From Open Source Contributor to Developer Advocate

Ayodeji used his open source community experience to get a DevRel job.

Ayodeji Ogundare

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Ayodeji Ogundare

Developer Advocate

Adyen

Amsterdam

Previous companies:

  • Polygon Technology
    Smart Kids Zone

Key takeaways

  • Involvement in open source communities helps prepare you for DevRel
  • Ask advice from existing Dev Advocates to understand their roles
  • Create content, code, communities and share that to help show what you can do

Ayodeji’s video

What were you doing before DevRel?

Before DevRel, I worked as a full-time technical program manager for a tech company in Nigeria. I was in charge of building curriculums and overseeing program activities. My job was to create programs for training for both kids and adults. So at some point I taught Python, I taught JavaScript, I taught HTML and CSS.

I was also volunteering with Google as a developer community lead where I founded the chapter in my community, GDG Mpape. I also was part of the organizers for GDG Abuja. We organized several events such as Dev Fest and IWD Flutter event.

I was also very involved in open source. I organized the Open Source Community Africa Abuja chapter. So it’s all been community and content for me before DevRel.

What made you consider a career in DevRel?

I started to consider career in DevRel when I saw that most of what I was doing was typically what a DevRel person would do on a day-to-day basis.

I found out that I was passionate about community. I was passionate about content, I was passionate about teaching teaching how to code. So that made me consider a career in DevRel. Even though at that point I had no complete knowledge of what a Dev Advocate did on day-to-day basis.

What did you previously think about DevRel that you now know is wrong?

I had the notion that DevRel was just about traveling and speaking at conferences, but since joining Adyen, I got to find out there are a lot of things more than just traveling in DevRel.

There’s community and there’s code, and there’s content, as well as the traveling aspect.

What did you think about DevRel that turned out to be right?

For external DevRel, I think I’m right about the travel because there you are likely to travel a lot and speak at conferences.

When did you start to learn about DevRel?

Some years back I didn’t even know what DevRel was. Like so many people, I still get questions. People ask me, “What do you do?”

Somebody even thought that I am a lawyer defends developers. Okay, actually they are right in a way!

I read books about DevRel. There’s some amazing content out there about developer relations. There are websites dedicated to just information about DevRel. So I utilised that.

Did any individuals or communities influence your DevRel journey?

So many individuals influenced my choice to become a developer advocate. One of them was Bolaji Ayodeji. That was one person that inspired me.

I’ve been part of so many communities, so it’s definitely one of the major things that inspired me ranging from Google Developer Groups to Open Source Community Africa and so many other communities.

How did you find out about DevRel job opportunities?

During my trip to Lagos to the Opensource Community Africa event, where I was a speaker, I got the opportunity to meet Bolaji Ayodeji. We shared our experience in terms of community building, community management, and I also learned from him about his role in DevRel. I was so interested in becoming a Dev Advocat  that I never missed the opportunity to get insights from people.

In our discussion we discussed my experience as a community builder, as a speaker, and other experience that relates to DevRel. He then posted about me on Twitter and my current tech lead at Adyen say the tweet and shared the job opportunity with me. I applied and  landed my first role as a Developer Advocate. before, now, before becoming a dev advocate, I had stop coding in my current role. I got to find out that I would actually need to code. How I solve this gap is going back to the habit of coding app daily, and also to go back to learn the, the programming languages. I, I have written for, written and about for so long, and which is very relevant to the job I’m currently currently on.

What skills gaps did you identify?

Before becoming a Dev Advocate, I had stop coding in my then role. Then I learned that my role as a Dev Advocate would require me to code. I solved that gap by going back to the habit of coding app daily and also going back to learn programming languages that would be relevant to my new role.

How did you make yourself stand out from the crowd?

I love to share my journey. I love to share my experience. I love to get involved in building communities. And I love to get myself involved in contributing to open source.

What advice would you share about the DevRel recruitment process?

I had the best experience in terms of recruitment process. I applied and I got a response in about three or four hours.

From my first interview I went on to have the take home technical interview. There was a cultural fit interview. And then, for the role I was applying for, I went to have an interview with a board member.

So it was pretty straightforward and was very enjoyable all the way. I think what was good about my experience was the fact that they were open to feedback. I had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions and I was able to get clarification on things. I got good answers from the interviewer.

Has your view of DevRel changed since you started working in it?

My view of DevRel has not really changed because I was already doing a lot of DevRel activities before it was my job. I am basically loving every day of being a DevRel.

What advice would you give to DevRel hopefuls?

My advice to DevRel hopefuls is to just keep doing what you’re doing. Try and connect more, attend more events, get involved with open source.

If you are a content person, keep creating a content. If you’re a community person, keep getting involved in this community building communities. If you code, share your code, share your technical knowledge.

Keep doing that and definitely read resources about DevRel. Reach out to Dev Advocates, have coffee chats with them. Get to understand their day-to-day activity, get to understand what their job entails.