Are you nervous about writing about yourself? Hey, it happens to the best of us. Never fear. We have some tips to help you write a stellar developer bio.
Everyone hates writing about themselves. Why? It’s hard to know what to say -- and what not to say. Do you come off as a braggart or look like a n00b. Either way, it can be a frustrating experience. After writing about 50 speaker bios for WordPress developers over the last few years, I’ll tell you that they’re easier than you’d think. First, let’s talk about what your developer bio isn’t.
A Developer Bio Isn’t a Resumé
So, here’s the situation. You’re going to a conference and will be hosting a panel. They want you to submit a bio. What do you say? Your developer bio really doesn’t need to list all of your skills. And in the tech stack of today, there aren’t enough containers for some of y’all’s qualifications—not to Bash on you too hard.
So don’t list all of your qualifications. I mean if you have a Ph.D. in cybersecurity, that’s pretty rad. But to write a killer developer bio, you need to understand the purpose. It’s the same as engineering software. What problem is this meant to solve?
The purpose of a developer bio is to give folks a bit of a flavor of who you are so that they will want to:
- Read your content or attend your talk
- Talk to you about your company
- Connect and build a relationship
- Reach out for support
Write Your Bio in the Third Person
It’s so weird to talk about yourself in the third person. But this bio is speaking about you, so avoid “I.” “Bridget Willard is a speaker…” It seems so odd to write that way, but it's a very common format and helps those who are publishing your bio alongside your content or contributions.
A mental trick is to think of yourself as an emcee at a show introducing you. And then, if you’d like to repurpose your bio on your own website, create a second version. Because I think the first-person format is friendlier, I have both versions on my website. When a website, conference, or podcast needs that info, they can copy/paste it. Done.
Once your bio is written, use it everywhere: LinkedIn, your website, Gravatar, GitHub, etc.
Equipped with a Bachelors of Commerce and a Black Belt in Karate, there’s nothing Shanta Nathwani can’t do. She is the Solutions Architect and Founder at Namara Technologies and specializes in WordPress with a love for life and learning.
International man of mystery, Tim Cantrell, does all of the IT things from his secret location in Knoxville, Tennessee. Though he has certifications in A+ and Net+, he has a passion for both security and the WordPress community.
Let People Know How They Can Contact You
You don’t want to be too much of a mystery, especially when it comes to DevRel. It’s important to facilitate connection. Along with having a profile photo that looks like you, one of the vital pieces of a stellar developer bio is correct contact information.
Where do you want people to find you? I recommend including your Twitter handle and website, but not everyone wants to list a website. That’s okay, too. Choose one form of contact. Consider including your GitHub username as well. Then be ready for people to actually follow and message you.
Say Hi to Scott on Twitter at @CiPHPerCoder and read his blog over at paragonie.com.
Be sure to say hi to Mike Demopoulos on Twitter at @MPMike.
Are You Ready to Write Your Developer Bio?
You can write a friendly and fun developer bio for speaking, outreach, or articles in about 20 minutes. To make this easier, I created a Mad Lib format just for you that includes a spot for all of these tips. It’s based on my workshop at WCUS in 2019.
Git to it!