Meet Peter Chittum


Meet Peter Chittum

How did you first get into DevRel?

I had been working as a developer instructor for a number of years for a few different companies, including my current company, Salesforce. I was in a discussion thread where one of our developer evangelists chimed in and shared some really good points. I noticed his job title and reached out to find out what exactly a developer evangelist was. Within a couple of months, I’d switched to be a developer evangelist.

Why does your company do DevRel?

Our DevRel work is primarily focused on nurturing our existing developer community. But we’re looking at ways we can reach developers who don’t already work with Salesforce technologies. This poses challenges in that there are a lot of misperceptions of what Salesforce is, how our platform works, and even that we have a platform at all.

How does DevRel work at your company?

Our events are pretty important. There are two major Salesforce events that the whole team turns out for, Dreamforce (our company-wide conference) and TDX (our conference for our developers, admins, and other practitioners). When not doing those, the team focuses on blogging, content on our YouTube channel, live streaming, and when not avoiding novel viruses, spending time at in-person events.

Because of the nurture orientation, these work out to be 80% Salesforce developer groups and community conferences, and about 20% third party conferences. The umbrella of “developer relations” also includes our developer marketing and web ops teams. We partner closely with other teams like developer tools and documentation, but they aren’t directly part of the DevRel organisation.

Salesforce also includes Slack, Tableau, and MuleSoft, which have their own fully-formed DevRel teams, which we partner with as well.

And what role do you play in your company’s DevRel?

I lead the developer advocate team.

What’s your DevRel philosophy?

Code. Content. Community.

What challenges do you see for DevRel right now?

Developer platforms that mix coding with point-and-click tools (“low code”) are gaining traction. Many companies are automating their businesses on them. How will enabling these “developers” fit into developer relations?

What are you hopeful about in DevRel?

The past two years have taught us new ways to reach more people in harder-to-reach parts of the world. It’s been exciting to speak at groups and conferences in the Philippines and Pakistan, all from the comfort of my home. My team continues to set goals to reach a certain number of these groups each year.





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