You want to know what is going to motivate developers to engage with you first, then learn more about how to engage with them as they evolve in your community.
When I work with clients to build developer engagement strategies, I always begin by creating personas. Oftentimes, my personas for each client overlap because they are valid for most developer audiences. So, I thought I should share a few common developer personas.
My personas are drafted based on motivation, not who developers are as a person. I want to know the best way to motivate my target audience to engage with me.
Passionate Open Source (Do What They Love)
- Sense of Belonging: They want to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves.
- Status Symbols: Are they one of the best?
- Public or Social Recognition: Do people know who they are in the community?
- Self-Actualization: This is their true passion and contributing to open source helps the feel good about themselves.
How They Think
Open source developers are passionate about their work and will usually build things with no intent of seeing their investment returned. They are generous about giving back to the open source ecosystem.
The one downside of OSS (open source software) developers is that they are more vocal and opinionated when you wrong them. Ensure you are listening to this audience and implementing their feedback.