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Johannes Dienst
Johannes Dienst

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Being a Developer Advocate: Half a Year Review

I blinked and six months are already gone since I plunged head first into Developer Relations as a single Developer Advocate at a small startup.

In hindsight it was clear that it would have been a lot easier with a whole team already in place to learn from 😋

But at that time it was exactly what I needed: The freedom to learn in every direction possible and expand my knowledge in all of the ways in an area I deeply care about!

I got to do so many things:

  • Building Developer Docs from the ground up using Docs-As-Code
  • Giving a ton of presentations at conferences and on company workshops
  • Hosting events
  • Sketchnoting our Meetup
  • Hosting a podcast and learning about the distribution of it
  • Creating a 15 Episodes strong YouTube short-form series about the companies product by doing everything from scripting to thumbnails to postproduction and promotion
  • Writing a ton of technical blog posts
  • Passionately advocating internally for our users
  • Improving the developer experience as much as I possibly could

What I most enjoyed?

Helping humans to succeed is the best possible feeling you can get in my opinion 🥰

Doing it while also being allowed to work with code and docs is the perfect combination! Nothing beats being able to geek out about machine-learning stuff on a podcast, then getting feedback from users on how to improve your product afterwards. Finding a quick fix for it you can document quickly in the docs and then communicate the overall problem to product/engineering for improvement.

It is this mix of cross-functional skills and impact you can have when you do it well that feels like a superpower.

At the same time it can make you feel helpless because all you can do is try to influence without the assurance it will actually achieve your desired outcome.

What I hope to achieve in the next 6 months?

So now that I know what I enjoy and hopefully also excel at, I will work hard to professionalize it.

At the moment a lot of things are not automated and time consuming. Publishing blog posts for example means publishing them manually on every platform. Then doing the social media posts manually.

I also hope to build more. By learning all the basics building time with our tool and also coding in general was not enough. Not losing touch with coding is a major challenge I want to solve by actually building stuff consistently.

Also a goal will be to do a talk at a meetup or if even possible at a conference about DevRel. I really enjoy geeking out about docs and metrics and I believe this is something to explore further and talk about.

So if you want to geek out about DevRel, docs, metrics or anything else: Hit me up and I am happy to join!

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