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. I remember wondering what the day-to-day of developer advocates looked like before I started in the field, hopefully this helps you if you’re in that situation.
On 🎃 Halloween day this year, I went up on stage for the first time since 2020. I spoke about creating your own maps, and I had a lot of fun with it. 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.
I gave the talk at the Manchester Tech Festival, inside the beautiful building of the People’s Museum.
We wanted to increase the cadence of technical articles for the Contentful blog, so we started a community writing program.
I ran a closed beta of the program, until we stopped it to reflect on how to open it to the entire Internet. There were a lot of things to iron out from a legal, financial and logistical perspective. We had to figure out content ownership and rights waivers, how to pay people in a way that worked for us and was expedient for the writer, and 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’s conference season proved to be invaluable for this initiative. I met Atila Fassina in React Norway, then reached out to him for the program, then his article about React server components was a massive success.
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 Netlify Edge Functions to do A/B testing while having everything configurable in Contentful. It was great to meet my fellow internet citizens Matt and Phil from the Netlify team.
- Contentful Storylines
Harshil and I had a booth at the event in London, and I organised a meetup on the day before. The meetup was small, but the talks were of highest quality, with speakers that generally come with a high fee. Special thanks to Akash, Taz, and Josh for coming along.
As I mentioned before, starting the partnership with codebar was one of the best things I did this year. We continued to work together during this period, 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. I really hope I can make it to the 2024 event in Austin.
- DevRelCon London
We took advantage of DevRelCon in London to bring myself, Harshil and Brittany together.
The DevRel team worked with an agency on some new swag, designed specifically for developers. It worked, we hardly ever had leftovers after an event, 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.