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The Twelve C’s of Developer Relations (abridged version)
In everything that developer marketing, developer relations and developer advocacy team members do, it is good to remember the twelve C’s that are integral parts of a well oiled developer program and community. Here is a short hand version of my twelve C’s of Developer Relations. Later on, I’ll create a DevRelate white paper with a more in-depth coverage of each of the C’s.
The Twelve C’s (in no specific priority order except for the first 3)
- Community – the main place where your development team, developer relations team and members will take part in your program, gain insights, solve problems, find answers and learn new tips, tricks and techniques.
- Content – the videos, quick start guides, documentation, tutorials, white papers, blog posts and other valuable content.
- Code – everyone will where most developers will spend a good portion of their time reading and writing programs. Developers love to write code, they also love to read it and share it with other developers.
- Communication – developers like to talk to other developers. Developers also like to interact with the software engineers that create the tools, SDKs, APIs and content .
- Collaboration – there are very few “lone” developers. Most developers work in teams, interact with other developers in their company, in their community and online in developer sites. Creating as many ways to foster collaboration by your team and your members is a sure sign of a vibrant and supportive community.
- Contests – many developers like challenges. Some will enter programming contests and take part on hackathons. If you are creating online contests, make sure they run for a longer period of time that the typical weekend hackathon.
- Champions – Look for the best of the best in your developer community. You’ll find them active in most aspects of your program and site. You can use gamification to identify top contributors and helpers. Give your champions a special
- Conversations – make sure your developer program provides multiple ways for developers and your team to have conversations. These features can include forums/newsgroups, threaded conversations, posting comments on code, content, bug reports, etc.
- Cooperation – allow your partners and program members to help you by cooperating on bug triage, helping answer questions, participate in software testing, helping other developers with coding work, and more.
- Contribution – allow your developer program members to contribute blog posts, add to your documentation wikis, input knowledge in the form of tips, tricks, techniques and lessons learned. If you have a bug reporting system (who doesn’t) allow community members to provide workarounds and source code fixes that work.
- Certification – providing online and in person courses creates a more literate developer community. Providing an infrastructure for testing and certifying developers and the apps they build gives program members and their companies a higher status in your ecosystem. Some developer programs are also cooperating with local schools and online MOOCs to provide certificates of learning for technologies and your products, services, devices, APIs, tools, etc. The Google NanoDegree given by Udacity is one example of the modern way to train and certify developers. Most app stores also have test and certification systems for your apps.
- Celebration – programming is fun (at least it is for me). Celebrating this unique form of creation and art should happen all the time in your developer program. Let your members vote for the apps, developers, MVPs, partners of the month and year (we see the same example in employee of the month/year in a lot of companies). Celebrate the release of a new product, a new partner integration, and a new capability. I even know a developer who told me that his company has “software and systems retirement” parties when they shut down and replace an application.
Do you have other C’s?
I’m sure you have additional C’s that you use and follow in your developer program and outreach. Here are a few additional C’s that I hear being used in presentations at the recent Evans Data Developer Marketing Summit: coolness, cognition, context, curiosity, culture, cohesiveness, completeness, capture, closed, and campaign.
David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
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- The Twelve C's of Developer Relations (abridged version)
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