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18 months in DevRel

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It’s now been 18 months since I started at Contentful. I enjoy writing these recaps, if anything it makes my performance reviews a lot easier. Before I started, I remember wondering what the day-to-day of developer advocates looked like, so hopefully this helps others in that situation.

Hit the stage again

On 🎃 Halloween day this year, I went up on stage for the first time since 2020. I spoke about creating your own maps, and had lots of fun. I did some live audience participation with Partykit, used d3.js to generate a video, and talked about projections. In other words, it was a very “me” talk.

Me on stage

I gave the talk at the Manchester Tech Festival, inside the beautiful building of the People’s Museum.

Community writing program

We wanted to increase the cadence of technical articles for the Contentful blog, so we started a community writing program.

I was in charge of the beta version of the program. We had a lot of things to iron out from a legal, financial and logistical perspective, namely:

  • Content ownership and rights waivers
  • How to pay people in a way that worked for us and was expedient
  • Create an submission process

I’m glad I did it, if anything I’m now an expert at spotting GPT-written content.

The network that I built over this year proved to be invaluable for this. I met Atila Fassina in React Norway, then reached out to him for the program, then he wrote an article about React server components that was a massive success.

Fun demos

For React Advanced London, I channelled my inner Matt Deslauriers and created a controlled generative art demo that the attendees built throughout the day when visiting our booth.

It was fun, and totally out of left field for a CMS company. We used this demo again for our booth at CityJS Berlin and people loved it.


This year’s conference season started fading away in mid-June, and then restarted in earnest in September and October (I was at a 3 conferences in 4 days at one point).

  • EY + Netlify Hackathon
    I attended a hackathon at EY’s offices in London, in partnership with Netlify and Contentful. We used Edge Functions to do A/B testing and made everything configurable in Contentful. It was great to meet my fellow internet citizens Matt and Phil.
  • Contentful Storylines
    Harshil and I had a booth at the event in London, and I organised a meetup the day before. The meetup was small, but the talks were of highest quality, with speakers that normally come with a high fee. Special thanks to Akash, Taz, and Josh for coming along.
  • Uncodebar
    As I mentioned before, starting the partnership with codebar was one of the best things I did this year. We continued to work together, and I participated in 2 of their 3 unconferences, in London and Barcelona.
  • React Advanced London
    I ran a booth with Shane and Bhekani, we even had a brief appearance on stage to announce the winner of the giveaway.
  • Civo Navigate
    I know nothing about DevOps, so Civo Navigate was particularly fascinating to me.
  • DevRelCon London
    We took advantage of DevRelCon in London to bring myself, Harshil and Brittany together.

Our DevRel team worked with an agency on some new swag designed for developers. It was a success. We hardly ever had leftovers, and one of the attendees at React London told us “you guys have the best merch.”

All in all, busy time, but very fun and varied. I spent way more time coding away, thinking, experimenting, while still doing plenty of event work.

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