In 525,600 minutes
how do you measure a year in the life?
— Jonathan Larson, Rent
As of May 2023, I have been a developer advocate for an entire year! 🥳🎉
I feel so lucky that I get to do this job. Some days I wish I’d done it earlier, but then I don’t because I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love working in this team so much.
Compared to my first 6 months, this period was more dominated by events. I enjoy the variety so far.
Last year, the DevRel budget was part of the company’s overall marketing budget. In 2023, the DevRel team had a dedicated budget solely under our control.
I ended up helping with planning, selection and curation of our dev events for 2023. I spent more time doing this than I anticipated, and it was fun to see another side of the business and talk to organisers.
Between the last update and my one year anniversary, these are the events that I took part in (more to come):
- Contentful was the Gold Sponsor at this year’s codebar Festival in London. The keynote was included in the sponsorship but we decided to give it away.
- We helped codebar Paris find a recurring venue and covered food for their workshops with our friends from Algolia.
- Helping a non-profit and people getting into the industry is one of the most rewarding part of my job. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true.
- WASM I/O
- I’ve always been more of a “generalist / hybrid” developer, so I wanted us to get into atypical communities for a headless CMS. Or, as Harshil puts it, “go where people don’t know us.”
- The sponsorship was last-minute (my fault) but it turned out really well. I definitely want to partner with this conference again.
- Harshil, myself and a few other Contentful folks had a booth at CityJS London. We gave away a giant lego set, met loads of people, including some that I’m still in touch with to this day.
- You’ll be seeing us at more CityJS Conferences. We’ll be in Athens and Berlin. Come to see us!
- Contentful Meetups
- As of my one-year anniversary, organisation is in full swing for our first Contentful meetup of the year. The event will be in Stockholm at Valtech’s beautiful courtyard.
- We’re planning another event in London which will coincide with the Contentful Storylines Tour. Come around!
I also attended a bunch of great developer events in the US and Canada.
I produced a fair amount of content too, and I’m definitely finding my stride.
- I was a guest on 2 more podcasts, and one of the episodes I recorded back in December went live.
- I’m about to record 2 more episodes with my largest podcasts to date (Smashing Magazine!).
- Blog Posts
Outside of work, my first article for Smashing Magazine was published in December. It’s an intro to command-line data manipulation and I’m super happy about it. It’s niche and broad at the same time, and most importantly, evergreen.
This was my personal initiative and I’m so happy I got the support to launch it. It was a fun experiment and pretty much looks like an MVP.
It gives us a good foundation for what to expect for Christmas 2023, if I’m allowed near the website again.
At conferences, people often ask me why I decided to “stop coding” by doing DevRel. I was always surprised at that because I still write code, even if it’s obviously less than regular developers.
That said, apart from releasing a new code project nearly every day in December, it’s true that I didn’t do a lot of coding during the last 6 months.
I learned a lot more than I can think of right now, especially around DevRel as a discipline.
It feels obvious but I think great design really makes developer content shine. All the design details that go in everything that Vercel launches or the Astro CLI make a massive difference.
I had to do conference booths both as an sponsor and as an attendee, and it’s definitely a specific skill.