Think about what makes an API, language, or framework really useful. I mean, what really sets two similar tools apart?
Is it some obscure feature? Maybe the docs? Or is it the developer community that surrounds it?
More and more companies now have teams dedicated to making sure their developer-targeted products have a healthy community. Those teams often go by the name of developer relations (dev rel) or developer advocacy.
We at Hoopy have produced a report into developer relations as it is today in 2019 and here are some highlights.
Developer relations is an increasingly global profession:
- 52% of dev rel professionals are in the US
- 15% are in the UK
- there’s at least one dev rel practitioner in 59 countries.
You can now find people whose job it is to help developer communities on every continent; other than Antarctica, of course.
Developer relations people usually work on anything that helps to build awareness, adoption, and community around a developer-targeted product.
Typically, they tend to:
- speak at meet-ups and conferences
- write sample apps, demos, docs, and blog posts
- hang out in Slack, StackOverflow, and other channels to help developers
- organise initiatives like champion programmes.
The department within which dev rel sits can shape the expectations, metrics, and make-up of the programme.
This year, we found that 35% of dev rel teams report into marketing and 16% act as standalone dev rel departments.
Most dev rel teams have between two and five members. In fact, more than three quarters of dev rel people work in teams of ten members or fewer.
However, the number of larger teams is growing. Companies such as IBM and Google have enormous teams that span the globe.