November 2023 Meetup: Landing The Ideal Dev Rel Job
Pachi Parra and Erin Mikhail Staples are two young, dynamic dev rels who have weathered the storms of what Erin calls a “shaky” dev rel world. They’ve generously shared their insights at the November Voxgig DevRel meetup.
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.
Erin Mikhail Staples: How I Landed A Job in the Current DevRel Market
Erin Mikhail Staples is now a developer experience engineer at LaunchDarkly. But she has lost three jobs in the last three years, through no fault of her own. She’s kept going through the ups and downs, sharing her passion for educating her community and help them find their ‘thing.’
Often, companies themselves don’t even know themselves what role they’re hiring for, so make sure you get your information from reliable sources. It’s up to you to define your role within your company. Erin spoke about the triangle of dev rel roles – developer advocate, developer experience manager and community manager.
Tell People What You Want
When you’re interacting in forums and on your socials, make it clear where you position yourself on that triangle. Align your message to the role you want to land, and you’ll attract companies who can give you the role you want.
Don’t just tell people what you want – quantify what you want to be known for. That means proving to people that you can deliver results in your chosen role. Say that you ran a team of 15 people, or that you successfully ran all the meetups for your company in your last role.
Above all, give a damn about what you do. Even when times are tough, do work you’re proud of. Find something to like about the project you’re working on. Shout out loud about that work. This is what will help you stand tall in this shaky world and find the role you deserve.
Panel Discussion with Pachi Parra: Trends and Experiences in Dev Rel Roles
In our panel discussion about trends in the dev rel market, Pachi Parra was the star. Based in Brazil, she’s the cofounder of Feministech, on online community of women in the tech world. Here are the threads that the panel followed in their discussion.
- Remote working – companies that offer fully remote working are good companies to work for. There are plenty of social dimensions to dev rel work anyway, like community forums and meetups. So, an office isn’t necessary these days.
- Meetups – Erin reckons we’ve gotten lazy about in-person meetups, and meetups need to have a goal that they deliver on for their attendees.
- Hiring Pitfalls – dev rels are often asked to work for free, with the promise of being hired, but then the job doesn’t materialize. Erin recommends setting a timeline. If an offer letter doesn’t come within, say, two weeks, move on.
- You can also make a hiring manager’s job easier. Create a space where they can find your resume, your products and other relevant experience.
- Machine learning – Erin has found that you need a lot of tech experience to take on a machine learning role – the roles are weighted towards people with Master’s degrees in engineering.
- Be clear about where you want to fit in the dev rel world. Make sure you can quantify the results you’ve achieved in previous roles.
- Advocate for yourself. Be clear on how long you’re willing to wait for an answer to your application, and make it easy for companies to find you.