Today I’m excited to tell you about DeveloperMode, a new company that’s helping businesses attract and retain developers using the medium they know best: code. First, a little background.
Since 2013 I’ve been working for companies who build tools for developers. As the VP Engineering at Keen IO I worked with a very talented team to build an API for analytics. After that, I was the Developer Relations Lead at Algolia, helping developers discover and get the most out of a very powerful search API.
My role at dev-facing companies has gradually shifted from engineering to evangelism, as my interests widened from solving the engineering problem to also working on the growth problem. Adding writing, speaking and outreach on top of a coding role was challenging but also exciting, and something I truly have come to enjoy.
This week I’m at DevRelCon London amongst a host of other folks who have found their way on this multidisciplinary path too. I owe a debt of gratitude to this community for being welcoming when I was new and for being supportive through the various ups and downs over the years. I hope to do a good job of paying that forward.
This year I started doing consulting for dev-focused companies. I did anything from product design to positioning & messaging to team strategy and DX assessments. I’ve worked with evangelists, advocates, marketers and founders. While the variety of experience has been very valuable, one type of work has risen above the rest for the higher value it provides to clients.
Building developer community projects. These projects are a creative mix of code and content that gives value to the developer community, whether by helping solve a common problem or explain a complex concept.
When a company builds an awesome community project, it makes developers naturally curious about their product or API. Because community projects tend to be long-lived, they lend themselves well to ongoing storytelling and repeatable campaigns, making them much more valuable than the average one-off blog post.
I’ve helped build successful community projects before like Keen Dashboards (10k+ Github stars ⭐) and Algolia DocSearch (powering the documentation search for 900+ open source projects). I’ve written code, blog posts, done outreach, given talks, and done everything else it takes to get community projects from concept to launch to traction. I’ve also been a fan and user of community projects like Stream’s multi-platform Winds RSS Reader and the beautifully designed game that is TwilioQuest. By building and studying community projects, I’ve gotten a solid idea of what developers respond to and what kind of results that these projects can deliver for the companies who create them, topics that we’ll cover here in future posts.
If an awesome developer community project sounds like something your team or company is interested in, please get in touch and let’s taco about it 🌮 Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea in mind yet, we can come up with it together. Thanks for reading!
If you’d like to get company updates and examples of great community projects, just add your email here: