketing, I understood the talking points of both the marketing perspective and the engineering perspective. And so, I got sense to a lot of conferences, a lot of CES’s, a lot of conventions, to work the booth, to showcase our technology and answer questions from both the mainstream press, like the APBCs, the CBS’s or Good Morning Americans, but also to answer questions from the technology press, The Register or Tom’s Hardware Guide.  

Richard Rodger:  Watch out for The Register, if you don’t know. 

Wesley Faulkner:  And so, being able to answer those questions of knowledge from a deep technical understanding was a real benefit. But the exposure to that kind of forward, front-facing position and the networking and the – do the feedback and responses to move with what I was hearing and what I was learning. And then feeding it back to how work and the work input and then showing and making those adjustments for when I’m in front of the public again, that cycle got me really interested in marketing. 

I realized that the marketers, the people in the booth next to me who were marketers, weren’t able to ask the right questions of their management or the people working on the products. And so,w hen they got asked questions in the booth, they couldn’t give answers that sensitive. They were spinny; they were avoidant. And I didn’t like that, as a person who would talk to these people. And I would start to recognize. 

You ever see something after you learn it and then you can’t unsee it anymore? That’s how I felt, is that there’s a huge lack of technical acumen with marketing. But I also loved being able to express ideas to people who were interested in learning about products, and so, that moved me into marketing. 

And so, I did marketing, specifically social media marketing, for over a decade after that.  That’s how I got experience on the market analytics, how marketing operates, both coming up with strategies and plans and media buys, earned and deployments and go to market plans, and all the mechanics of marketing. 

And then in 2018, a friend of mine who was the head of global social media marketing for IBM systems, said, “I know you have a marketing background and I also know you have a technical background. We’re doing this thing called dev rel. I think you’d be perfect for it.” And I did not know what dev rel was, but I read the job description and said, “Oh my Gosh, this is perfect. This is everything I love. This is the peanut butter. This is the chocolate. Let me go and do that.” 

I did it for a bit; didn’t work out there. I won’t go into too much details. And then I worked my way thorugh different companies, doing different various jobs from a developer advocate to social media manager. And in my role before this, I was head of community over at a database company. But now I am a senior community manager at AWS, which touches on a lot of different thtngs, of making sure that there’s care and feeding of the community, but also making sure that information is disseminated to them so that they can provide the right kind of education to their member base. 

And that’s what I do as a primary job. And if you see me on a stage, if you see me doing podcasts, that’s my personal hobby.  You mentioned the State of Dev Rel report. I’m involved in a lot of that, making sure that we can shape dev rel in a positive direction.  And so, I’m really invested in that. 

Richard Rodger:  Dev rel found you, and there’s so many stories like that. There is a new generation where people see that role and can choose to do it. Our generation, we definitely had to find our way into it; it had to call to us, maybe. What final, final-

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah, the equivalent of a person who is in IT because they’re sitting next  to a computer – it’s almost like that. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yeah, exactly, works with computers. One final, final question. A lot of the dev rel roles involve putting yourself out there and doing a lto of stuff on social media and generating a personal and – horrible term – though leadership. How necessary is that? IT can be dangerous, because if you overcook it, if you over-promote something, you burn your credibility. And epopel do do that, right? 

Wesley Faulkner:  Yes. 

Wesley Faulkner:  What advice do you have for people starting out? How do you balance the enthusiasm, perhaps, with maybe being safe? 

Wesley Faulkner:  I gave a talk, a keynote actually, at DevRelCon London in September; it was just last month. And the recording is available, so if you’re listening to this, I advise you to watch that keynote there. But one of the things I touched on is that how integrity is the basis of what we do. 

And if you are out there, doesn’t matter what company you’re for, whatever company that you’re going to go to, if your tune changes dramatically – I was against Web 3, but now I work for a Web 3 company and so, Web 3 is amazing. Or the vice versa, where I worked for Web 3 and now I work for a traditional database and that stuff didn’t work. 

That – people see that and people notice that, especially where – the people who are recognizable, when they switch jobs – and they inevitably do – the people that come with them come because they trust them. And so, they’re able to see version A and they’re able to see version B, and they can make that direct comparison. So, integrity is the cornerstone of what we do and you need to stand by that. 

People on the internet are sleuths, your work doesn’t go away and it’ll all come out. So, just do the right thing from the get-go and don’t worry about that. It’s like, “Well, I needed a job.”  I”I know you needed a job. I know you needed to say the things you liked about a product or company. But don’t then not say the things that are – where it can be improved, where things could get better, where you think things still need to change. 

And giving well-rounded perceptions of what you’re doing and what you’re – who you’re working for and what products they make, I think is needed no matter what you’re doing. Rose-colored glasses are something that people who are extreme fans have, but dev rel is making sure we do better, not just externally, but internally, inside of a company. And if you say that everything is roses and is the tops, then there’s no room for improvements and there’s no nuance, and saying who the product is good for. And going back to what I was saying about developers, they are a particular bunch. And we are – and I mentioned this in my talk – we are the people of it depends. And if you abandon that, then you’re not true to the brand. 

Richard Rodger:  This echoes what you’re saying about all those years ago at the booth, where you were like, “I don’t want to give these evasive answers. I want to give the real answer and actually help people.” That’s a great North Star, just start with integrity as a guiding principle, like a lot of things in life. Wesley, thank you so much. Covered a lot fo ground, but IF eel the future is still pretty bright for dev rel, despite everything. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Me too. 

Richard Rodger:  I’m excited to see what happens next. And I’m just going ot keep doing it, because it found me, so whatcha gonna do. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Exactly. Gotta ride that wave. I’m going to ride It until I hit the shore. I’ll see where that leads me, but I’ll take off running and get a better board and go back out. 

Richard Rodger:  Awesome. We’ll be there, cheering you on. All right, take care. Thank you so much. 

Wesley Faulkner:  Thank you. 


Richard Rodger:  [0:38:48] You can find the transcript of this podcast and any links mentioned on our podcast page at Subscribe for weekly editions, where we talk to the people who make the developer community work. For even more, read our newsletter. You can subscribe at, or follow our Twitter @voxgig. Thanks for listening. Catch you next time. [00.39.17]