From The Blog

Internal DevRel: Colleague Enablement

I work in Developer Relations for a very technical company (Aiven), and I usually describe my job as half explaining my employer's technology to developers, and half explaining developers to my employers. However in the last year or so, I've realised that there is a variation on this theme that is impactful for my internal colleagues: explaining technology and developers to people who are experts in something else. I work with specialists in various aspects of sales and marketing (DevRel reports into Marketing) and my colleagues are genuinely curious to know more about the domain we work in! I thought I'd share more about how I enable my colleagues, and why I think it works for us. Continue reading

Outline your writing to ease the creative process

For most of my career I've been a software developer, but now I'm mostly a communicator. As a manager, I give the right level of detail to many different audiences, and I deliver that in words they can understand. As a Developer Advocate, I explain complex technical concepts in useful, memorable, and occasionally entertaining ways. However the best software developers are lazy and I'm still always looking for ways to get things done with less effort on my part! For writing, the best process I know feels like unnecessary overhead, but it's always worth it in the end so today I'm sharing my secrets: create an outline before you start. Continue reading

Who are you writing that commit message for?

I read a lot of commit messages that make me wonder who the committer had in mind when they wrote it. If you don't read commit messages yourself, I think that can make it even more difficult to think about who the audience is, or when someone would be reading those entries. Perhaps you're writing for nobody, or work in a team that doesn't value the metadata that a single sentence written in the moment can deliver.

Next time you write a commit message, try some of these suggestions as your imaginary audience:

  • Yourself, next week, when you finally get back to working on this thing and can't remember where you were up to
  • Yourself, when you get a pull request review and can't remember which commit something is in that needs to be removed
  • Yourself, debugging how this ended up like this, 6 months from now
  • Your colleague, eyeballing your work to see how you are getting on

Personally, I think of it as a note to myself. Like an alibi, if someone asks you what's already been done, or what this commit that removes one specific line from a long config file. Yes, I worked as a git consultant for a while, the delete-a-single-line with the commit message "Fixed" is always the culprit!

Further reading: https://cbea.ms/git-commit/


Talks, Articles, Podcasts, and More

Article

What does a successful developer look like?


Silicon Republic, June 2022
Video

AsyncAPI and Spectral


Make APIs Work, May 2022