Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Sandra Persing, and I have been actively involved in the web world for most of my technical career. A few years back, I noticed that some of the brightest and most curious minds were leaving the browser companies and joining various web3 orgs - blockchain, crypto, distributed systems. There is so much optimism and potential in this industry, and I felt the pull to help developers learn more about building in this space. I joined blockchain crypto, first with the Libra/Diem Association, and now with the Stellar Development Foundation to lead their Developer Relations team.
What do you feel is the most important part of your job?
I serve our developers and empower my team by providing all the resources and opportunities that build their success. It’s also my responsibility to frequently take a step back and strategically assess all of our efforts to ensure we are progressing towards our mission. The most important part of my job is to make time to listen to our community and my colleagues. They provide me with the right intel and feedback that helps me do my job.
What is something you’re struggling with?
One of DevRel’s key aspects is sharing critical information with our community in a timely manner. The blockchain crypto industry moves at a pace that feels beyond overwhelming at times - there is so much information, factual and bloated, new and revisited, that needs to be curated and shared responsibly. It can be a challenge to know when to pump the brakes and seize an opportunity to rally the whole team to go big. Personally, it’s been a learning curve for me to keep pace with the evolving tech and the momentum within this industry.
What do you look for when building your team?
DevRel is an industry where we are always “selling.” I know most folks retch at hearing/seeing/reading that word - sales, selling - but it’s a core part of our world. We make persuasive cases internally and externally about the value of our roles and what value we bring to the community. I look for contributors who bring passion and optimism. I look for teammates who understand that sometimes all the small things can add up to huge rewards. Relationship building is a long game, and I absolutely value our colleagues and teammates who understand how to create and nurture this with our community.
What’s one change you’d like to see in DevRel?
Making it acceptable and more accessible for engineers to move into DevRel roles and back into engineering roles. I believe many talented engineers who are curious and capable of serving developers in a DevRel role hesitate because of this current uncertainty in the industry. A certain stigma persists for wanting to practice the “liberal arts” side of developer engagement.