Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Table of contents
- The Problem Scenario
- What is a Developer Relations Program?
- What is a Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program?
- The Benefits of a Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program
- Define your Developer Relations Program Goals and Objectives
- Implement Developer Marketing Processes and Tools
- Set up Developer Enablement Initiatives
- Launch Developer Advocate Activities
- Build the Internal Developer Community
The Problem Scenario
You’ve been asked to develop an Engineering Center of Excellence (CoE) for the internal teams of an entire portfolio at a large corporation. The business units are currently using a modern agile framework, but the Enterprise Architecture they have created is not well-suited to their business strategy and project management processes. They want to develop faster using standardized procedures, but they can’t seem to get out of their own way. As the person responsible for this initiative, you’re tasked with developing a plan to help the development community learn about the already-existing internal tooling and processes and also help drive the business strategy forward. This is where a Corporate Developer Relations (DevRel) Program can help.
What is a Developer Relations Program?
Developer Relations (DevRel) is a set of approaches organizations use to enhance the relationship between themselves and software developers. A successful Developer Relations program focuses on four key areas: Developer Marketing, Developer Enablement, Developer Advocacy, and Developer Community.
What is a Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program?
A Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program is different from a typical developer relations program in a few ways.
- Has a primary focus on internal developers instead of an external third party developers
- Leverages private communication instead of public communication
- Works with business unit stakeholders instead of external product stakeholders
The Benefits of a Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program
There are many benefits of having a Corporate Internal Developer Relations Program.
- Improve the quality of some of the most expensive internal processes in the entire enterprise, technology development processes by making them more visible, feedback-driven, and collaborative.
- Increase the employee retention of the most difficult to replace skill sets in the business, technology workers by improving the developer experience.
- Create a more cohesive development community by providing a way for developers to connect with each other and share best practices to find solutions faster.
The key to a successful Corporate Developer Relations Program is to ensure that it is focused on business value, has a broad scope, and is driven by senior management. By doing so, you can realize the many benefits this type of program has to offer.
This article will examine a Data-Focused Organization’s corporate Developer Relations program at a high level. You’ll notice overlap and synergy across the four core areas.
Blueprint for creating a successful Internal Developer Relations Program
- Define your Internal Developer Relations program goals and objectives
Before starting anything, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your internal Developer Relations program.
- Implement Internal Developer Marketing processes and tools
Developer marketing creates demand for your internal products and services through targeted content and outreach.
- Set up Internal Developer Enablement initiatives
Internal Developer enablement is about making it easy for your internal developers to use your internal products and services.
- Launch Internal Developer Advocacy activities
Developer advocacy promotes your products and services to developers through thought leadership, community engagement, and Developer Relations.
- Build the Internal Developer Community
This community is the group of developers who are using your products and services.
There’s a lot to consider when setting up a Developer Relations program, but with some planning and effort, you can set your Data Organization up for success. Developer Relations is a vital part of any data strategy, so if you’re not already doing it, now is the time to get started.
Define your Developer Relations Program Goals and Objectives
Before starting anything, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your internal corporate Developer Relations program. What are your business goals? Once you’ve defined your goals, you can start thinking about how Developer Relations can help
Implement Developer Marketing Processes and Tools
Developer marketing creates demand for your internal products and services through targeted content and outreach. For example, internal content marketing, enterprise social media, corporate events, and work email can convince otherwise reluctant departments to utilize the technology already built by the company.
Internal Content Marketing
Your organization already has a lot of content, but is it used to its fullest potential? Internal content marketing can help you turn your organization’s existing content into valuable resources that help developers do their jobs better—for example, posting a news post about the development community in SharePoint.
Enterprise Social Media
Social media isn’t just for external communications anymore. Enterprise social media can connect developers with the resources they need and help them connect. For example, setting up an internal hashtag in Yammer that developers can use to find and share relevant content. Another example that uses Yammer is to collect feedback from software engineers and utilizing the suggestions to make a case for migrating to a new developer tool, like an IDE (Integrated Development Environment).
Internal Corporate Events
Internal corporate events can be a great way to connect developers with their needed resources—for example, setting up a booth at an internal conference or sending a team to speak at an event for the European office.
An organization’s email communication can be a great way to connect developers with the resources developers need—for example, setting up a monthly developer newsletter that highlights new resources, upcoming events, and recent successes.
Set up Developer Enablement Initiatives
Internal Developer enablement is about making it easy for your internal developers to use your corporate products and services. By providing adequate documentation, training, and support, you can increase adoption and decrease the time to value for your internal customers.
To be successful, a DevRel program needs to include documentation. This will help new developers get started with your products and services by providing them with what they need for technical references as well as code samples and reference apps that are used in production environments across the company or organization doing development work on internal API’s.
Training is also a critical component of any DevRel program. An internal DevRel program can help build awareness about your internal products and services, ask questions, get feedback from experts, and provide them with the hands-on experience they need to succeed.
Finally, support is a vital part of any Developer Relations program. An internal DevRel program can help developers get answers to their questions, resolve technical issues, and give them a way to provide feedback.
Launch Developer Advocate Activities
Developer advocates promote your products and services to developers through thought leadership and technical community engagement. By becoming a trusted resource for developers, you can increase awareness of your products and services and drive adoption.
Share your expertise with the world through Yammer blog posts, internal speaking engagements, and other corporate social media.
Technical Community Engagement
Get involved with the internal developer community by joining internal in-office technical discussions, virtual office hours, participating in internal hackathons and meetups, and hosting internal technology events.
Build the Internal Developer Community
This is the group of developers who are using internal corporate products and services. You can create a sense of belonging and increase the adoption of your products and services by providing a space for developers to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other.
Offer training courses on how to use the company’s products and services—for example, an introductory course on how to use SharePoint where the primary focus is to build relationships between developers and non-developers.
Technical Community Events
Host internal technical events—for example, an internal hackathon or a meetup on SharePoint development. This gives technical community managers another opportunity to engage with developers and get feedback on how to improve internal products and services.
Set up internal collaboration spaces—for example, a Yammer group or an email distribution list—for developers to connect and share information.
Internal Developer Relations Programs are essential for businesses that want to connect with their internal developers and create a thriving developer community. By providing resources, training, and support, businesses can create a positive experience for their developers and increase adoption of their products and services. This high-level outline is only the beginning, don’t forget you still need a DevRel Team to put this into action.
What are some benefits of an internal Developer relations program?
Some benefits of an internal Developer relations program include increased adoption of available technology, improved business outcomes, and increased satisfaction among developers.
What are some things you can do to create a successful internal Developer Relations program?
You can create a successful internal DevRel program by implementing developer marketing processes and tools, setting up developer enablement initiatives, and launching developer advocacy activities.
Why is it important to have an internal Developer Relations program?
An internal DevRel program is important because it can help increase adoption of available technology, improve business outcomes, and increase satisfaction among developers.
How can an internal Developer relations program improve business outcomes?
An internal DevRel program can improve business outcomes by increasing adoption of available technology, improving business processes, and increasing satisfaction among developers.
What are some things you should include in an internal Developer Relations program?
Things you should include in an internal DevRel program vary depending on the business strategy and goals of the organization. However, typically, an internal DevRel program includes developer marketing processes and tools, developer enablement initiatives, and developer advocacy activities.
How can I make sure my internal Developer relations program is successful?
To make sure your internal DevRel program is a success, it is important to have a clear business strategy, adequate documentation, training, and support. Additionally, be sure to check out our other guides or talk to us about our consulting options at Contact Us
What is the role of developer relations?
DevRel is an organisation-wide relationship building tool that helps build mutually beneficial relationships for software developers. The software development strategy is also a set of techniques that helps businesses work with software developers.
What does DevRel stand for?
Developer Relations are an innovative method that focuses on improving the B2B communication between a software company and an external programer that uses the company’s open API.
What is a developer advocate role?
A advocate is a person speaking in defence for a person or cause. This DevRel role has the responsibility to talk with the developers and write about them. They give developers the needs and wants of the company and represent this company in the developer community as well.
How does DevRel relate to non-technical internal product teams?
Internal product teams are responsible for the strategy, planning, and execution of a company’s products. They work with developers to ensure that the products they create meet the needs of the business.
What responsibilities does a Developer Relations Team have?
DevRels have interdisciplinary responsibilities that sit between product development, engineering and product sales. Developer Relations is an integrated role positioned at the border of product, engineering and marketing. The responsibilities of a DevRel are to connect developers with the business, advocate for developer needs internally, and educate both developers and business about the company’s products.
What is the difference between Developer Marketing and Developer Relations?
Developer Marketing, aka Engineering Marketing, is the process of creating demand for a company’s products or services among the technical community. Developer relations is the process of building and maintaining relationships with that technical community.
What are some skills that a successful DevRel needs?
To be successful, a Developer Relations Team member should have excellent communication skills, be able to work independently, and be familiar with project management tools and processes. Additionally, they should be able to build relationships easily and have a strong understanding of the software development process.
What professional or career path work for a DevRel team?
Typical job titles and job roles on a Developer Relations Team include
- Developer Evangelist
- DevRel Professional
- Technical Community Manager
- Developer Experience Manager
- Director of Developer Education
- Director of Software Engineering
- Head of Developer Experience
- Product Marketing Manager (for Developers)
- Technical Writer
- Developer Marketer
- Community Management Assistant
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
What are some common activities that DevRels engage in?
Common activities for DevRels include writing blog posts, giving talks at events, creating and maintaining documentation, and providing support to developers.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas; Jacob brings 20 years of technology experience, with previous roles as a chief information officer, principal architect, cloud engineer, and full-stack software developer; while producing technology that manages $1 trillion worth of financial transactions. He currently has over 40 IT certifications.