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Amara Graham
Amara Graham

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Moving DevEx from DevRel to Engineering

I wasn't sure if I wanted to share this, but I've had a few folks ask about our reorg out of DevRel and into Engineering.

Please enjoy this stream of conscious listicle.

This is what I have energy to write right now.

Things I expected

  • Different manager
  • Different peer group (first time ever having peer managers!)
  • Different position on an org chart
    • Reporting to VP (now) vs. director (previously)
    • Still second-level as CTO, still within Products
  • Our scope increased to own SDKs, a new function entirely
  • Our scope decreased - removed Community Slack, Community Hub, and Community Forum

Things I didn't expect

  • We immediately received +1 headcount.
    • Prior to the reorg, I wasn't anticipating hiring this year.
    • Hiring is hard, but it's been very hard recently.
  • Engineering recently streamlined hiring, which was vastly different from the process and way we hired in DevRel.
    • Outcome: we had to rework our hiring process immediately.
  • Engineering had completely shifted away from quarterly planning and OKRs. DevRel did both quarterly planning and OKRs.
    • Outcome: we had to shift to smaller incremental improvements and more of a continuous delivery style.
  • New manager career path, streamlined with other Engineering Managers.
    • But I don't feel like an Engineering Manager...?
  • Updated DevEx Engineer career path (to be closer to streamlined Eng career path, but ultimately needed to stay separate).
    • This is still a change, and changes to people's inflight career paths are hard.
  • Community feedback was ok, but specific customers' feedback was best.
    • Puts us in direct conflict with building for everyone, paying customer or not.
    • Note - this was a company shift, so no matter where we sat I think this would have been a change.
  • We were labeled as a product development team (Docs & SDKs), but often function as a support team too, particularly for Docs.
    • This means we have a LOT of interrupt driven work.
    • Some seasonality too - weeks before the 2x yearly minor releases we see a huge uptick in PR reviews.
  • Nearly constant (re)introductions and internal team marketing to describe scope changes.
    • These have slowed, but I'm still finding some people think we are part of DevRel, not Eng.

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