My name is Jayson DeLancey, and I lead the developer relations program for Dolby works with a lot of great partners who embed Dolby technology into devices. We also work with a lot of creators who make the video games, movies, TV shows, and music that we all love and enjoy.

Dolby is a technology company, and in order for people to use the technology, we need a software developer to put it all together and make the magic happen.

Here’s an overview of what I'm going to be talking about:

Who are developers? 

Is an animator or a production engineer a developer?

Well, I used to be a Production Engineer at DreamWorks Animation. My job was to write code. I worked with a lot of animators who had computer science degrees because it was a very technical endeavor, but these aren’t necessarily the roles that might show up in marketing analytics around the role of a developer. 

What about an aviation ops specialist? Is that a developer?

While I was at General Electric, I worked with a lot of people who had very specialized engineering roles but needed to find ways of automating things. So, suddenly they became developers and acted in that role.

What about an audio/video/embedded engineer? These are the sorts of folks that typically work with Dolby. Are they automating workflows?

Absolutely. And sometimes that involves understanding, manipulating, and working with code. 

What a developer does can range from a website to sophisticated database development, and there’s a large range of projects. But automation and the adoption of technology are fundamental components of that. 

What is the persona of a developer?

What’s the persona of a developer typically?

There are a lot of stereotypical types of answers related to this, and you can't just view source on a developer to understand. 

Developers are unique. Just like any segment of the population, no two developers necessarily think the same way. There are some trends, but it's not as easy as saying, “Hey, you're wearing a hoodie, you must be a developer.”

There are some really great resources out there if you're new to the developer marketing space and you're trying to understand who developers are.

I recommend a couple of books: Ask Your Developer, by Jeff Lawson, and Developer Relations, by Caroline Lewko and James Parton.

They'll cover some of the generalizations. There are trends for a reason. For example, someone who’s technical typically approaches things in a very detail-oriented way or approaches things with skepticism.

There’s also processes around creating personas. There are personas around user experience design or buyer personas. So, whether you're leaning more on the marketing side or a little bit more on the product or engineering side, that may influence how you think about personas specifically.

There are techniques for doing data-driven segmentation. If you're looking at the market as a whole, looking at different reports and things like that, those are all really great, but if you’re taking on this type of initiative, remember that it’s a group project.

You need multiple departments agreeing on personas because that's the only way you can communicate cross-functionally in an effective way. 

There's a quote that a persona is like using a toothbrush. It's a good idea but nobody wants to use somebody else's. So, if people are invested in the personas, understand what they are, and are reminded of them cross-functionally, then it becomes a resource you can share.