There's so much great content out there around different tactics to support a developer relations (DevRel) program, as well as how to measure, how to grow and build a team, what to think about when you’re building a community or creating content, and all the different elements to have as part of that strategy. 

One thing I’m currently working on is the next evolution of our developer relations program and how to build a strong strategy in the next year. That’s led me to evaluate things like, what have we learned? What’s worked well? What has the data shown and proven as impactful? And how do we make sure that there's an even stronger connection between developer relations and the business? 

Maximizing business impact through developer relations

Developer relations is truly having momentum at the moment. We see three factors in the developer landscape that prove this. One is that the API economy is on the rise as businesses adopt digital transformation. Code is the foundation of innovation today. 

And then we have Stack Overflow’s recent report, which states that 66% of developers have an influence on their organization's technology purchasing decisions. 

I use that stat a lot to prove the importance of the developer, give them a voice, and show how tooling and developer relations play an instrumental part in our strategy when we're looking at developer-first, API-driven businesses and business models. 

You have to demonstrate the value of developer relations and how it's connected to your business in the next year. I'll run through these three aspects:

  1. Speak the language of your stakeholders
  2. Foster partnerships with in-house early adopters
  3. Be data-driven: test, learn, pivot to drive value
Developer relations is a strategy, not a role | Chris Riley
We sat down with Chris to talk about how there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to developer relations, as well as what the developer journey entails.

1. Speak the language of your stakeholders

I’m currently spending a lot of time connecting with executives, leadership, and our board within MasterCard. What are they saying? What are their concerns? 

I’m also looking at tech trends. Get familiar with what's trending and useful for your business, and spend time understanding how the world's strategic technology trends are impacting your business, and how they influence your DevRel program.

Gartner recently released their Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2024, and generative AI and sustainable technologies were a big part within that. There are a lot of great tools and research that are available for free, so spend some time getting familiarized with the latest tech trends. 

Something else to consider is what's top of mind for your board members. Gartner recently did their own Board of Directors survey where they asked questions about priorities and investments. Some of the highlights from both an internal and external point of view are that boards are concerned about growing and making a profit in an economy where there's high inflation and other stresses globally.

Regulations are another concern. Regulations for AI are developing and many countries have them, but generative AI has caused extra concern in terms of policy and regulations.