DevRelCon Deep Dives retrospective


DevRelCon Deep Dives

Once you’re confident in the basics of developer relations, where do you go to make sure you’re dealing with the deeper DevRel questions?

For us, the answer was to create a DevRelCon that would provide a forum for longer term DevRel practitioners and leaders. DevRelCon Deep Dives ran over two days, featuring round tables and talks on more advanced DevRel topics.

Day 1: roundtables and a workshop

Since the pandemic took DevRelCon online, many of us in the DevRel community have missed the opportunities for informal, in person conversations. And we all know that great conversations can happen in a Zoom call or Google Meet.

Matthew Revell, Ramón Huidobro, Phil Leggetter, Mary Thengvall, Michael Jolley on screen in a roundtable session

For our first day of DevRelCon Deep Dives, we brought together people with shared practical experience to have an open conversation of the type you might find during a break at an event. What are those things that don’t necessarily make it into a conference talk but that can offer perspectives based on real world experience?

Our roundtable sessions covered:

Bryan Robinson also hosted a workshop diving into the Orbit model and, in particular, how it has evolved over time to provide a richer framework for understanding community value. The video of that workshop will be available soon.

For both the workshop and the roundtables, we had thought provoking questions from people in the Discord that gave an added dimension to the conversations.

Day 2: talks

For the event’s second day, we invited people who’ve built expertise in their particular fields to come share it in a DevRel context. Topics we dived into included programming pedagogy, neurodiversity, harm reduction, managing up, and more.

Cherish Santoshi opened the day with a talk on visualising and communicatingDevRel goals and value.

Leiden University professor Felienne Hermans then gave the first developer education talk of the day centred around what she’d learned by building Hedy, a programming language specifically for teaching programming.

Next, Bekah Hawrot Weigel shared how adapting ideas from the world of patient centered medicine had helped her to found and grow Virtual Coffee, an online developer community, during the pandemic.

Wesley Faulkner’s impactful talk on what neurodiversity means for DevRel provided insights into both the variety of what it means to be neurodiverse and also what neurodiversity means to individuals.

Jane Waite of the Raspberry Pi Foundation gave the second pedagogy talk of the day, sharing her research into what effects different teaching methods have on learning outcomes.

Developer relations is often a very public role. Knut Melvaer spoke on how to reduce the potential for harm for DevRel teams, which was followed by a discussion of those risks.

Rounding out the day were two sessions on managing up. Investor Ashley Smith took part in a fireside chat where she shared what investors want and need from DevRel. Then in our final talk, Codesee founder and CEO Shanea Leven spoke on what a startup CEO needs from the developer relations team.

Thanks and what’s next

Thank you to all of our wonderful participants and to the audience who watched and contributed to the discussion. Thanks also to our co-MCs, Ramó Huidobro, Suze Shardlow, Bryan Robinson, and Robin Purohit who brought their insights and enthusiasm to the event.

And, of course, thank you to our sponsors Orbit,, WorkOS, GitHub, and Google.

Up next for DevRelCon we hope to in-person events with DevRelCon San Francisco later this year. And soon we’ll be announcing DevRelCon LATAM, initially an online event starting in early 2023, with talks in both Portuguese and Spanish. Firm details coming soon!

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