Building A DevRel Culture Single-Handed
If you’re lucky, you’ll be part of a dynamic dev rel team in a company that recognizes your value. But many dev rels fly solo. If you’re one of those solo heroes, we hope you’ll be inspired by the story of Alex Lakatos, who built a dev rel culture single handed at his company.
Thanks so much to Contentful for their sponsorship of our meetup. Contentful offers an API first solution that enables you to create, manage and edit content on any digital channel.
Alex Lakatos went from being part of a dev rel team of 40 people at Nexmo to being the only dev rel advocate at Fidel API. He took on the challenge of building a dev rel culture at Fidel, so he could help the company reach its goals.
Baby Pirate Metrics
Alex looked at various models that he could use to create a dev rel culture. He came up with his own version of the AARRRP pirate metrics model, which he called baby pirate metrics. He chose four letters in the acronym to concentrate on.
- Awareness – spreading the word about the company’s products through blog posts, attending meetups and conferences,
- Acquisition – making the sign-up and user experience for customers easy for customers.
- Referral – building deeper relationships and more meaningful interactions with potential customers.
- Product – understanding what the audience want from your product and incorporating their feedback to make your products more relevant.
Getting Company Buy-In
Alex knew that if he was to succeed in building a dev rel culture single handed, he’d need buy-in from other departments in the company, who would have the skills he needed to. He decided to followed the 80:20 rule – have skilled people in the company devote 20% of their time to helping him with dev rel activities.
Alex got help with each of the four pirate metrics.
Product – Alex knew the product team would have great insight into the customers’ pain points, so he trained them to communicate with customers and feed those pain points back to him. He could then build better products.
Awareness –Alex created incentives for people in the company to write blog posts. If you wrote a blog post, you’d get some swag, a shout out on a call or a chance to attend events. This helped the company create three blog posts a week.
Acquisition – the developer team at Fidel helped to make the customer sign in and user experience hassle-free.
Referrals – Alex had the customer support team answer questions on Fidel’s community forum, as they had insight into the customer experience. People from the developer team were also on hand to answer more technical queries.
As well as that, Alex made sure he got executive buy-in. He’s now a CEO himself, of The Interledger Foundation, so he knows how important that is. His baby pirate metrics model helped him build a dev rel framework without a budget – and without burning himself out.
During the lively Q&A session Voxgig COO Sinead Quealy asked how linking in with other company departments benefited those departments. Alex discovered that if he helped other departments achieve their goals, he would succeed too. He took the time to find out what his colleague’s goals were and made sure his goals tied in with theirs. That way, he was seen as an asset to the company as a whole.
If you’re a solo dev rel…
- Find a model that works for your company and that’ll be easy for you to manage.
- Leverage the skills of other departments within your company. Help them achieve their goals, and you’ll achieve yours.