Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a Scottish lassie that has been in tech for about 15 years now. I’ve been a Desktop Engineer, Server Engineer and now consider myself a Hybrid Cloud Engineer.
I love the infrastructure and architecture side of IT. I got into IT because I enjoy computers and helping people.
Outside of tech you’ll find me spending time with my family, exploring Scotland, watching movies, curling (the ice sport) and riding my mountain bike.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
The most important part of my job is to help people. That’s always been my job in IT. Whether that was resetting passwords for folks when I was working on as Help Desk Engineer or now as part of the community team at Octopus Deploy.
My job is to help people learn new technologies, solve problems or believe in their skillset. That’s what I focus on and that’s what drives me.
What is something you’re struggling with?
Working in a community or DevRel role there are so many things that you can focus on. Blog writing. Video creation. Presenting at events. Helping to run events. Marketing activities. Learning new technologies. Learning soft skills. Interacting with the community. Product feedback/development. And much more.
My biggest struggle is juggling those activities and trying to not say yes to everything. But trying not to be stale. It can be a hard juggling act.
I’m always mindful to reflect on how well received or the impact my activities have been. It sounds very business-like but learning to be able to say “this isn’t working it isn’t worth my time” is a skill. We all have a finite amount of time and we need to be spending that time doing things we enjoy but also have impact.
Tell us about a time you were inspired by someone or something in DevRel.
Looking back to Microsoft Ignite 2019 I was attending as a speaker and attendee, and as a Microsoft employee.
It was really an education watching my friends, colleagues, peers rocking that awesome event.
That was when I really started to understand the time, effort and dedication that goes into being a great public speaker versus just being a public speaker.
For me that was a turning point, that’s when I realised I had to spend more time learning and studying public speaking. I couldn’t just throw some slides together and hope for the best. I have to practice, I have to be willing to improve even just 1% each time I take to that stage.
What’s one change you’d like to see in DevRel?
I think the biggest change I’d like to see DevRel do is be more inclusive when talking to IT roles. DevRel is so focussed on Developers and that’s really harmful, in my opinion, to the IT industry as a whole.
I don’t subscribe to this notion that we are all Developers within IT now.
There are so many roles within the IT department and DevRel needs to start focussing on those roles as well. The Security roles, the Ops roles, the Data Platform engineers, the Network engineers and beyond.
DevRel is a relatively new term but technical community engagement has been around since the 50s or 60s. I’m not sure at what point as an industry we decided to name that technical community engagement Developer Relations, but for me, it’s time for a name change and more inclusive of the other roles in the IT industry.