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Discussion on: [On-Demand Talk] Design Systems for Developers

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leighannfrench profile image
leighannfrench

A little off topic but what is a developer advocate? and how did you become one?

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kathryngrayson profile image
Kathryn Grayson Nanz Author

A Developer Advocate is a type of software engineer that focuses on the relationship between a development tool and it's dev users. You might have also heard the title called Developer Relations or Tech Evangelist (although that one is – rightfully, IMO – fading in popularity, haha).

As part of my day-to-day, I speak at conferences, write blogs, work on documentation, record videos, create demos, stream on our Twitch channel, and talk to our users wherever they are (Twitter, Slack, our forums, etc). It's an incredibly fun job and combines a lot of the stuff I enjoy: coding, teaching, writing, streaming, and conferences!

I was extremely lucky to be recruited for my current job, so I don't think I have a typical "getting into DevRel" story – but I was referred by someone at my now-current company and the team lead reached out to me to see if this was something I'd be interested in. Obviously it was!

Before I was approached, though, I was already doing lots of blog writing and conference speaking, which gave them many examples of my work. If you're thinking about moving into Dev Advocacy, I'd recommend creating content: blogs, videos, streams, talks, whatever you enjoy most. Those things were all huge benefits to my career even before DevRel.