From Spare Time Content Creator to Internal Developer Advocate

Read how Dillion paved the way for a DevRel career by producing content in his spare time

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Dillion Megida

Internal Developer Advocate

Adyen

Amsterdam

Key takeaways

  • Dillion used his passion for sharing knowledge to pave the way for his DevRel career
  • He transformed his hobby into a career when he discovered developer relations
  • Dillion recommends choosing and then focusing on two areas of DevRel to prepare for your career

Dillion’s video

See the video on YouTube.

Transcript

Ramón: We are joined by Dillion for his developer Origin Story. Thank you very much for joining us. Dillion, please introduce yourself.

Dillion: I’m Dillion Megida. I am originally from Nigeria, but I’m currently located in the Netherlands. I work for Adyen as an internal developer advocate, so not the regular developer advocate that’s for external developers, but I advocate for the internal developers of Adyen.

Ramón: So I’d love to hear what your DevRel Origin Story is, please.

Dillion: Okay. So, like I said, currently I work as an internal developer advocate, but I used to work as an external developer advocate before my current role, and that was my first developer advocacy opportunity. Before that, I worked as a software engineer, but more of my focus was on the front end side of applications, and that was also my first job. So my first job was front end. Second job was an external developer advocate. Third job is was. So before that first job, I found myself writing articles, just always wanting to share my knowledge. I did this on my personal websites. I did this on different blog platforms. I also started making videos at some point. So when I finally got that first front end opportunity, I realised that I didn’t have as much time or opportunities to share knowledge as I was doing when I didn’t have a job.

You work from Monday to Friday, full-time, front end, and then you only have Saturday and Sunday to yourself, and those are the only times that I got to actually share knowledge or create content. So, I think after some point in my front end role, I was looking for opportunities where I could also write code. I still like writing code, but I was looking for opportunities where I could also share about the code that I write. Where I could create videos, I could make demos, I could write articles around the code I share, and not just write code and just push to production. Back then, I didn’t even know about developer relations. I didn’t know there was such a thing, but I was just looking for opportunities where you can code and share. That was when I realised that, ‘oh, there is this field called developer relations that has existed for a while’.

That was when I started looking for different developer relations opportunities. I found some in open source, and I also found developer advocacy in community management, and that was how I came into it. Then I was walking around the product making demos, writing articles, videos, answering stack overflow questions. It was exciting. Now I’m still doing the same thing, but my focus is now on internal developers. So it’s almost different. I’ve only been working in this area for a month now, so it’s still a little new to me, but it’s still DevRel in general.

Matthew: So what were the steps that you took when you decided that developer relations was the role for you?

Dillion: I didn’t start doing anything new. I figured that I had already been making videos and I had been writing articles. So I think for DevRel, the only mindset shift that I had to make was I wouldn’t come to a company and then just make any videos I want in JavaScript or write as I had been doing. Previously, I wrote about different things, topics, tools and JavaScript on html, on CSS. There was no specific direction. So that was the only thing I knew I had to do when moving into a DevRel opportunity for a specific company, then all of the things that I was already doing would just be channelled towards the company’s product and the tools that the developers use. So I didn’t necessarily have to start doing something new, I already found myself doing these things.

I had even given a few talks online before. I didn’t cover DevRel generally. I wasn’t really into open source. I wasn’t really into the community. So there was still some part of DevRel that I didn’t have, but apparently for the opportunity I found they were looking for my writing and my video creation skills. So I didn’t really have to start doing anything new. The only thing I had to start doing that was new was learn about the product so I can advocate for the developers that use it.

Ramón: Fantastic. Thank you. Thank you so much, Dillion. I would love to ask, if somebody were looking into getting into developer relations, find that first role, what advice would you give them?

Dillion: Well, I think just like I mentioned briefly, DevRel is a lot. There’s the open source community, writing videos – there is a lot. So what I usually advise people is if they could just pick one or two parts of DevRel, focus on that and build skills related to it. It could be writing and open source. It could be videos and conferences. Just pick one, two – I usually say have one major and one minor, but if you can focus on two, that’s also fine. So if you can just pick out the parts of DevRel that you’re interested in, and then look for opportunities requiring those things you have built on, as different companies are looking for different things. I also think if you’re somebody who loves sharing knowledge a lot, DevRel is a good place to excel in that area because you can relate with developers, you can help them help make their lives better or make their experiences with your company’s product better. So that’s what I’ll say.

Matthew: Great. Thank you Dillion. Awesome.

Dillion: Thanks so much. Really nice to be here.