What is DevRel anyway: A Deepgram Approach to Developer Relations
Bekah Hawrot Weigel
There’s been a developer relations (DevRel) explosion over the last couple of years, and the pandemic has forced many teams to redefine what their DevRel teams are doing and how they’re doing it. Many teams who have spent most of their time doing conference talks and in-person interactions have been forced to pivot their focus to online content creation, including talks, and exploring new modes of engagement like voice chats. Before we jump into the Deepgram DevRel team, let’s take a look at some approaches to developer relations.
What is DevRel?
First, let’s give DevRel a definition. This is a little harder than it seems because everyone defines it differently. Developer Relations is an interdisciplinary field in technology that focuses on creating, nurturing, and supporting the relationship between a company or product and developers or developer teams. The interdisciplinary nature of the work means that it will often overlap other departments, such as marketing, product, sales, and education, for example, and may even fall under the direction of one of those departments.
One thing is for sure, not all developer relation teams will look the same. Each team's approach will depend on what department the team falls under and who leads the team. Some examples of different approaches include:
Content creation, including writing and audio-visual
Events, whether through sponsorships, hosting, or education opportunities
Partnerships and feedback loops
Developer Experience and documentation
At Deepgram, our DevRel team frequently collaborates, provides each other with feedback, and works together to support developers in the wider tech industry, whether through the content we create, 1:1 support, or general involvement in communities and events. We all also create awareness of Deepgram and highlight the awesome projects we see in the community that use Deepgram, like this post on creating automatic blog posts from videos
Together, our team takes a three-pillar approach:
Community is both the tech community at large and the community we’re creating at Deepgram. Our community approach includes collaborating with existing communities, attending third-party initiatives like events, and creating our own events like livestreams and Twitter Spaces. Another part of this is creating documentation for community events as well as structures and processes to help ensure a safe and inclusive community space.
Most of our written and audio-visual content creation falls under this category. We create educational content through our blog posts, videos, livestreams, demos, workshops, and internal education. Our education focus includes internal efforts within Deepgram and the external content you see.
By a strict definition, our engineers who work on maintaining our Deepgram Docs site, SDKs, and tooling fall under the pillar of Experience. However, it’s worth noting that everything we do could fall under the Experience pillar. How do our community members feel after attending our event? Have we created clear content that provides a good learning experience? We value providing a good experience for developers in all spaces.
Our team of seven consists of three Developer Experience Engineers, two Developer Advocates, one Technical Community Builder, and our Head of Developer Relations. As a team, we don't report to any other department. Rather, we openly communicate with other departments and determine the best focus for our team.
Our team members are involved in each of the pillars and we value the support and perspectives we bring to the team. There is some specialization, with the Developer Experience team concentrating on the Experience pillar. The Developer Advocates and Technical Community Builder concentrate on our efforts within the Community and Education pillars, but we make a continual and deliberate decision to create space for discussions and decisions to be made together on all three pillars. We all come from diverse backgrounds and have different experiences that enrich and inform what we’re working on to make it better.
As a DevRel team, we want our interactions to build up the developers we’re engaging with--whether through our site and tools, content, or other interactions. We want developers to dream big, and we want to help make those dreams happen. We’re here to help developers become better developers.
If you have questions or want to hear more about starting in DevRel, you can check our upcoming Twitter Space or let us know what questions you have about DevRel in general or how our team works together: @DeepgramA
If you have any feedback about this post, or anything else around Deepgram, we'd love to hear from you. Please let us know in our GitHub discussions .