I was in San Francisco yesterday at the Galvanize Coding Camp and Workspace Location. Conjoined with the Galvanize location is the IBM Bluemix Garage. After drivng to the city and parking, I walked to the SoMa (South of Market Street) location and entered a wonderfully collaborative space full of engaged, excited and focused developers and students. There are many of these coding camp and workspace destinations all over the world. I’ve visited several schools and workspaces in my travels, but this one also included IBM’s Bluemix Garage. The combination created a Garage, Loft, and Hands on Lab all in one location. I went to the board room where I was part of a round table discussion lead by Willie Tejada, IBM’s Chief Developer Advocate.
The topic for the discussion was “How Cognitive Intelligence and Cloud are Reshaping App Development”. My thoughts during the discussion will have to wait for another blog post. For me, it was visiting the combination of the Galvanize location and the IBM Bluemix Garage. It was a marriage of learning, programming, design thinking, Watson cognitive development, and more. I didn’t want to leave.
As I drove back down the coastal Highway 1 to the Evans Data office in Santa Cruz I had time to look at the Pacific Ocean and think about the combination and what it can mean to Developer Relations Programs around the world. Combining the educational environment, the startup vibe, the real world tools, and the spirit of adventure into a workspace conducive to real breakthroughs in application development. In one location you can combine students, professionals and executives learning Data Science, Data Engineering, Web Development, Cloud Native Essentials and Development, Data Science for Executives, and more. You’ll find meetups, happy hours, tech talks, and mentors.
Quoting from the Galvanize web site: “Traditionally, industry and education have existed in separate worlds. At Galvanize, we’re bridging this longstanding gap by bringing industry partners, ambitious students, world-class education, and passionate founders under one roof.”
If you can’t afford to have your own dedicated popup loft, hands on lab or garage, find a partner in your town (and in cities with companies and developers you want to reach out to) that has a Coding Camp and/or co-location development space. You’ll find that combining their business with your developer outreach will create an intoxicating, practical, beneficial, efficient and fruitful environment for students, start ups and enterprises.
Here are a few links to additional information for the Galvanize and IBM BlueMix Garage location that I visited at 44 Tehama Street.
It was great to be able to spend a little time with Willie who is one of our keynote presenters at the 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference. Willie Tejada‘s keynote (Monday, March 27 at 1:15pm) is titled “Developer Advocacy in the Cognitive Era”. The keynote description is “Developers are the primary catalyst for today’s business disruption, defining the future of technology and transformation. IBM’s mission is to help developers realize their potential and identify the tools for success in three key areas: AI & Cognitive, Cloud Infrastructure, Data Security & Privacy. To achieve leadership in this space will mean harnessing the power of cognitive to redefine the way we solve today’s business, world and human challenges.”
It’s not too late to register for DRC 2017. You’ll also hear Guy Kawasaki’s keynote “The Art of Evangelism” on Monday morning.
Does your Developer Relations Program Hook Up with Code Camp and Workspace Locations?
Send me an email if your developer relations program partners with code camps and/or workspace locations. I’d like to hear how you combine your outreach and leverage the entrepreneurial environment for the benefit of both companies.
Conferences are, and have always been, a mainstay of developer outreach and marketing. Developers like conferences, especially those with a lot of meaty technical sessions by the engineers that build the technology. Key benefits for attending developer conferences include the technical sessions by developers who know great tips and techniques. Developers attending conferences also mention the social aspects of a conference: the networking, social interaction, and discussion with other developers. Sometimes developers need to send their manager a “Conference Approval Letter”.
Most conferences are put on by vendors and concentrate on that vendor’s technology, platform, service, device, etc. You might think that conferences would only be put on by very large companies with breadth and depth to provide a full schedule of keynotes and sessions. Smaller companies might put on conferences that are shorter and with less sessions. Some companies will partner with a non-competing company to put on a conference. Other companies will piggy-back a conference on a larger industry event. In any case, developers attend conferences, and most attend more than two per year.
One of the conference to-do items that I’ve used in the past is to provide potential attendees with a template letter they can customize to convince their manager to allow them to attend the conference. The letter includes information about the event, what attendees will learn, what best practices and ideas will be brought back, what contacts will be made, and how attending will help their company, employees, products and customers.
As an example of what a request to attend a conference template letter might look like, I have created a sample email/letter/memo for our upcoming 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference.
Template Email/Letter/Memo Requesting Approval to Attend a Conference
Here is a draft email/letter/memo you can use to request approval to attend the 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, March 27 & 28, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto, California
Subject: Request for Authorization to attend the 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference
I would like your approval for me to attend the 13th Annual Evans Data Developer Relations Conference, March 27 & 28, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto, California. The conference features two days of keynotes and sessions by leading executives and directors of Developer Relations and Advocacy programs for top technology companies in the world. This is a conference unlike any other, developer relations experts from leading companies in the software, telecom and web markets will come together to discuss best practices and reveal the techniques behind their success!
At the conference I will learn developer outreach best practices, tips & advice, and other aspects of running a world class developer relations program from the business side (program ROI, the connection between developer programs and company revenue, budgeting for/costs of developer programs, how to get an organization’s commitment of internal resources, etc.) to the marketing side (techniques for recruitment, awareness tactics, community loyalty building programs, legal/privacy and global privacy considerations, conducting a privacy audit, internationalizing a US-based developer program, etc.), and much more.
During the conference I will have ample opportunity to network with top developer relations program managers, ask specific questions that can help our developer outreach plans and learn “The Art of Evangelism” from Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, board of trustees member of the Wikimedia Foundation, a brand ambassador for Mercedes Benz USA, executive fellow of the Haas School of Business (UC Berkeley) and former chief evangelist of Apple.
Who will be attend:
- VPs, CTOs, and CEOs
- Business Development Managers & Directors
- Managers & Directors of Developer Programs
- Product Marketing Managers & Directors
- Marketing Managers
- Technology & Developer Evangelists
- Products Managers
- Research Managers
- Corporate Communications Managers
- Heads of Developer Marketing
If you approve my attendance before December 31, 2016 I can take advantage of the super early bird pricing and save our company $400. If you approve before January 31, 2017 I can save $300 on the full conference price of $1295.
Thank you in advance for considering this opportunity for me to attend this unique conference. Please let me know if you need additional information about the conference. You can find additional information, conference schedule, speaker list and companies planning to attend on the conference web site at https://evansdata.com/drc/2017/
I look forward to your reply.
[Your Name Here]
PS: There is also a pre-conference Developer Relations Boot Camp that can additionally prepare me for the two day conference. The Evans Data Corporation’s Developer Relations Boot Camp provides a solid foundation on which I can build or enhance our developer program. Concentrated sessions in this one-day instructional program provide the insight and actionable information I can use to build our brand and establish strong relationships with our developer community.
The combination of an experienced boot camp faculty and Evans Data developer research will guide:
- Careful consideration regarding the reasons why developers seek out and participate in developer programs
- The most effective means of reaching out to them
- How you can leverage social media to greatest effect.
At the end of the day I will leave with a certificate of completion as well as the knowledge and confidence to create, enhance and run a world class developer program.
Other “need to convince your boss?” example conference template letters
Here are a few additional examples of template letters that conferences have provided for their target attendees.
Do you have developer conference manager approval template letters?
If you have your own template manager approval letters that you provide to your program members, send me an email with the link or text.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
In today’s interconnected world, companies in all industries need to publish APIs and cultivate a developer community to access and use them. To be competitive today, attracting and supporting developers is essential. The key to cultivating a vibrant developer community that uses your APIs and supports your platform is a good developer relations program. “Developer Programs and APIs in the News” is a series of news items from developer programs around the world.
Developer Programs and APIs in the News
Amazon AWS – December 21 – AWS Cost Explorer Update: Reserved Instance Utilization Report – “Cost Explorer is a tool that helps you to manage your AWS spending using reporting and analytics tools . You can sign up with a single click and then visualize your AWS costs, analyze trends, and look at spending patterns. You can look at your spending through a set of predefined views (by service, by linked account, daily, and so forth). You can drill in to specific areas of interest and you can also set up custom filters.”
Facebook – December 20 – Watch Mark Zuckerberg demonstrate Jarvis AI in a Facebook video – “After a year of coding, here’s Jarvis. In case it’s not clear, this is meant to be a fun summary and not a live demo. My personal challenge for 2016 was to build a simple AI to run my home — like Jarvis in Iron Man. If you want to read about how I built it, check out the note I published yesterday: https://www.facebook.com/notes/mark-zuckerberg/building-jarvis/10154361492931634”
whitehouse.gov – December 20 – the White House releases its Artificial Intelligence, Automaton, and the Economy report (PDF) – “Advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology and related fields have opened up new markets and new opportunities for progress in critical areas such as health, education, energy, economic inclusion, social welfare, and the environment. Although it is unlikely that machines will exhibit broadly-applicable intelligence comparable to or exceeding that of humans in the next 20 years, it is to be expected that machines will continue to reach and exceed human performance on more and more tasks.”
BMW – December 20 – BMW Group combines expertise in Munich’s Unterschleissheim: New development centre for autonomous driving – “The BMW iNEXT is scheduled for release in 2021 – self-driving, electric and fully connected. A whole range of highly-automated models from all BMW Group brands are set to follow. To achieve this aim, the BMW Group is combining its development expertise in vehicle connectivity and automated driving at a new campus in Unterschleissheim near Munich.”
SugarCRM – December 19 – Here are 3 new resources for developing on Sugar 7.8 – “You may have seen that that Sugar 7.8 has now been released! We have introduced some important platform updates in this release. Have you read the developer release notes yet? Here are three additional and essential resources for you to use before you embark on new Sugar 7.8 projects: Migration Guide, Unit Tests, and Overview for Sugar Developers.”
IBM – December 15 – Look who’s talking: IBM debuts Watson Speech To Text ‘Speaker Diarization’ beta – “Today, IBM Research and Watson commercial teams working together have made a significant step forward to advance this ability to distinguish between speakers in a conversation. Watson’s Speech To Text API has been enhanced with beta functionality that supports real time speaker ‘diarization.’ Diarization derives from ‘diary’ or the recording of past events. Here, it refers to the algorithms used to identify and segment speech by speaker identity.”
Wolfram Research – December 12 – Stephen Wolfram Launches Wolfram Alpha Open Code – “Code for Everyone – Computational thinking needs to be an integral part of modern education—and today I’m excited to be able to launch another contribution to this goal: Wolfram|Alpha Open Code. Every day, millions of students around the world use Wolfram|Alpha to compute answers. With Wolfram|Alpha Open Code they’ll now not just be able to get answers, but also be able to get code that lets them explore further and immediately apply computational thinking.”
Blackberry – December 8 – BlackBerry Unveils Comprehensive Mobile-Security Platform for the Enterprise of Things – “BlackBerry’s new platform is designed to be the foundation that drives the company’s ongoing move to software, is cloud enabled and addresses the entire enterprise from endpoint to endpoint. This platform completes the integration of the company’s prior acquisitions of key technologies such as Good Technology, WatchDox, AtHoc and Encription. The totality of the BlackBerry solution is called BlackBerry Secure and is grounded in the company’s mobile software security platform. It helps companies manage and secure their mobile devices and connected things and secures communications for all messaging and file types – ultimately opening up new markets for BlackBerry where multiple endpoint mobile security management and applications are critical.”
Google – December 8 – Start building Conversation Actions for Google Home – “The Google Assistant brings together all of the technology and smarts we’ve been building for years, from the Knowledge Graph to Natural Language Processing. To be a truly successful Assistant, it should be able to connect users across the apps and services in their lives. This makes enabling an ecosystem where developers can bring diverse and unique services to users through the Google Assistant really important.”
Microsoft – December 7 – Microsoft empowers new development opportunities in mixed reality, gaming and cellular PCs = “Terry Myerson, executive vice president, Windows and Devices Group, Microsoft, was joined on stage in Shenzhen by Navin Shenoy, senior vice president and general manager for the Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation, and Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. Together, the companies showcased new ways for partners to build modern devices that will empower the next generation of creators.”
Oxford Dictionaries – December 5 – Oxford Dictionaries launches API for access to world-renowned dictionaries data – “Oxford Dictionaries is pleased to announce the launch of the Oxford Dictionaries API which, for the first time, will enable developers to access and utilize Oxford’s leading lexical content and provide a gateway to our innovative Lexical Engine and Platform (LEAP), where our multilingual dictionary data is optimized and semantically linked.”
Unity Technologies and Xioami – November 21 – Unity and Xiaomi Partner to Grow Global App Economy: Developers will be able to access MIUI app store, licensing support and new revenue streams in China – “As one of the top Android device makers in China, Xiaomi boasts one of the world’s most engaged audiences, with the MIUI app store seeing more than 50 billion downloads to date. Unity developers will have unparalleled access and distribution support across a key market of players seeking high-quality original experiences.”
HERE – November 9 – Release notification: New Enhancements to HERE Platform services – “Updates to Geocoder API, Geocoder Autocomplete API, HLP Routing API, Map Image API, Map Tile API, Public Transit API, Venue Maps API, Custom Location Extension, Route Match Extension, Toll Cost Extension, Waypoints Sequence Extension, Platform Data Extension, HERE Android SDK, HERE iOS SDK and Map Data.”
Send me your Developer Programs News!
If you have news about your Developer Relations Program, send me an email about the news.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation