Developer advocate vs developer relations leader — who to hire first

Tessa Kriesel
Tessa Kriesel
Developer advocate vs developer relations leader — who to hire first

Similar to the ole' chicken-n-egg theory, should you hire a developer advocate or a developer relations leader first?

Many founders & leaders are currently working through this very decision. Unfortunately, I see a lot of early stage startups hire a developer advocate first—and fail. And then wonder what they did wrong, or why developer relations doesn't work for them. Don't let this be you.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Similar to ole' question which came first, the chicken or the egg, there is no black and white answer on who to hire first. The way we approach this question really breaks down to one simple question.

Do you have the right strategy and processes in place for your developer advocate to succeed?

If you can confidently answer most of the following questions, you're likely ready for a developer advocate

  • Have you defined your developer audiences?
  • Do you know what they are motivated by?
  • Do you know where they spend their time?
  • Do you know what resources they need?
  • Do you know what they care about as it relates to your product?
  • Do you understand where and how to best serve them?
  • What languages, tools & libraries do they care about?
  • If you had to spend $10k by the end of the day, could you confidently decide where to spend it?
  • Have you defined how you fit into the wider developer ecosystem vs your competitors?

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