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Building DevRel Teams to Last

Building DevRel Teams to Last

It’s an open secret that developer relations programs struggle to survive long term in an organization. Developer relations leaders often find themselves struggling to define and defend the value of their organization after the initial enthusiasm wanes. In this session, we’ll look at what it takes to build developer relations teams that last. How do you establish developer relations as a necessary function for the business? What unique value does developer relations deliver? How do you build, organize and align teams for long term success? Join to learn the patterns and lessons gathered from over a decade of building, growing and leading developer relations programs.


Todd Anglin

March 09, 2020


  1. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Building Developer Relations Teams to Last Todd

    Anglin Principal Cloud Advocate Microsoft
  2. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Download these slides aka.ms/anglin-devrelcon

  3. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference What we’ll cover today • Unique value

    of DevRel • Building and aligning teams (to last) • Measuring the impact of DevRel • Common mistakes that trip DevRel teams
  4. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference My DevRel Journey f f f

  5. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  6. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Kendo UI Developer tools NativeScript Open source

    Ecosystem Platform
  7. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Building DevRel teams to last is hard.

  8. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination
  9. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination ”Do what you do!”
  10. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination “Put a little DevRel on it.”
  11. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination “Do you drive MQLs?”
  12. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination “Can someone drive DevRel ROI?”
  13. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel Cycle Initial Enthusiasm Early success

    & Scale up Bean counting Hot potato Final destination “Welcome to marketing/sales”
  14. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Why is this cycle common? 1. Failure

    to define unique value of DevRel 2. Failure to properly build and align team 3. Inability to effectively communicate DevRel impact 4. Failure to adjust as the team scales
  15. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Unique value of DevRel

  16. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Developer Relations (DevRel) Developer Advocates (Advocates) Technical

    writers Designers Program managers Events specialists Engineers Producers
  17. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference What defines the craft of DevRel?

  18. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Story tellers Translators Ambassadors

  19. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  20. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Authenticity

  21. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Help first, Sell last

  22. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference H helping

  23. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common DevRel modes 1. Content Engine 2.

    Boots on the Ground 3. Authentic Customer Experts
  24. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Content engine • Produce authentic content that

    helps technical audiences solve problems and do more Unique to DevRel: Content that organically attracts technical audiences Content that goes to where technical audiences already hang out
  25. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Boots on the Ground • The human

    connection between companies and technical audiences Unique to DevRel: Technically authentic conversations not pressured by sales Recognized, trusted voices in the community
  26. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Authentic Experts • Advise customers on how

    best to use solve problems and use products Unique to DevRel: Technical experts with a ”help first” mentality
  27. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference DevRel @ Microsoft • Focused on all

    aspects of how technical audiences engage with Microsoft Cloud Advocacy Docs Microsoft Learn Localization Community programs
  28. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Many flavors of DevRel • Understand your

    audience segments: • Professional Developers vs Citizen Dev • Frontend, Backend, Operations, etc • By region, by language, by technical area
  29. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Building and Aligning Teams

  30. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference How do you build an effective DevRel

  31. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference PASSION For your company For your products

    For your customers For technology For helping others
  32. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference COMMUNICATION Writing Speaking (1:M) Speaking (1:1) With

    technical experts With n00bs
  33. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference TECHNICAL EXPERT “Wide and shallow” Deep in

    focused areas Established (or establishing) voice Social media presence Demo on the spot
  34. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Speaking Writing Community Streaming

  35. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  36. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Keys to success 1. Leverage the strengths

    that you hire 2. Set clear expectations and definition of success 3. Build strong internal partnerships
  37. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  38. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  39. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Defining a one-size- fits-all Advocate template Common

    DevRel Pitfall
  40. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Create alignment

  41. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Product Marketing Users

  42. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Low visibility into activity and planning Common

    DevRel Pitfall
  43. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Engineering Net Promoter Score (eNPS) • Do

    you know if your internal partners are satisfied? • Do you know how to improve your partnership? • A short, quarterly survey (5 questions) • Sent to product team members that work with (or want to work with) Cloud Advocacy • Designed to capture where partnerships are working well, and where improvement is needed
  44. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Johari Window Open Blind spot Hidden Unknown

    Known to others Not known to others Known to self Not known to self
  45. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Example eNPS Results Has DevRel met your

    partnership expectations? Has DevRel proactively helped identify or resolve product issues? Has DevRel accurately represented and positioned product(s) to external communities? Has DevRel helped provide product audience insights or created connections with customers? Yes No Maybe On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend working with Cloud Advocacy to other Azure product teams? eNPS: 16 [Promoter: 42% | Detractor: 26% | Passive: 32%]
  46. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Define a ”DevRel API” Help partner organizations

    better understand what DevRel does (and doesn’t do) Make partnership less chaotic Events Webcast Blog Demo
  47. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Where should DevRel live?

  48. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Common options 1. Independent 2. In Product

    3. In Marketing
  49. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference In Product In Marketing Independent • Docs

    • Demos • Product or feature adoption • Webcasts • Whitepapers • MQL-linked activities • Increased authenticity • Optimize for long-term
  50. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Measuring the impact

  51. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference

  52. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Key KPI challenges Drive wrong behaviors Reduce

    team effectiveness Capture indirect value
  53. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Activity vs Impact

  54. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Focusing on vanity metrics Common DevRel Pitfall

  55. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Measuring DevRel • Butts in seats •

    Event size • Posts per week Less effective More effective • New trials • (Quality) Traffic • Product feedback Quality Quantity
  56. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Shared & Indirect Metrics • Impact from

    DevRel activities often shows-up in downstream metrics owned by other teams Publish an article on a 3rd party site Increases credibility Share product news on social media Credibility converts to new trial
  57. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Easy to measure Hard to measure •

    Blogs • Webcasts • Videos • Online content • Events • OSS contributions • Meetups • Offline content
  58. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Be authentic. Help first. Focus and align.

  59. @toddanglin | #DevRelConference Thanks. Todd Anglin @toddanglIn todd.anglin@microsoft.com aka.ms/anglin-devrelcon