I recently accepted a new position as Head of Developer Relations at car2go and even though I got the question before already, after the announcement I received dozens more: what the hell is Developer Relations or a Developer Advocate?
As usual this completely depends on the companies needs but in general, a Developer Advocate is engaging in the tech community (external work) and helps improve the developer experience and culture in the company (internal work). In companies like Google or Microsoft, these folks push their developer targeted products, create support material, proof of concepts and educate third party developers. On the other side they shield internal developers from community noise, influence product roadmaps around DX (developer experience) and help to make the teams more productive.
car2go doesn't have developer targeted products but we have a product that constantly needs tech folks. The outside work of the job consists of participating, speaking and/or sponsoring meetups, conferences and hackathons as well as pushing our open source efforts, tech-related publications and social media activities of our product team which should place us as an attractive employer in the tech community.
Internally though, it is about helping to create and shape a product-mindset, a tech culture among all of our colleagues and enable our product teams to deliver with quality and speed. Be it through identifying and tackling whatever hinders innovation and creation by our product teams or by creating tools and proof-of-concepts that inspire and motivate our staff .
While a vague description and hard to measure its impact, I think this team is incredibly important for any aspiring tech company that needs to recruit and keep talent while enabling their product staff to innovate and have fun while doing so. To me, this is an incredibly exciting position and it let's me focus on the grand picture of our product team and tech culture.
Exciting times are ahead!