I Get Paid to Help People: How I Became a Developer Evangelist


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Yamil and Swift in Puerto Rico

I come from a small, beautiful island called Puerto Rico. The term “developer evangelist” is unheard of in my hometown. The only references I had about it were a blog post and what I could figure out from the livestream of hackathons such as PennApps and hackNY. All I knew was the title seemed a bit too religious for technology.

Though I didn’t know about evangelism, I did know some about hackathons. There weren’t any in Puerto Rico, so I organized the first one. I met former SendGrid evangelist Swift when he came over to that event and I got a somewhat clearer picture of his job. One thing he said has stuck with me:

“I get paid to help anyone with SendGrid and everything else too.”

How awesome is that?

Fast forward a few months, a few more hackathons started to pop in the scene in Puerto Rico. I obviously reached out to SendGrid for help, but at the time they couldn’t send an evangelist. This is the point where the magic happened. I was told I could act as the representative for them in two events. And I did. And I loved it. I demoed, helped people out and put smiles on people’s faces.

Time passed and I became a hackNY fellow. During the program, SendGrid evangelist Kunal reached out to me to grab lunch. He also said something that stuck with me:
“How would you like to go the same hackathons you are going to hit, but do it as a representative of SendGrid?”

My reaction:
Mind Blown

I said “yes.” And from there it was another hackathon every weekend. I had my 10–6 job throughout the week and after I would grab my backpack and go somewhere to help people out. It suddenly became clear to me, I love doing this thing I was doing.

So, the transition to full-time developer evangelist was quite obvious. Now here I am, attending hackathons I probably would go to anyway. And I get paid to help anyone with SendGrid and everything else, too.

To see where me, and my fellow developer evangelists will be traveling this month, check out our events calendar


Puerto Rican and hackNY '13 fellow. Always looking to hack/experiment something new. You can follow me @elbuo8

Yamil Asusta on Twitter
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