Ismaen Aboubakare
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How to win friends and influence developers

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How to win friends and influence developers

A new chapter in my devrel career

Ismaen Aboubakare's photo
Ismaen Aboubakare
·Aug 6, 2022·

3 min read

Table of contents

  • The shift and the developer community
  • How to win friends and influence developers
  • Conclusion

The past year and a half, my role as a Developer Advocate has been to "empower our builders to be successful in the platform." That's been the mantra of my team, and everything we worked on, contributed to that. We had four different pillars that we covered, which was

  • Content
  • Community
  • Documentation
  • Training

Everything we touched and created, we wanted to make sure they were in the best interests of an Airkit developer. I personally found this very valuable, as we made sure our documentation was up to date, we created tutorials, we held hackathons, and created short learning bytes to educate the Airkit developer. We are starting to see the fruits of our labor especially through content that scales and making learning Airkit self service.

The shift and the developer community

There's nothing wrong with this approach, as it was much needed at the time, but we're being asked to shift into a new space, which is connecting with the developer community. This, in my opinion is true devrel and I couldn't be more excited. My goal as a team is to drive awareness of Airkit to developers and push people to try our product.

How to win friends and influence developers

So how do we do that? So I will say that not everything necessarily aligns to what Dale Carnegie writes in his book as we're in a different playing field of the 1:many.

But two quotes come to mind that ring true when dealing with people and also developers:

[T]he only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.

If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.

You have to be empathetic, consistent, and educational.

EMPATHY

Empathizing and understanding the developer is crucial to connecting with developers. Mostly because you need to create content that they want to hear and that is interesting and engaging. But you have to be authentic, you have to be yourself, and you shouldn't be trying to sell anything. You're there to provide value for the developer or your audience.

Consistency

This is really more about the content creation aspect, but most social platforms will cater to those who are consistent about the content you create. Youtube, for example, will push channels to those who upload weekly content. It's difficult to create consistent and engaging content, and often leads to burnout. But I think what helps is the ability to experiment and push content that resonates.

Educational

Your content needs to provide value to developers and in the tech world, is often educational. This can be in the form of a tutorial or explaining concepts, but I find tutorials to be the best form. Mostly because when driving awareness of a platform, developers are going to want to validate the product. Tutorials show you that you can do it, but also show you how, which is important if they wanted to get started on their own. Also, developers pride themselves on the "I made that", so how do you provide them the right resources to get to that point.

Conclusion

So this is just the beginning, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm going to add a shameless plug, which is if you want to check out our low-code digital experience platform for building out customer facing apps using web, voice, sms, and chat -- check it out at www.airkit.com.

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