Ramon recorded the answers to our questions in a video, which we’ve hosted on youtube. He’s also transcribed the answers here for posterity. Enjoy, and we’ll see y’all tomorrow!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a developer advocate and head of open source at CodeSee. I’m originally from Chile but have lived in Austria for over twenty years. I speak Spanish, English, and German.
Before starting in Developer Relations this year, I was a freelance software engineer for over a decade. Throughout this time, my main motivator has been the different tech communities I’ve been involved in. I dedicate a significant amount of my time to organising conferences, giving workshops and other events aimed at helping empower folks in their tech journey.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
Overall, I approach my role in DevRel as a responsibility to empower and help developers feel they can do their work better.
As head of open source at CodeSee, my job is to seek out and connect with potential open source partners. Since CodeSee’s major emphases are onboarding, reviewing and planning on codebases, I sought out to reflect those in open source communities.
The key part here is strategy. I’ve been working pretty heavily on planning out and executing these strategies, including a Hacktoberfest weekly show where I get onboarded onto codebases I’ve never seen before. Fostering those relationships and making friends is one of my favourite parts! However, this feels like an important part too, as it spreads awareness of us as well as friendliness.
Furthermore, running demos and webinars showcasing our products has also been a consistently important part of what I do here.
What is something you’re struggling with?
One thing I struggle with sometimes is being the one coworker currently working in the EU whereas the rest of the team is in North America. This, combined with being on a part-time jobshare, while wonderful, has meant that I sometimes won’t be around to take part in the conversations around the fast-paced decisions of an early-stage startup, which can be tricky when strategising!
Having been at this for almost a full year now has also been a journey of discovery of my strengths and weaknesses. While strategy, awareness and friendliness are two aspects I feel confident and comfortable with, I struggle with bottom-funnel sales. Earlier this year, I wrote about how this affected me, especially on the struggles of following up with folks who haven’t yet replied to emails.
Tell us about a time you were inspired by someone or something in DevRel.
Hard to pick! The overall spirit of collaboration and generosity from some of the people in the DevRel community is what keeps me motivated and eager to pay it forward.
Before starting my current position at CodeSee, Joe Nash kindly sat down with me to answer any questions and calm my nerves. I was experiencing a fresh feeling of impostor syndrome by entering my first DevRel role! I’d built a set of tools to help me deal with it for software development, but I wasn’t ready for it to come back when going into DevRel!
Joe kindly sat me down and assured me what I was thinking was right, and recommended the following resources on developer education:
- Introduction to communities of practice
- What is Teaching for Understanding?
- Content Strategy for the Web
- Badass: Making Users Awesome
- Stephanie Morillo’s books
Taking the time for this kindness has deeply inspired me to continue to pay it forward like Joe did. Thank you!
Otherwise, my colleague and head of DevRel at CodeSee Nahrin continues to inspire me on a daily basis.
What’s one change you’d like to see in DevRel?
This is also a hard one, mostly because I’m still getting to know the industry and listening to folks and the needs they have.
One thing I’ve noticed since I started this year is a general curiosity from folks on the outside of or adjacent to it. I get asked a lot what it is and how to get into it, and I find myself struggling to define it. However, I learned that this is something that has been discussed a lot!
I learned at this year’s DevRelCon that some educational institutions are beginning to roll out courses in DevRel, which I think is wonderful! Also, seeing more junior positions in DevRel and positive opportunities will help level the playing field and increase the diversity of DevRel voices. So what to change? I say, keep going in this direction! Having events like this one, exchanging information openly and having honest, kind conversations is going to help us thrive.
Furthermore, I deeply appreciated that DevRelCon took place online this year, as (and I’ll admit this is anecdotal) a lot of folks I know who were interested in DevRel were given the opportunity to attend freely and learn more about this area in tech. One hope I have is that the fact that we’ve had to have so many online events has taught us lessons that we can carry into the future.