DevRel & Product Evangelism


8 min read

Please note: This content is not generated by AI; it has been drafted by a human.


I've been getting a lot of questions about DevRel (Developer Relations) and Evangelism lately, so I decided to write a short article to provide some clarity. In this article, I'll explain what DevRel is, the difference between Advocacy and Evangelism, and what exactly I do in my role as a DevRel professional or Evangelist.

Depending on your own experiences and interests, you may find different aspects of this article more relevant to you. But let's start by understanding what DevRel, or Developer Relations, really means.

What is Developer Relations?

Developer Relations, in simple terms, is a field that focuses on building relationships between developers and technology companies or platforms. It's all about fostering a strong connection and collaboration between the developer community and the company.

In Developer Relations, the main goal is to support developers by providing them with the resources, tools, and knowledge they need to succeed in using a specific technology or platform. This involves activities like organizing events, creating documentation and tutorials, offering technical support, and engaging in community building.

The role of Developer Relations professionals is to act as a bridge between developers and the company. They listen to the needs and feedback of developers, advocate for their interests, and ensure that the company's products or services meet the requirements of the developer community.

By establishing a strong Developer Relations program, companies can create a thriving ecosystem where developers feel supported, empowered, and inspired to build innovative applications and solutions. It's a win-win situation, as developers benefit from the company's resources, and the company benefits from the valuable feedback and insights of the developer community.

In a nutshell, Developer Relations are all about nurturing a positive relationship between developers and the company, with the ultimate aim of driving mutual success and growth.

There are several companies that are known for excellent Developer Relations and have built a strong reputation within the developer community.

  1. Google: Google has a robust Developer Relations program with initiatives like Google Developers and Google Cloud Platform. They provide extensive documentation, tutorials, and tools to support developers using their products and services. They also organize events like Google I/O, where developers can learn, network, and explore new technologies.

  2. Microsoft: Microsoft has made significant investments in Developer Relations with programs such as Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and Microsoft Tech Community. Their developer-focused events like Microsoft Build attract a large audience and provide valuable insights into their platforms.

  3. Amazon Web Services (AWS): AWS has a strong Developer Relations team that works closely with developers, offering extensive documentation, training, and certification programs. They organize events like AWS re:Invent, where developers can learn from industry experts and gain insights into the latest cloud technologies.

Many successful tech companies have incredible Developer Relations teams. These teams, also known as DevRel folks, Developer Advocates, or Developer Evangelists, make complex technical products simple.

They achieve this by writing easy-to-understand content, creating tutorials, and demonstrating how the product works. Their goal is to bridge the gap between developers and the company, ensuring that users have the resources they need to succeed.

DevRel professionals are passionate about engaging with the developer community, addressing their concerns, and promoting the benefits of the product. Their efforts play a vital role in making technology more accessible and empowering developers to thrive.

Why do various companies use different titles for these individuals?

Thanks to Phil Leggetter for this amazing DevRelOMeter

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Developer Relations, Developer Advocacy, and Developer Evangelism: Building Bridges in Tech! ๐Ÿคโœจ

Roles & Tasks:

  1. Developer Relations:

๐Ÿ—๏ธ Building relationships between developers and companies

๐Ÿ“š Providing resources, support, and guidance

๐ŸŒ Bridging the gap between developers and technology companies

2. Developer Advocacy:

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Advocating for developers within the company

๐ŸŽง Listening to needs and feedback

๐Ÿš€ Addressing concerns and aligning products with developer requirements

3. Developer Evangelism:

๐Ÿ“ฃ Promoting and raising awareness about technology

๐ŸŒฑ Inspiring and educating developers on product benefits

๐ŸŒŸ Showcasing the possibilities and value of using the technology

These roles may have different titles, but their mission is to empower developers, foster collaboration, and enable success in the tech world.

In addition to Developer Advocacy and Developer Evangelism, there are several other professions closely linked to Developer Relations. Here are a few examples:

1. Developer Community Management:

Professionals in this role focus on nurturing and managing developer communities. They facilitate discussions, answer questions, organize events, and create a supportive and engaging environment for developers to connect and collaborate.

2. Developer Education and Training:

These professionals specialize in creating educational content, tutorials, and training programs for developers. They aim to empower developers with the knowledge and skills required to effectively use a technology or platform.

3. Developer Experience (DX) Design:

DX designers focus on improving the overall experience of developers when interacting with a company's products or services. They work on creating intuitive interfaces, streamlined workflows, and developer-friendly documentation to enhance the usability and satisfaction of developers.

4. Developer Marketing:

This role involves promoting developer-focused products, platforms, or services through targeted marketing strategies. Professionals in developer marketing understand the unique needs and interests of developers and tailor their messaging and campaigns accordingly.

5. Technical Writing:

Technical writers specialize in creating clear and concise documentation, guides, and tutorials to assist developers in using a technology or product effectively. They ensure that complex technical concepts are explained in a user-friendly manner.

These professions, while distinct, often work closely together as part of a comprehensive Developer Relations strategy. They all play a vital role in supporting and engaging with developers, fostering a strong developer community, and ensuring a positive developer experience.

Now that you have a good understanding of what DevRel is, the different roles involved, and the tasks they typically handle in their daily work, let's dive into the exciting world of product evangelism.

We'll explore what it means to be a product evangelist and how they spread the word about amazing products to make others as enthusiastic about them as they are.

What is Product Evangelism? And what exactly does a Product Evangelist do?

Product evangelism is a term used to describe the practice of promoting and advocating for a particular product or service with great enthusiasm and passion.

The folks who engage in product evangelism are individuals who genuinely believe in the value and benefits of the product, and they work diligently to share their excitement and knowledge with others.

In their day-to-day tasks, product evangelists engage in a variety of activities to spread the word about the product and create awareness among the target audience.

These tasks typically include:

1. Demonstrating the Product:

Product evangelists showcase the features and benefits of the product through live demonstrations or presentations. They highlight how the product can solve specific problems or enhance the lives of its users.

2. Creating Content:

They develop engaging content, such as blog posts, articles, videos, or social media posts, that educates and informs potential users about the product. They use their storytelling skills to articulate the product's value proposition in a compelling manner.

3. Building Relationships:

Product evangelists establish and nurture relationships with key stakeholders, including customers, industry influencers, and media personnel. They engage in discussions, address queries, and provide support to foster trust and credibility.

4. Presenting at Events:

They participate in industry conferences, trade shows, and webinars to speak about the product. They may deliver keynote speeches, host panel discussions, or conduct workshops to educate audiences about the product's capabilities and benefits.

5. Gathering Feedback:

Product evangelists actively listen to customer feedback and gather insights to improve the product. They act as a liaison between customers and the product development team, conveying suggestions and requirements for future enhancements.

6. Collaboration with Sales and Marketing:

They collaborate closely with the sales and marketing teams to align messaging, develop marketing collateral, and assist with sales enablement. They provide product expertise and insights to support sales efforts.

In essence, product evangelists are passionate advocates who immerse themselves in the product's features, benefits, and use cases. They work tirelessly to educate, inspire, and persuade others about the value of the product, ultimately driving adoption and success.

Are product evangelists the same as product managers?

Definitely not!

I can say that while product evangelists and product managers share some similarities, they are distinct roles with different focuses. In some cases, especially in startups/small teams where resources might be limited, a product manager may also take on the responsibilities of a product evangelist (as I do.).

As a Product guy, my main responsibility is to drive the development and strategy of the product. I work closely with cross-functional teams, conduct market research, define product requirements, and prioritize features. My goal is to ensure the product's success by meeting customer needs and achieving business objectives.

On the other hand, a from product evangelist's standpoint my role is to promote the product, generate awareness, and create excitement among potential customers and stakeholders. They focus on marketing, education, and advocacy to build a strong user base and increase product adoption.

In conclusion, we've explored the fascinating world of Developer Relations (DevRel) and Product Evangelism. We've dived into the importance of DevRel in building strong connections with developers, fostering communities, and driving product adoption. Additionally, we've discussed the role of Product Evangelists in passionately promoting products, spreading awareness, and igniting enthusiasm among potential users.

But our journey doesn't end here! There's still so much more to discover. In our upcoming Part 2, we'll dig deeper into the strategies, challenges, and success stories focused more on Product Evangelism.

So stay tuned!

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Stay connected, and we'll see you soon in Part 2!