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How to Become a Developer Advocate Fast (2024)

Are you a developer who loves to connect with like-minded people?

Then, being a Developer Advocate might be an ideal job for you.

A developer advocate is a professional who teaches developers how to use technology by communicating complex technical concepts.

They are invaluable for tech companies as they bridge the gap between developers and their products or services.

So, how do you start your career in this exciting field?

This guide will help you through the process, providing essential steps and strategies for quickly becoming a successful developer advocate.

Let's get started.

What Does a Developer Advocate Do?

Developer advocates, also known as developer evangelists or developer relations (DevRel), are the link between developers and the companies they work for.

They are technical experts who:

  • Engage with developers and understand their needs.
  • Advocate for solutions that benefit both developers and the company they represent.
  • Facilitate the adoption of their company's products and services by providing technical guidance, support, and resources.

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Roles and Responsibilities of a Developer Advocate

Roles and Responsibilities

Here are some key responsibilities of a developer advocate and the problems they solve:

Technical Content Creation

They educate developers by creating technical content such as:

  • Blog posts
  • Guides and¬†tutorials
  • Walk-through videos
  • Presentations
  • Documentation
  • Podcasts and webinars

Their primary role is to help developers get the most out of a product by solving common challenges and sharing best practices.

They also attend workshops and training sessions to help developers learn new skills and deepen their understanding of using a company's tech stack effectively.

Engagement and Community Building

The role of a developer advocate is centered around community building.

They actively engage with developer communities through various channels, such as:

  • Online forums and communities
  • Social media sites
  • Conferences and meetups

They participate in discussions and Q&A sessions and provide support to developers to build relationships within the community.

Product Promotion

They promote their company's services and products to the developer community to increase adoption. It involves:

  • Demonstrating common use cases
  • Showcase product value
  • Promoting specific features
  • Sharing success stories

They gather feedback from the community about the products and overall user experience and relay it back to the management and marketing teams.

This feedback helps improve product quality to meet the client's requirements and expectations.

Technical Support and Assistance

Developer advocates often assist developers with technical issues and provide guidance to address problems related to the company's products or APIs.

They work closely with management and support teams to advocate for bug fixes and issue requests.

Optimize Developer Experience

They collaborate with industry experts and product teams to provide the best possible experience for developers.

They aim to engage, educate, and help developers and solve business problems by using different strategies such as:

  • Provide hands-on training and practical guidance to increase adoption and retention.
  • Help provide proper documentation to enhance usability and performance.
  • Improve developer tools and resources¬†based on feedback.

Skills Needed to Excel as a Developer Advocate

Skills Needed to Excel

To become a 10x developer advocate, you need a combination of hard and soft skills and a passion for software development.

Communication Skills

Strong communication skills are essential for the job of a developer advocate.

You need to have excellent verbal and written communication skills to convey complex technical concepts clearly and understandably.

You must be adept at delivering presentations, writing blog posts, and engaging in meaningful conversations.

Quick Tip:

A great way to engage with the developer community is by sharing your technical ideas with others. Snappify allows you to create beautiful presentations with animations and share them as code snippets.

Technical Skills

You need a strong technical background with experience in software development, programming languages, and frameworks.

Technical content marketing is important if you want to effectively advocate for the company's products or tech stack.

Advocating for developers does not mean you need to be the world's best software developer, but you should be able to communicate technical knowledge effectively.

Some technical skills you can have if you want to work as a developer advocate:

  • Coding and web development
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Project management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Digital Marketing

Quick tip:

Check out our latest article about how to improve technical skills as a software developer to stay ahead of the competition.

Public Speaking

What makes a great developer advocate is the ability to speak publicly at tech conferences and meetups.

You need to be confident and comfortable in public speaking to deliver presentations and host workshops, webinars, or other events.

It can be daunting, but with practice and preparation, you can become a confident and effective speaker and easily connect with your audience.

Empathy

A key skill for this job is the desire to help others learn.

When you are passionate about a product or technology, you can share your passion and experience with other developers.

It makes you a more impactful developer advocate as you can:

  • Empathize with the developer's needs and relate to them.
  • Listen to their concerns.
  • Understand their perspectives.
  • Choose what works best for them.

Collaboration

As a developer advocate, you will need to work closely with cross-functional teams that include product management, engineering, marketing, and support teams.

It requires strong collaboration and teamwork skills to coordinate advocacy activities and address developer needs successfully.

Adaptability and Creative Thinking

As a developer advocate, you must stay updated on the latest technologies, industry trends, and best practices.

You need to be able to think outside the box to create new and innovative advocacy strategies.

Creating high-quality educational content and sharing your passion for technology with others is also important.

Steps to Become a Developer Advocate

Steps to Become a Developer Advocate

Becoming a developer advocate is a challenging path. You learn as you grow.

According to the 2023 State of Developer Relations Report, 86.6% of people learn on the job, while 77% have some technical knowledge.

Here are some strategies to help you get started.

Set A Clear Career Objective

The developer advocate role is deeply associated with technical evangelism and community engagement.

So, it is important to define your career objectives.

Ask yourself what you hope to achieve in this role and what impact you want to make within the developer community.

Key tips:

  • Identify your developer audience and understand their pain points.
  • Select a technology you want to focus on, such as web development, mobile app development, or any programming language.
  • Ensure you are proficient in your chosen tech stack, related development tools, and best practices.
  • Invest time in improving your technical skills and learning new skills in high demand.

Create Your Content

Content creation is a huge part of the developer advocate's job.

One of the best ways to start your career is to become a technical writer and practice writing about technical topics.

Technical blog posts, tutorials, and documentation are important for effectively communicating technical concepts, use cases, and best practices to developers.

Create a YouTube Channel or a Blog

Create a blog where you can share how-to guides, case studies, and product reviews to add value to developers and showcase your knowledge and skills.

You can also create a YouTube channel to share your expertise and insights with a broader audience by making short video tutorials about your favorite technical topics or products.

Build Real-world Applications

Learning the theory behind a topic and not putting it to practical use wastes time and effort.

To advocate for developers, you should master how to use the tools or technology you are advocating for.

Building real-world websites or apps will not only give you a valuable chance to put your skills to use, but you can also:

  • Solidify your knowledge of the tools you use.
  • Understand their limitations.
  • Learn how you can improve them.

Contribute to Open Source Projects

Contributing code, documentation, or support to open-source projects on platforms like GitHub is a great way to give back to the community and establish your credibility as a developer advocate.

Network and Build Relationships

Effective networking is more than just self-promotion; it's about providing value to the community and building lasting relationships.

Network with industry experts thought leaders, and influencers to establish your technical expertise and connect with potential employers.

You can use online communities or platforms to find a professional network, such as:

  • LinkedIn
  • Discord
  • Slack
  • Social media platforms (Facebook, X)

Tools for Developer Advocates

Increase your productivity by leveraging the power of AI and stay relevant in your industry.

Here are some essential tools to help you stay effective and efficient:

  • AI tools for technical writing¬†and content creation: Snappify, Canva, Filmora
  • Project management and collaboration: Trello,¬†GitHub, GitLab
  • Analytics and feedback: Google Analytics

Final Words

Becoming a developer advocate requires dedication, a genuine passion for technology, and supporting developers.

By setting clear goals and establishing strategic partnerships, you can start your career in this dynamic field and play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the tech world.

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