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Sloan the DEV Moderator for The DEV Team

Posted on • Updated on

#DEVDiscuss: Personal Branding for Developers

Hey Devs, happy Friday πŸ¦₯πŸ’š

As always, it's been an eventful week in the tech industry. We've got a lot to talk about! And today I want to discuss...personal branding for developers.

Here's what I mean by that: in 2023, a lot of developers have invested in building a personal brand. A personal brand is basically essential for developers who work as tech content creators, and lots of DevRel professionals build personal brands (along with audiences and communities) that follow them from role to role. There are some devs on more traditional career paths, too, that choose to build personal brands for fun or for profit.

A lot of tech content creators and DevRels have found community and brand-building success here on DEV, which is awesome. We love being a platform that supports creators on their career paths! We're also just as supportive of writers, bloggers, and DevRel folks who don't build a personal brand in order to focus their time and attention on other pursuits.

So I'm curious:

  • If you have invested in a personal brand as a developer, what have you done to build your brand? What do you recommend and not recommend?
  • If you don't maintain a personal brand as a developer (especially if you're a content creator or DevRel), why not?

Let's talk about it and learn from each other!

Want to submit a question for discussion, or even ask for advice? Visit Sloan's Inbox! You can choose to remain anonymous.

Top comments (8)

grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev • Edited

If you are hoping to build a platform for yourself and utilise it for job opportunities etc. etc. then personal branding is essential

People need to be able to identify your content instantly, and they need to understand what they will get when they click on your content.

I am literally "mid rebrand" (so you all get a little sneak peek here) and as you can see I am investing a lot of time in making sure the branding is consistent and unique enough to stand out.

By having consistent branding I know that people will quickly spot my content on social media etc.

And then all I need to do is deliver on quality content so they keep coming back for more...eeeek!

20 different designs all in neon colours (with a neon glow around key graphical elements), predominantly pink with a dark purple background.

website design, dark purple background with large buttons for the menu in an unusual shape at the bottom. The main heading reads "Accessibility First DevRel" and there is a person standing within a neon pink and purple "hoop" that looks like it is neon.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel (agent double) • Edited

It's an interesting topic, but the larger issue here is that it's marketing and it's a topic that many developers A) don't understand B) have decided is inherently bad C) therefore stay proudly ignorant of.

I do think it's a mistake but it's a big one because how can you possibly learn well something you consider inherently bad?

brianwaustin profile image
Brian Austin

Consistent brand across all platforms. Link in bio with all you top sites.

If you write try to syndicate your content on many sites If you create video content upload to all major platforms.

Also don't forget about LinkedIn. Most of the content there is low quality, so posting your own writing/videos can gain a lot of followers.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

What are some factors in brand consistency?

rainleander profile image
Rain Leander

It's great to see developers engaging in personal branding and discussing its merits and challenges. Building a personal brand can be beneficial for developers as it helps to establish a professional reputation, create networking opportunities, and even lead to new job prospects. Here are some ideas and experiences shared by developers who have invested in personal branding, as well as reasons why others choose not to maintain a personal brand.

For those who have invested in personal branding:

  1. Consistent online presence: Having a consistent username or handle across different platforms (GitHub, Twitter, HERE, etc.) helps people recognize and remember your brand.

  2. Blogging and writing: Sharing your knowledge, experiences, and opinions on platforms like DEV, Medium, or even your own blog can be a great way to establish your expertise and build an audience.

  3. Engage with the community: Actively participating in discussions, providing help on forums, and attending meetups and conferences can help grow your network and strengthen your personal brand.

  4. Open-source contributions: Contributing to open-source projects demonstrates your skills and commitment to the developer community.

  5. Social media presence: Sharing your work, interesting articles, and engaging with others on social media can help build your personal brand.

  6. Personal website or portfolio: Having a website to showcase your projects, skills, and achievements can be a great way to build credibility.

  7. Speaking at events or hosting workshops: Sharing your knowledge in-person or virtually can help establish you as an expert in your field.

Recommendations: Focus on quality content, be authentic, engage with your audience, and have a clear message or theme for your personal brand.

Not recommended: Don't spread yourself too thin across too many platforms, avoid excessive self-promotion, and don't sacrifice your work-life balance.

For those who don't maintain a personal brand:

  1. Time and effort: Building and maintaining a personal brand requires a significant amount of time and effort, which some developers may prefer to invest in other pursuits.

  2. Privacy concerns: Some developers may be uncomfortable sharing their thoughts, opinions, or personal information publicly.

  3. Focus on technical skills: Some developers prefer to concentrate on honing their technical skills rather than spending time on personal branding.

  4. Employer restrictions: In some cases, employers may have strict policies regarding public content creation, limiting developers' ability to build their personal brand.

  5. Impostor syndrome: Some developers may feel they don't have enough expertise or experience to share their knowledge or opinions publicly.

Personal branding can be a valuable asset for developers, but it's essential to consider the time and effort involved and weigh the potential benefits against any drawbacks. Ultimately, it's a personal choice, and each developer should decide what works best for them.

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

For developers interested in learning more about personal branding for social media, this recap of Hashnode's Writers Bootcamp is full of awesome tips and insightsβ€”I thought it was a cool opportunity to learn from @dabit3!

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

I thought this post by @jackdomleo7 was an insightful look into the "dark side" of personal branding for developers:

pavanbelagatti profile image
Pavan Belagatti

This is my favourite topic because the personal brand building is ignored by most developers.