Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Akinrunde Sultan, I’m a software engineer, a Nigerian, a founder and community-driven developer. A lot of my work revolves around supporting newbie developers into tech. My current endeavour is being a developer advocate at Grant for the Web, where I’m introducing folks in Africa to web monetization.

How did you get into Developer Relations?

I’ve been in developer relations for a while without even realizing it, from doing community mentorships to partnering with companies to educate developers about technologies and products. My major official introduction into developer relations is working with Grant for the Web (Mozilla, Coil & Creative Common) as the first African ambassador for web monetization. I’ve since then interacted with the developers, content creators, and users from various African countries about the idea of web monetization.

What advice would you give people looking to join you?

While they’re a lot of resources around that teaches you how to code, they’re not really a lot that teaches you how to teach others; especially fellow developers since these are your target audience, so how exactly do you go about it? There’s no perfect way, from writing tutorials to recording podcasts and shooting videos, it keeps getting better..We see a lot of developers making transitions to DevRel, and we also see people with little technical background doing amazing work in the developer relations space. So there’s no one way to go about it.

You can start by teaching yourself, then others around you and within a flash, you’re teaching people you’ve never met before. From giving a talk at a small meet up, to speaking at an international conference. All these are possible but you just have to start.

From my own personal experience, my first ever talk was in 2019, a small conference of about 200 people, I’ve since then spoken at various international conferences.

How has your role changed in the past year?

A lot has happened over the year, glad to still be alive, I’ve transitioned to more of remote speaking (not like I have a choice), less of travelling but in all still efficient to a fair degree, I miss the human interaction and having real genuine conversations at meetups, workshops and conferences. A lot of DevRels has transitioned to using virtual environments to teach and introduce technologies. It has been tasking and interesting also.

How do you see the future of DevRel?

Wide and diverse, more companies in Africa getting the hang of this and understand the direct effect it has on how developers perceive their product. One thing I’ve come to understand is, you don’t advertise to developers, you show them. With a lot of tech companies working on amazing developer-facing products here in Africa, a lot of DevRel openings would be coming up. The future of DevRel as a field is becoming clearer and wider and soon, there’ll be courses that take you from being a developer to interacting with developers.