Who is DevRel and why does the company need it

Обложка: Кто такой DevRel и зачем он нужен компании

Hiring a smart developer is not easy. The number of IT companies is growing, as are the salaries of candidates, and there are few available specialists.

In addition, companies need to build relationships both within the company and with third-party developers in order to raise their authority in the community and attract new personnel. To do this, the image company hires a DevRel specialist in the staff. Let’s tell you who it is and why your team needs it.

Who is devrel and what does he do

Devrel (from the English Developer Relations — relations with developers) is a specialist in technical PR and communication between a particular company and the IT community. Simply put, DevRel is your representative and PR man among the same techies.

An example of a community on Twitter, where DevRel publishes news from the world of the IT industry

Canonical devrels are represented more on the Western market than on the Russian-speaking one. For our industry, the boundaries of DevRel’s work in the company are blurred, they are more often correlated with PR: a specialist presents a product to both IT specialists and the end user. Whereas the western devrel works only to cover the brand’s activities in IT.

DevRel vacancies abroad require specialists only to work with the IT community

Responsibilities of a technical PR person:

  • presentation of the company and its products at IT events;
  • organization of conferences, meetings for PR and search for new staff, partners;
  • content management for reputable IT blogs, Youtube channels; experienced devrels even write books;
  • promotion of the company in social networks: writing posts, communicating with the audience in the comments;
  • development of educational courses, webinars for the IT industry and beginners;
  • search for new personnel and help in their training to work in the company.

What do devrels do in Russian companies

Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/583300/

The list of tasks may vary depending on the specifics of the company and the promotion strategy. But the general thing is:

  • increase brand awareness in the IT community.
  • attract new personnel.
  • promote an IT product on the market.
  • if the company’s strategy requires it, it is to sell the product to the consumer.

How does devrel differ from related professions

Devrel’s tasks are often compared to those of a PR manager. This is normal, because the term is only coming into use in the IT industry. There is no single standard for the profession yet: each company prescribes tasks taking into account its goals.

There are other related professions with which devrel is compared: DevAdvocate, Evangelist, Community Manager. The responsibilities of these employees in different companies often coincide. That’s why some people put an equal sign between professions. Like, the names are different, but the meaning is the same.

We don’t think so. And they highlighted the main thing, what is the specificity of the posts:

  • Developer Advocate is responsible for the “communication bridge” between the developer, his product and the audience: talks about the functionality, changes and updates of the software, receives feedback and passes it to the developer.
  • Developer Evangelist – promotes the product to the widest possible audience. Apart from promoting to the masses, he does not do anything special anymore.
  • Community Manager – attracts the attention of ordinary users. Responsible for ensuring that the consumer makes a target action for the company. A large community is the basis of this manager’s work.
  • DevRel in Russia, in fact, should both “tell about the software” and “sort out the details for the client.”

Portrait of a good specialist

We have analyzed websites with vacancies in IT: HH.ru , indeed.com , glassdoor.com . That’s what hard and soft skills expect from DevRel.

Hard skills:

  • The background of a technician or a PR man. Here one of two things: the candidate worked in IT and knows the backstage of the sphere or knows how to sell well, present the product in public.

Most companies require PR specialists to have knowledge in IT from the start

  • Foreign language proficiency. Perfect English at C1 and above, knowledge of technical slang is a must have, without which there is nothing to do in IT.
  • Oratorical skills. An experienced devrel knows how to perform in public. He knows how to properly talk to developers and the audience, attract a new client or staff for the development of the company.
  • Basics of copywriting and content management. DevRel should convey thoughts to the public, promote the product and engage through texts. It’s simple and clear to write about an IT product or process – it’s worth applauding, not every developer will be able to create such a miracle through content.

Soft skills:

  • stress resistance;
  • learnability;
  • the ability to share knowledge with others;
  • high level of empathy, pumped emotional intelligence;
  • critical thinking;
  • patience;
  • ability to work in multitasking mode;
  • self-control;
  • time-management.

IT companies also require team managers (DevRel Manager) to have the skills to manage a team of specialists and distribute tasks.

You can tighten up both hard and soft skills — you are unlikely to find ready-made candidates with impeccable devrel skills. And you can pump a specialist to meet the requirements of the company in just a couple of weeks. For example, on KursFinder, we immediately found several soft skills courses for specialists.  The duration of training is from 4 weeks to a year.

Where do techies pump skills

The profession is not even five years old yet. Therefore, you will not find any universities or educational programs specifically for devrels: even in Russia, even in the West. Specialists come to the industry in two ways: from IT (devrels-engineers) and PR (devrels-humanities).

The first are those who want to appear more in public and are ready to present the product. The advantages of this way are that the specialist already knows the subtleties of IT, slang, is able to build communication with developers and the community. It is enough to tighten the skills of public speaking and PR – and devrel is ready to talk to the community.

The path of the humanities is more complicated. Knowledge of marketing and PR is good, but there is nowhere without an advanced match. Therefore, at first they are entrusted with organizational tasks: to assemble a meetup, to agree on publication in the publication, to hold a presentation. The technical part is left to the engineers.

In the Russian market, devrel works both with developers and for a mass audience. Marketers and PR people are valued more than engineers without marketing skills. After all, selling something to a PR person is an ordinary task. You just need to learn the technical part.

 

It’s not a problem when a humanitarian or an engineer doesn’t know something and is just starting in DevRel. The main thing is desire and properly constructed self-education. And knowledge will come with experience and gradual development within the company.

The abundance of courses allows you to pump a lagging skill in 2-4 weeks: in IT or marketing

Alas, you will not get a universal specialist in the IT market from the start. Everything will have to be gradually worked out and taught.

In order not to look for where it is best to pump your devrel hard and soft skills, you can see the reviews of other experts in the community. To do this, there are platforms for reviews of services like Otzyvmarketing.

Resume

There are a lot of jokes and comparisons of devrels with avocados in the IT community (DevRel Advocate – Avocado). With a hint that both “fats are an integral part of the human body, and devrel is part of the IT community.” There is definitely something in this opinion.

DevRel in the Russian market communicates not only with the IT community, but also with the end user. That is why it is important to look for a specialist in the team with knowledge of both the specifics of IT and marketing for the masses.

Don’t be afraid to take a specialist and train him. If a PR person or an engineer is ready to study, in just a couple of months you will get an experienced jun at DevRel. And there, senior is just around the corner.

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