April 15, 2024

In response to a developer asking: How does my DevRel blog stack up?

Sometimes I get asked questions that would be more fun to answer in public. All letters are treated as anonymous unless permission is otherwise granted.

Responses are based on my experience and opinions.

Hey [Redacted]! Your email is not easy to answer!

First, I'd reiterate that my post, What makes a great technical blog, was about personal tech blogs and not about corporate tech blogs. You linked to your work on your company blog.

Second, I am talking about my personal opinion. Now I think I have good taste. :p But again I wasn't even trying to argue for universal values, just sharing my personal opinion.

Third, I would say that I don't understand capital D, DevRel, at all. I don't mean that as an insult to DevRel but to clarify that while I think there is likely value to it, I truly don't understand it. I can see that some people build enormous followings from DevRel. For example Supabase. But both the route and the audience don't make sense to me. I'm sure that at some point I will understand these.

The thing that I focus on, including when previously leading marketing at TigerBeetle, is, when blogging/doing videos, talking solely about how the product is built. And the story having to do with the product and the company, the engineering team, etc.

That doesn't mean you don't need good docs and tutorials. You do. But you emphasize telling interesting stories about what you, the people building the product, run into.

My uninformed guess judging from your posts is that you're doing the former, DevRel.

I think the two have different audiences. When you do DevRel, you attract the common denominator developer. When you talk about engineering/product challenges, you attract more experienced developers.

The latter is probably the best way to build a Solid Engineering brand, as well as to attract Solid Engineers. The former is probably better for building a mass audience?

But really as I said, when it comes to DevRel, I'm out of my depth.

Furthermore, I have no clue (among these two paths, or others; including heavy sales-focus like Oracle or possibly EnterpriseDB) what leads to long-term business growth. I'm only fairly confident that my approach builds a strong engineering brand.