As companies are starting to realize that Developer Relations can be a competitive advantage, we’ve been noticing more and more job descriptions for Developer Advocates or DevRel Professionals who are the first non-engineering hire at early-stage startups. But when you’re an early hire working alongside the founder and a few engineers, what does your role look like? How is it different from joining a company as employee #30, 120, or even 1432?
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Staff Developer Advocate at Courier. Aydrian Howard has been advocating for developers for over five years. He usually comes in at the beginning of a developer relations program or during a reboot. He’s traveled all over the US sponsoring and mentoring at college level hackathons. He also enjoys live streaming. He is a Hoosier living in New York with his grumpy old man pug, Oliver. You can find him directly to Mary’s left on the cover of her book, The Business Value of Developer Relations
David is the Head of Developer Relations at QuestDB, helping developers around the globe manage the streams of data that their IoT and other devices produce. He helped to develop the very first IoT Developer Platform before “IoT” was even ‘a thing.’ He’s currently building out the Developer Relations Platform for QuestDB, a small Time Series Database Platform based in London, UK.
Taylor Barnett is a Senior Community Engineer at Transposit. She is passionate about building great developer experiences with an emphasis on empathy and inclusion within Product, documentation, and other community-focused projects. After leaving software engineering, Taylor led Developer Relations at Stoplight, an API design management platform, and worked with the developer community, SDKs, and documentation at Keen, a data analytics API company. In her free time, she’s either climbing rocks with friends, trying to find the funkiest sour beers, or hanging out with her corgi, Yoda, in Austin, Texas.
Wesley Faulkner is a first-generation American. He is a founding member of the government transparency group Open Austin and ran for Austin City Council in 2016. His professional experience also includes work as a social media and community manager for the software company Atlassian, a Developer Advocate for MongoDB, and various roles for the computer processor company AMD and Dell. Wesley Faulkner also serves as a board member for South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi).
Mary Thengvall is a connector of people at heart, both personally and professionally. She loves digging into the strategy of how to build and foster communities, and has been working with various developer communities for over 10 years. After several years of building community programs at O’Reilly Media, Chef Software, and SparkPost, she’s now consulting for companies looking to build out a Developer Relations strategy. She’s also the author of the first book on Developer Relations: The Business Value of Developer Relations ((c) 2018, Apress)
For the past 15 years, Sarah-Jane Morris has been growing and nurturing developer communities at various stages of growth; at startups like Context IO and Keen IO, at high growth companies like Shopify, and at corporations like Intel. SJ’s audacious vision to make every developer community diverse, welcoming and sustainable inspired her to launch Listen Community Consulting in 2019. Alongside Listen, she joined HubSpot’s Developer Relations team as a Senior Program Manager in November 2019.