The Community Club

Discussion on: AMA with Tessa Kriesel

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Tessa Kriesel Ask Me Anything

I think some folks see Community + DevRel as one cohesive team, while others see it as separate entities. I think the team dynamics are defined, usually, by experience levels. If you have a solid DevRel team with experienced Developer Advocates, they can closely work with community to push forward initiatives together. I've also been on a team where I was the community leader and was the person responsible for metrics and tracking of our entire team (DevRel+Community) and proving ROI. Not ideal, but what I am getting to is that there is no right way to build a DevRel and/or Community team. I have opinions about how they should be structured, but everyone does it differently.

Developer Advocates and other roles in DevRel teams, tend to focus on attracting and inspiring developers. They do this through written content, code samples, conference presentations, tutorials, pair programming, live streams, etc. The idea being that if you're showcasing something cool or intriguing, a fellow developer may want to dive in and check it out (it being your product). Therefore, they are usually the first interaction a developer has with your company.

Community comes in sometimes before, but usually after DevRel. Community enables and engages with those developers once they decide to try your product. Silly analogy here, but think back to your single days. Physical attraction causes you to strike a conversation with someone (DevRel), while getting to know that person and their awesome personality is what keeps you in a relationship with them (Community).

There are many DevRel techniques that engage and continue to build trust with users, and when DevRel + Community can work tightly together, well you probably guessed it, they're a powerhouse.

In terms of impact, our team at Twitter is combined. We have separate "tiger teams" as they call them, but we are all considered a part of DevRel. Myself focusing solely on community. However, I work very closely with my Developer Advocate coworkers to push initiatives forward. For example, we just launched Office Hours a few weeks ago. The intent of office hours is to build trust with developers (retention), what community cares about. However, in last weeks office hours one of our users convinced a non-user they should try the API. The Developer Advocate on the call started answering technical questions, showing examples and giving tangible ideas around how they can dive in. I see this as an opportunity to continue to engage with him through our community work. I want to make sure that this new user continues to get the resources and answers that he needs to remain a user.

SO many other impact and ROI examples, I may just turn that into a content piece that I share here later. 😉