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Dani Passos
Dani Passos

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How to build a great Developer Relations strategy

I have been working with Developer Education, developer-focused communities, and as a Developer Relations professional over the past 5 years. One point I can tell you about crafting an effective DevRel strategy is to clearly define your goals.

  • Is the goal to increase awareness of your stack?
  • Build a loyal developer community?
  • Gather actionable feedback for upcoming product development?

Your objectives will shape every aspect of your DevRel strategy, from the types of content you produce to the events you host.

Building and nurturing relationships between tech companies and developers is the core of Developer Relations. The goal is to create a living and growing community around a product or tech stack to facilitate an exchange of knowledge, feedback, and support. This relationship is bidirectional: while companies provide developers with the tools and knowledge to succeed, developers offer key insights that can drive product improvement and innovation in your roadmap.

Community-centric approach

Community is the cornerstone of any successful DevRel strategy. Building a community starts with understanding the needs, pain points, and interests of developers. Engage with them where they are, whether that's on your social media channels, forums like Stack Overflow, or at in-person conferences, meetups, and hackathons.

Providing value through educational content, technical support, and opportunities for developers to showcase their work fosters a sense of belonging and loyalty.

A community-centric approach also involves creating spaces for developers to interact not just with your team, but also with each other. Learning from individuals and collaborating with teams to build projects inside your community can be incredibly powerful, leading to a more engaged and active community.

Leveraging content and education

High-quality, developer-focused content such as tutorials, documentation, blog posts, and video tutorials can help developers get the most out of your tools. Ensuring a good developer experience overall is a powerful tool in a DevRel strategy, serving both educational and promotional purposes.

Content should not only be informative but also engaging and accessible, catering to both beginners, intermediate and advanced users. What if you need to create content not only for developers, but also to their tech leads, who may be the decision makers of adopting your company’s stack? Make sure your content caters to different audiences and is digestible enough for their non-technical team members.

Education extends beyond product-specific content. Offering insights into broader industry trends, best practices, and innovative use cases can position your company as a thought leader in the space. This, in turn, attracts developers who are eager to learn and grow their skills.

Feedback loops to product development

An effective DevRel strategy creates channels for open and honest feedback. Developers are a product's most knowledgeable users, and their insights can be crucial for identifying bugs, highlighting integration issues, and suggesting new features. Encouraging feedback through 1:1 calls with teams, surveys, beta testing programs, and direct communication channels shows developers that their input is valued and can significantly influence product development.

Incorporating developer feedback into your product roadmap not only improves your tools but also demonstrates your commitment to the community. Transparency about how feedback is used and acknowledging contributions can further strengthen the relationship between your company and your developer users.

Measuring success and adapting

Measuring the impact of your DevRel strategy is essential for understanding its effectiveness and areas for improvement.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) might include developer adoption, number of projects built in a hackathon, community growth, engagement metrics, content reach and consumption, and feedback quality and quantity. However, part of the success of DevRel often lies in less quantifiable outcomes, such as the strength and activity of your developer community or the quality of the relationships built.

Adaptability is crucial in DevRel. The tech landscape is constantly evolving, and so are the needs and expectations of developers. Regularly review, report, and adjust your strategy based on both quantitative data and qualitative insights from your community. This ensures your DevRel efforts remain relevant and impactful.

Real-world examples of Developer Relations strategies

We spoke a lot about the overview of how to setup a developer strategy, but how do existing monster companies actually do this? Many leading tech companies have pioneered innovative DevRel strategies to engage with developers and drive product adoption, starting with Apple in 1985.

Together with that, companies like Google and GitHub have put a strong focus on community engagement through comprehensive documentation, open-source contributions, and developer-centric events. These initiatives are built to not only educate developers about their platforms and tools, but also to open a collaborative ecosystem for developers to become ambassadors and where feedback is actively asked for and incorporated into product development.

Google's developer advocacy

Google's approach to Developer Relations showcases how strategic engagement can enhance product visibility and user adoption.

By hosting global events such as Google I/O, offering extensive educational resources on platforms like Google Developers, and actively contributing to open-source projects, Google has established a strong feedback loop and connection with the developer community.

Their strategy emphasizes accessibility, transparency, and support, ensuring developers have everything they need to succeed with Google's technologies.

GitHub's relationship with open-source

Well, if you think about it, GitHub's entire platform serves as a testament to the power of community-driven development.

Their DevRel strategy focuses on empowering developers to collaborate on projects, share code, and improve software together. Through initiatives like GitHub Stars, which recognizes influential community leaders, and GitHub Universe, an event celebrating software development, GitHub emphasizes the importance of community recognition and engagement.

These efforts highlight the company's commitment to supporting and growing the developer ecosystem.

Implementing takeaways from successful strategies

Now, taking some inspiration from these companies, developer-tooling teams can develop their DevRel strategies by focusing on a few key principles:

  • Community engagement Foster a vibrant developer community through events, forums, and social media, encouraging collaboration and knowledge sharing.
  • Education and resources Provide comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and learning resources to help developers get the most out of your tools.
  • Open-source and collaboration Support open-source projects and initiatives, demonstrating your commitment to the broader development ecosystem.
  • Feedback loops Implement channels for developers to provide feedback on your products, ensuring their insights contribute to your development roadmap.
  • Recognition and support Recognize and support community leaders and contributors, fostering a sense of belonging and appreciation within your community.


Crafting a great Developer Relations strategy requires a deep understanding of the developer community, a commitment to providing value and support, and an openness to feedback and adaptation.

By focusing on building a strong community, delivering high-quality content, engaging in meaningful feedback loops, and measuring and adapting your strategy, you can create a Developer Relations program that not only supports your company's goals but also contributes positively to the broader developer ecosystem.

Top comments (1)

arindam_1729 profile image
Arindam Majumder

Nice One Dani!