Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a software developer currently specialized in iOS development. I also create a podcast called “AppForce1” focussed on iOS app developers. I have a long and varied history working on all kinds of technical challenging systems. But since 2012 my main focus has been iOS and related platforms.
Only recently, on November 1st, did I switch into a developer relation role. The reasons for me to make this switch are interesting. I was hitting a ceiling within my role, and the company wanted me to move away from technical work. Manage people, interact more with the stakeholders, those kinds of things. But I wanted to stick with engineering work. In my job search Anastasiia, one of the recruiters of Stream looked at my profile and mid-conversation mentioned I would be a good fit for their developer relations team. I had some experience with such work as a community leader of the Dutch CocoaHeads, conference organizing, and similar things.
It is proving to be she was right in her assessment.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
Being the connective tissue between outside and inside the organization. Marketing is very much outward facing and I am a linking pin between marketing and the development team. I create content, which gets heavily copy-edited. So great results and I learn tons of new things.
I am also working my way towards becoming one of the go-to people for our new and current clients. Provide in-depth technical support when people have questions and share how Stream can solve a specific set of problems with a modern SDK and up-to-date code samples following current best practices.
So the most important part of my job in as few words as possible: Connect with people, to support and teach them in any way that helps them and Stream achieve their goals.
What is something you’re struggling with?
So much cool and fun things I can do, so choosing what to focus on is the hardest part of my job.
Tell us about a time you were inspired by someone or something in DevRel.
I still remember a Sun Microsystems Developer Advocate showcasing DTrace. It was years ago and it was tech that was just a few months old. The way he talked and explained things, hands-on, whizzing through configs and related files on a terminal with VIM was mind-blowing. The relaxed attitude, a story that is only suggesting how to do something. Not dictating how YOU should do IT. The sheer speed of his editing, but still at a pace that kept the audience engaged and grasping what he was talking about.
Because of this one presentation, I campaigned at my project back then to implement DTrace as a tool to inspect our runtime environment when we had issues. It literally saved our bacon a few times because we were all of a sudden able to investigate Java Virtual Machine runtime issues on the fly without interrupting service uptimes. Thus allowing us to recreate the exact problem on our staging environment and come up with fixes that worked on first deployment. (Did I tell this was years ago?)
What’s one change you’d like to see in DevRel?
It would be great if developer relations is more known as a viable career direction for software developers. I personally got into it by one person’s suggestion.