Tell us a bit about yourself.
When I was 14 I decided with my best friend that we did not like the current video games available and that we could make better games easily. It only took us 10 years to publish our first game and realize how hard it is to make games.
Still, I loved developing video games, and my whole professional life I have spent in the game industry. After founding my own company with some friends I ended up applying at Unity and there I got my first Developer Relations job, helping enterprise customers improve their games from a technical point of view.
I got hooked directly and my next job was building my own Developer Relations team at King, of course, another game company. During my 5 years in King, I learned a lot about developer relations and how big companies work from the inside. The most interesting part was that my role was purely internal. Before I never realized how big the demand for company internal developer relations actually is. Now in my current position, I am again building an internal developer relations team for Wildlife Studios, a game company of course.
Outside my work, I am a member of Toastmasters, a worldwide public speaking organization. I am also a big fan of board games and books of all kinds.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
My job is to make sure that the right information reaches the right person at the right time.
There is no normal day at work, every day is different. One day I might be creating and updating documentation, the next day I will be organizing a conference and then again the next day I might try out a new feature. This is a big reason why I love being in developer relations, every day is different and you never stop learning.
All of this requires being empathetic towards people and seeing problems from their point of view. Being technical it is easy to assume everybody has the same knowledge and experience as you do. And this is always wrong, that’s why I approach every conversation without any expectations and make sure to use the right level of communication with every person I interact with.
What is something you’re struggling with?
One of the biggest challenges in Developer Relations is the constant task switching and interruptions. Which is a natural part of the job, compared to a developer my job is communication. Which means being interrupted is part of the job. Also as I need to synchronize with other people a lot, I spend 50% of my time in meetings, which sometimes makes me feel less productive until I remind myself that meetings are part of my job.
Another struggle is starting a new document from scratch, the glaring white page somehow stops my creativity and I need to force myself to write at least half a page, from there on it gets a lot easier to write more.
Tell us about a time you were inspired by someone or something in DevRel.
In my first developer relations role, I had a coworker who showed me the ropes. He influenced my teaching style, how I talk with customers and what is expected of a developer relations engineer. I also learned some important lessons about flying and booking hotels. Without him, I might not have stayed in developer relations. I hope to meet him again and pay for his drinks.
What’s one change you’d like to see in DevRel?
A lot of developer relations jobs require a lot of travel, making it hard for people with families to join or stay in developer relations. I hope after this year with work done through video conferences, our industry becomes more family-friendly and less demanding of constant travel.