One of the places where I read developer and programming related news is on the Reddit Programming user generated news links. One particular developer relations focused new item pointed to an October 18, 2016 Medium article by Yvo Schapp, “The rise of Developer Advocates and its impact on the dev community“. In the article, Yvo mentions his concern about how developer evangelists for technology companies might be affecting the developer community in ways that are not conducive to a healthy developer conversation. Yvo said, “more worryingly the rise of Developer Advocates leads to them more-and-more shaping online discussions regarding Bigtech’s product to their advantage. Critiques from developers on blogs, forums or Twitter are paraded by an official reaction of Bigtech of which dissident voices are quickly drowned out.” He asked for developer program evangelists to reply to his post about developer community interactions. He asked a specific question (you can read the article for the complete context), “Would Developer Advocates down vote these kind of articles so they wouldn’t gain more attention?”.
Reading Yvo’s post about developer community interactions, I felt compelled to reply
I have been a developer cheerleader, developer relations manager and now VP of Developer Communities at Evans Data Corp. My first daily priority is to stay in touch with developers (listening, reading and communicating). Each day I also stay on top of development technologies (best practices, platforms, languages, frameworks, architectures, methods, future directions, etc.). Finally, every day, I try to write code (mostly these days for POCs and tech demos).
I will add information to conversations, including those that might be negative towards a product or company. I can’t remember a time when I stopped or deleted a conversation (except if a post or comment contained spam, profanity or personal attacks). I will up vote articles and comments that I think add value to our developer world.
One of the luxuries I now have at Evans Data is access to the 18 years of developer research. My 46+ years in software development, 31+ years in developer evangelism and the deep Evans Data research allows me to help every company. I am working with companies that already have a developer relations program. I am also working with companies that don’t have (but should have) a developer outreach program.
I am lucky to be a part of a community of developer relations professionals committed to helping move software development and developers forward.
Developer Relations Professionals – how do you help guide developer community interactions?
I’d like to hear what you think about the article. How do you interact with developer conversations on your community sites. You can post your comments on Yvo’s Medium article. I would also love to have you send me an email with your thoughts.
VP, Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation