Developer relations (DevRel for short), has given high outreach and growth to a lot of companies that sell their products to software developers. For this, you have to create a winning DevRel program. Engagement in the program determines its impact on your business.
In this post, we’ll look into the impact of DevRel on business success, so that business owners can know what they stand to gain when they have a dedicated developer relations team.
But first things first:
What’s developer relations (DevRel)?
DevRel is the building and maintaining of relationships between companies that build tools for developers and the developers who use the tools to develop more products. This includes APIs, SDKs, and libraries. It aims to create a mutually beneficial relationship that increases product awareness and adoption while helping developers solve a problem.
DevRel develops and strengthens a company’s relationship with these developers to better understand their needs, exchange knowledge, and help them with the everyday use of the products, services, or API.
From the explanations above, you can see that DevRel is a unique profession. So what is it that makes developer relations unique?
What makes developer relations unique?
Developer relations isn’t traditional like marketing, business development, or sales. It’s developer engineers who interact with their fellow developers, D2D (developer to developer).
DevRels interact with software developers outside the company to spread awareness and knowledge about the company’s products (aka, users or third-party developers). The end goal is to attract developers, build a community of supporters, advocates, and evangelists, and increase the chances of developers adopting and using the company releases.
For DevRel to create product adoption and awareness among the developers who are potential users, they create resources and share feedback that these developers need to use the product, such as:
- Filing feature requests for developers to improve your product.
- Running programs to illustrate the use of the product to your developers.
- Writing documentation of your product.
- Creating sample code repositories of your product
- Creating training and technical videos for the developers on effectively using your product.
- Organizing and speaking at conferences.
- Answering questions on forums and portals like StackOverflow.
That’s it, so let’s see some examples of DevRel companies for a better understanding.
Companies that run DevRel programs
Google has some amazing developer programs with a huge global ecosystem. The communities consist of GDG, DSC, WTM, Flutter, TFUG, and more communities with hundreds of thousands of developers.
With their MVP and MSP programs, Microsoft is empowering both professionals and youngsters with the latest tools that the company is building.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) user groups don't need an introduction; they’re a very powerful and globally spread community of techies, right from cloud professionals to developers.
Commudle is a platform for developer relations to build more engaging communities. They not only provide this platform as a service to other businesses but also run their own network of communities under the name Commudle Developer Network (CDN).
Their USP is that they bring multiple types of engagement and insights to one platform, thus helping your community to grow generatively.
Developer relations’ impact on business growth
But how does DevRel impact business growth?
I’ll now explore four ways DevRel can contribute to the success of a business.
1. Increased awareness and branding
DevRel helps a company to increase its brand awareness and visibility among developers. By hosting and sponsoring events and hackathons, and providing resources such as APIs and SDKs, a company can create a positive image and reputation among developers.
This can lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing and referrals and attract new customers and partners, thereby expanding a company’s reach and influence in the industry.
For instance, say part of your DevRel strategy is to increase awareness of your product. You can either organize your own meetups/events or participate in regional tech communities that have members who are your target audiences.
2. Better support for probable customers
Developers may face technical challenges and issues when working with your company’s products, and they expect quick and effective support.
A crucial part of building a developer program is to provide abundant resources and support through communities to the users of your products. For this, the DevRel team has developer advocates, developer community managers, and evangelists who write blogs and build tutorials and videos for this purpose.
More so, the hands-on code labs with experts in the products help users solve their issues. This is more than customer support, this is about helping developers adopt the solution.
Google Codelabs is a place where the community of Google developers creates stepwise tutorials to help developers build their first application, learn about the latest updates, and how to use them for dev-centric products from Google.
Commudle Labs is another example where a community of developers creates technology-agnostic tutorials for software development.
3. Improved product development
Where developers are the key users of the company’s products, their feedback and insights are highly valuable in shaping the future of those products. DevRel can help a company collect and analyze this feedback from developers, which can be used to improve product features, fix bugs, and identify new business opportunities.
The feedback from a live webinar can also be collected, which can give you more dynamic feedback against the traditional means of using emails and polls. With this feedback, DevRel contributes to improving the company’s products to meet the needs and expectations of its audience. This will increase sales, customer loyalty, and market share for the company.
4. Collaboration and innovation
DevRels can foster collaboration and innovation among developers and the company:
- DevRels help the community of developers understand the value of the company’s technology and how to start using it.
- They help the company understand the developer community’s needs and feedback.
- And then use the feedback to improve the product for better performance.
A lot of companies whose products’ code is open sourced initially do a major chunk of their development via communities. In fact, their core support comes in from folks who contribute regularly!
When you join an open source community as a developer, you can contribute in these areas:
- Take part in code reviews to help the project with better coding standards.
- Test the application, find issues, and create the issues in the issue management system.
- Give guidance on a specific project and how to use it.
- Add a description to a project’s documentation to elaborate on some points, referred to as a README file.
- Write in-depth tutorials for the project.
- Add translations to a project. You can start this using freeCodeCamp’s translation program.
Open source contributes to a business’s success by helping early-stage adapters get support from the community and also is the source of direct feedback for the product team!
Now that you know
By investing in a DevRel program, a company can build a strong developer community, improve products, create long-term relationships, and achieve sustainable growth and success.
Are you a company seeking long-term sustainable growth and influence over your industry? Why not consider integrating a DevRel program into your operations so that you can maximize the benefits? Imagine what your company could achieve by collaborating and innovating among developers.
Download our Developer Relations Playbook, designed to help you become the MVP of developer relations today!