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Tessa Kriesel for Devocate

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How did you land your first role?

We published a new blog post on the Devocate blog, Developer advocacy as a career path 🙌

If you're currently in developer advocacy, what path did you take to land your first role?

Discussion (12)

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tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

Going to tag a few great developer advocates in here as I’m sure our aspiring advocates would love to hear more stories. How did you land your first role in developer advocacy?
@lornajane , @catalinpit , @christinag , @laka , @quintessence , @colmdoyle

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Quintessence Anx

👋 Took a few days for me to catch up on messages, but here we go:

I spent most of my 20s doing various tech jobs, and when I switched to Developer Advocacy I was actually talking to someone in my (local / same city network) who was leaving a role and wanted to see if I was interested in making a career switch and recommend me for that role. It ended up being helpful that I would randomly blog throughout my engineering career because I was able to use that for writing samples and history as part of my interview process.

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tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

That's awesome. Great tip on blogging through out your engineering career so you can leverage that for interviewing material later.

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Lorna Mitchell

I had been an engineer for a long time, wrote blog that I still love, and used most of my vacation time to speak at conferences. So then when I went looking for a way to get paid for all this "extra" stuff, I could already demonstrate that I had a lot of the skills for DevRel. Maybe more importantly I also knew that I would enjoy doing all those things!

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Tessa Kriesel Author

I completely agree. I feel in love with teaching folks to code and it definitely fueled my desire to spend more time in thought leadership, and eventually DevRel. So glad you're here sharing your experiences, Lorna. 💜

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Christina Gorton

I am a self-taught (though I like to say community taught) developer. While I was learning to code I was usually teaching others at the same time. I have blogged, created courses, taught at a bootcamp and lead workshops since I got in to code.

I like code but I like the "people side" of code more and helping others to learn.

Last year I joined Forem as a Community Manager for their open source community. My role as a community manager naturally led me to being their developer advocate after I spoke with my manager and discussed with them that the role I was already doing WAS developer advocacy 😆.
I am on a "team of one" so that can be hard especially since this is my first official DevRel role but it has also given me a lot of autonomy. I am working to define the role at Forem more so that we can eventually bring on more developer advocates if needed and they don't have to just "figure it out" like I have so far :)

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Tessa Kriesel Author

LOVE the community-taught angle! When I learned to code there was very minimal resources and communities around. I would have loved to have been community-taught! And I too like the people side of code more.

Being on a team one can be VERY isolating, it's a major struggle that isn't talked about enough. We should definitely share some future content about that, or maybe we could do a networking video call with some folks who are also teams of one. Love that you're thinking about strategy of growth. Hope to help you recruit your first hire when that happens.

Really glad you're here. 💜

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Lorna Mitchell

I wrote a post with a similar title but maybe a different take, that might also be interesting lornajane.net/posts/2021/consideri... - TL;DR I think DevRel is a great career, whether you commit to doing it for the long term, or do a couple of years here and then go off and do something else.

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Tessa Kriesel Author

Feel free to share that post here too. You can leverage the RSS feed under settings to import your blog posts!

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Jere Suikkila

I worked in PR and Marketing for 5 years before switching careers and going to University for Computer Science. I worked as a full-stack developer but wanted to move to Canada and saw the perfect role for me. A Developer Evangelist in an indoor mapping company. I worked in the industry before so it felt too perfect. I'm really enjoying the role where I get to combine content creation with development.

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Colm Doyle • Edited

Funny enough, Slack is my first role where I'm literally in the Developer Relations org.

Back in 2010 I was doing a customer support style role for a developer platform and just started doing more and more DevRel style work (booth duty, presentations, blog posts etc). I was in that quasi-state for about 4 years, doing DevRel side gigs from inside the support team.

I about to move into the DevRel org more formally, but did a 90 degree turn and joined the product eng org at that company. Stayed there for a year or so, moved to my last job where I ended up managing the whole engineering team, and then when Slack opened a DevRel role here in Dublin, I decided to make another 90 degree turn. It was mostly cause I'd worked with Bear Douglas in the past and she's on my "always take chances to work with them" list of people.

So 3.5 years later I'm still here :)

And of course I'm hiring :D

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tessak22 profile image
Tessa Kriesel Author

@notadev_devadvocate , I love your username. I can relate lately. 🤣

Any chance you’d wanna share your story of how you landed your first role?