December 14, 2022
DevRelCon founder and CEO of Hoopy, the content agency for the developer economy.
Last week, members of the DevRel community came back together for the first in-person DevRelCon since the start of the pandemic. And it was better than we could have hoped.
We’d filled the three years since DevRelCon London 2019 with online editions, such as DevRelCon Earth and DevRelCon Deep Dives. And while the talks are an essential way to share and to grow as an industry, it’s the social side of DevRelCon that seems to have the biggest impact on each of us.
So when our friends at code.kiwi.com suggested hosting a DevRelCon in Prague, we couldn’t resist. The city’s location at the heart of Europe, its beauty, and its facilities meant that we could bring in-person DevRelCon back with a fresh start.
Most DevRelCon editions have a theme or two, even if the program as a whole is fairly eclectic. For an event in late 2022, one theme just had to be covered: DevRel in a downturn.
The unfortunate truth seems to be that DevRel teams are often seen as an easy target for cuts when business isn’t going so well. As 2022 ticks over into 2023, we’ll see whether investment recovers but higher interest rates, inflation, and other fall-out from the pandemic have left their mark not just on DevRel but on tech industry as a whole.
We wanted to make sure we covered practical ways in which DevRel professionals can continue to be effective in straightened circumstances and to demonstrate their value.
Ben Greenberg addressed the topic directly in his talk but it was a theme that cropped up time and again even in talks on other subjects. For example, Ully Sampaio described how the Elastic team has been able to achieve more through their contributor program.
Our second theme came about thanks to our co-organisers at Kiwi.com. DevRel for employer branding is something we’ve touched on a little in the past but we felt there was more to say.
Kiwi.com’s own Alena Osipova described how they’ve made DevRel a core part of their company’s way of getting interest from potential employees.
Adyen’s Amy Mbaegbu and Afzaal Ahmed Zeeshan described their experience of running internally focused DevRel efforts.
Datadog’s Brandon West showed how DevRel is just one facet of creating a culture that leads to great products and brands.
Infobip’s Ivan Brezak Brkan shared how content creators can work between HR, DevRel, and engineering to help build a company’s employer brand.
For an overview of many of the talks at DevRelCon Prague, take a look at Floor Drees’s write-up.
We’ll be publishing talk videos here on DeveloperRelations.com just as soon as they’re edited.
DevRelCon Prague was also an opportunity for people to rekindle friendships sustained online and also for new friendships to be made. It was great to see such a mix of newcomers and people who’d been to almost as many DevRelCons as me.
Developer relations can be quite an itinerant sort of job. Even if you’re not traveling for work, then many DevRel people swap roles every couple of years. So, for some of us it is the DevRel professional community that offers a sense of continuity. I’m grateful that DevRelCon Prague provided an opportunity for some of that community to come together. Whether it was the happy hours hosted by Polkadot, Infobip’s speaker reception, or Kiwi.com’s after party, there was always a chance to chat and swap stories.
And, in true DevRelCon style, the whole thing ended with karaoke.
So, thank you to everyone who came and especially to the speakers who gave up their time and shared their expertise.
Thanks also to our sponsors Polkadot, Common Room, Moongift, Hype, Adyen, Deutsche Telekom, Infobip, and Aiven, who enabled us to put as much of the budget as possible back into the event while making sure as many people as possible could attend without having to worry about ticket prices.
Thank you to our organising team (Manuela, Jakub, Alena, Honza), to the volunteers from the Czech community managers community, and to our program committee (Carla, Suze, and Alena).
There are lots of discussions about what 2023 holds for DevRelCon. For sure, we’ll have our first Portuguese and Spanish language edition on February 10th and 11th in the form of DevRelCon LATAM 2023. Then March 10th and 11th see the return of our Japanese edition, this time in Yokohama.
Beyond that, we’ll certainly have an edition in Europe and another later in the year in the US. We at Hoopy have exciting plans for delivering more content here on DeveloperRelations.com in partnership with Common Room and we’d love to chat to you, too, about how we can work together on content or DevRel consulting.
So, whether it’s online or in person, we look forward to seeing you in 2023!