The Developer Advocacy Handbook
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The Developer Advocacy Handbook

About the Book

This handbook will get you on the way to be a great developer advocate for any product or company. Naturally, your approach may need tweaking for different markets and audiences—and in accordance with your own personality—but the main principles are the same for everybody and anywhere in the world. Developer Relations is a rather new market and there are many confusing messages out there what it means to do this job, In this book, the author documented 15 years of Developer Advocacy and how to deal with the demands of the job. Whether you are new to the job, or you feel unhappy in your current role, here you'll learn how to get started the right way. For people on the job, it is a great way to remind yourself what's important.

About the Authors

Jens Oliver Meiert
Jens Oliver Meiert

Jens Oliver Meiert is an engineering lead and author who works as an engineering manager at Miro. He’s an expert in web development, specializing in HTML and CSS minimization and optimization. Jens contributes to technical standards, publishes news and tools on his frontend development outlet, Frontend Dogma, and regularly writes about the craft of web development on his website,

Christian Heilmann
Christian Heilmann

Web Developer since 1996, having worked on the largest web projects out there. Former eToys, Yahoo, Mozilla and current Microsoft employee. Worked with distributed teams since 2000 and lived in 5 different countries. Blogger since 2004, Skillshare teacher and avid user of social media as an education tool. Currently working as Principal Product Manager on Developer Tools for Microsoft Edge. Spoke at roughly 150 conferences over the years, including TEDx and keynoting various high-impact events.

Table of Contents

  • About this handbook
    • About this version
    • About the author
  • What is Developer Advocacy?
    • Defining Developer Advocacy
    • Start with the right mindset
    • Find your role and play to your strengths
  • Work with your own company
    • Prepare for prejudice
    • Deal with company changes
    • Be there for internal developers
    • Work with PR and marketing
    • Be known as an outward channel
    • Train other advocates and developers
    • Share useful technology
    • Balance your personal and official channels
    • Remove the brand
  • Working with your competition
    • Work with the competition
    • Show respect to the competition
    • Acknowledge when the competition is better
    • Know about the competition
    • Build examples using and trying out competitive products
  • Prepare for outreach
    • Get your facts right
    • Know the audience and their needs
    • Have expert backup
    • Choose the right medium
    • Plan for failure
  • Get speaking opportunities
    • Take part in podcasts
    • Take part in panels
    • Go to Grass Roots events
    • Go to Meetups
    • Write articles
    • Offer Brownbags
    • Ask questions at conferences
    • Be a presenter people want to invite—publish your presenter terms
  • Travel and conference participation
    • Getting your travel and accommodation sorted
    • Who pays what?
    • Be at the event
    • Give the event some social media love
    • Use the event to build a network
    • Keep track of your conference participation
    • Work with the conference buzz
  • Deliver a talk or workshop
    • Be yourself
    • Invite communication
    • Prepare takeaways
    • Plan time for and own the questions and answers
    • Be honest and real
    • Follow up communication
  • Delivering presentations tips: timekeeping and more
    • How will I fit all of this in X minutes?
    • Less is more
    • Your talk is only extremely important to you
    • Map out more information
    • Live coding?
    • Avoid questions
    • Things to cut
    • Talk fillers
    • Planning Your Talk Summary
  • Things not to say on stage—and what to do instead
    • “This is easy…”
    • “I’ll repeat quickly, for the few of you who don’t know…”
    • “Everybody can do that…”
    • “X solves this problem, so you don’t have to worry about it”
    • “As everybody knows…”
    • “This is just like we learned in school…”
    • “That’s why Y (your product) is much better than (competitor) X”
    • “This can be done in a few lines of code…”
    • “If you want to be professional, do X”
    • A quick check
  • Write great posts and articles
    • Simple is not stupid
    • Say what it is—don’t sugar-coat it
    • Size matters
    • Add media
    • Structure your content
    • Time-stamp your content
    • Cite to prove
    • Pre-emptive writing
    • Ending on an invitation to learn more
  • Write excellent code examples
    • Solve a problem with your example
    • Show a working example
    • Explain the necessary environment
    • Write working copy and paste code
    • Have the example as a download
    • Write clean and clever examples
    • Build code generators
    • Hosting code and demos
  • Prepare great slide decks for presentations
    • Know your stuff
    • Start with the content—not the slides!
    • Start with a highly portable format—text
    • Quick presentation creation tip: unpacking bullets
    • Pick a presentation tool that helps you present
  • Create great slide decks for presentations
    • Illustrate, don’t transcribe
    • Use and find images
    • About code examples
    • Sound and videos
    • Don’t bling it up
    • Keep it brief
    • Consider the audience
    • Corporate and conference templates
    • Don’t reuse without personalising
    • Share and enjoy
    • Additional presentation tips
  • A checklist for more inclusive, accessible and understandable talks
    • Talk materials
    • Format
    • Content
    • Tracking
    • Insurances
    • Bonus round
  • Keep a record of your work
    • Record the audio of your talks
    • Shoot video
    • Link collections
    • Keep a conference participation list
  • Know and use the (social) web
    • Find great web content
    • Redistribute web content
    • Be known on the web
    • Use powerful social web sites and products
    • Use the web for storage, distribution and cross-promotion
    • Hint, tease and preview
    • Track your impact
    • Build a network
    • Create or take part in a newsletter
    • Create or take part in a podcast
  • Working from your own computer
    • Get a decent setup
    • Screencasts and screenshots
    • Streaming
    • Taking part in live online chats
    • Attending live online events
  • Recording your own talks
    • Check your setup and your surroundings
    • Record different parts of the talk separately
    • Remember that you need to share the screen with your slides
    • Use accessibility features to add extra video value
    • Record in the highest possible quality
    • Keep originals and make it easy to get your video
  • Creating educational videos
    • Creating super short videos
    • Start with the script
    • Record your video and audio
    • Record a screencast of the feature
    • Sync the screencast with your audio/video
  • Final Words
  • Colophon

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