Inaugural developer relations survey

May 3, 2016

Author Matthew Revell

DevRelCon founder and CEO of Hoopy, the content agency for the developer economy.

Euros and dollars

Euros and dollars

As a relatively new profession, developer advocacy/evangelism lacks the norms, structures and shared understanding enjoyed by many professions.

What is the right salary for someone starting out in dev rel? How are developer relations teams measured? Who do they report to?

Earlier this year, I set up a survey to better understand what the answers to these questions look like. The results are interesting, if not scientific.

The headlines

Here are the stand-out results:

  • £80k-£99k ($114k-$141k) was the salary bracket for the largest group of respondents
  • 40% felt their job was not secure
  • 39% report into their org’s marketing department
  • content production and travel are the main activities
  • but pre-sales takes up some time for 54% of respondents.

Let’s dive into the detail.


Salary seems to vary widely. To preserve anonymity, no location data was recorded so it’s not possible to say whether the wide range was due to regional variations.

Here’s how the responses stack up:

Salary range Percentage of respondents
£100k+ ($142k+) 16%
£80 – £90k ($114k – $141k) 46%
£60k – £79k ($85k – $112k) 14%
£40k – £59k ($57k – $84k) 14%
£39k or below ($55k or below) 10%

Reporting lines

As a new discipline, developer relations falls into different departments from organisation to organisation.

For the respondents of our survey, there was a spread among several departments:

Department Percentage of respondents
Marketing 39%
Dedicated dev rel or community department 25%
Engineering or research 20%
Product 14%
Other 2%


It’s not a surprise that producing content and attending events takes up the majority of the working week for those people who responded.

Activity 75%-100% 50%-74% 25%-49% 1%-24% None at all
Producing content 0% 30% 30% 36% 3%
Travel (meet-ups, conferences, etc) 3% 13% 30% 54% 0%
Internal tooling 0% 6% 12% 44% 38%
Pre-sales 3% 3% 6% 43% 45%
Internal advocacy 0% 3% 14% 59% 24%
Management 3% 14% 9% 37% 37%

Do you feel your job is secure?

2016 has seen some turbulence for developer relations teams: companies known for having large developer outreach efforts cut entire programmes while others either founded new efforts or added to existing investment.

So, do the survey’s respondents feel they have job security?

Answer Percentage
Yes 60%
No 40%


This survey was a trial run for what will be a regular survey of people working in developer relations. This time the number of respondents was a little low (40), and some of the meta information lacking, for us to draw too many conclusions.

However, it’s fair to say that we have the beginnings of a picture of what it’s like to work in developer relations in 2016. Later this year I’ll follow up with a deeper and broader survey.

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