Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Rabeb. Those of you who know me, probably know me with my nickname BiBi.
Currently, I’m the Global DeveloperRelations Manager at Zebra Technologies. Prior to this role, I served as a Developer Advocate for Nexmo focusing on .Net. Basically, I’m a Software Engineer with a great love for the community.
When I’m not working, I can be found hiking mountains in faraway lands or struggling to reach some marathon’s finish line.
How did you get into Developer Relations?
This goes way back to my student days when I joined the Microsoft .Net Club at uni then soon became a Microsoft Student Partner. That’s when I started getting involved with the community.
After that, throughout my career as a developer, I kept my love for public speaking, blogging and everything community.
The more I spoke at conferences, the more I loved it. Eventually, I decided to make that a full-time job instead of just something on the side when a manager agrees to let me go to a conference or when I have to take time off for a conference.
That was when DevRel was still taking off as a hot trendy job. I applied to many companies. Eventually, I got to interview with Nexmo and everything I did for the community prior to that moment paid off and I got the job.
What advice would you give people looking to join you?
Go for it! It’s really fun. I love the fact that there’s so much to do. You’re never bored.
But most importantly, you need to set your expectations right.
The chances are, if you’re reading this newsletter, that you have some sort of idea about DevRel. You probably heard the so-called jokes about how it’s all about travel, it’s a holiday. I wish but it’s far from being the truth. Even the travel comes with the high price of burnouts and fatigue.
My advice is to ask yourself what’s it exactly that you want and talk to as many people in DevRel as possible to get the gist of the job beyond the glamourous myth.
How has your role changed in the past year?
I went from being on the road every 3 weeks or so to no travel at all 😂
Some aspects of my job did not change at all in fact. Being always a remote worker, the way I interact with the rest of my organisation and the internal projects I’m involved in didn’t get impacted that much.
It’s the community aspect of the job that changed. Every conference moved to an online format so my team and I had to adapt be it conferences we sponsor or our own events.
How do you see the future of DevRel?
I have a feeling I’m expected to say that I see us sticking to an online format when it comes to communicating with the community. But that’s been challenging this year.
If you are a speaker in a conference, it’s probably ok, you’re still delivering your talk. But if you are a company sponsoring a conference, you’re missing out on networking opportunities.
I think DevRel will go back to its roots with more focus on Product. The community aspect of it will probably adopt more of an online format but without this entirely substituting the good old conferences.