Tips to Embrace Your Developer Community


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Despite being a fairly young company, SendGrid has a long tradition of working directly with our community. Director of Developer Relations Tim Falls was among the first employees and had the title of “community guy” for much of his tenure. The developer evangelists have written many blog posts about community and they boil down to these three tips.

It’s About the People

A community is made of people. Perhaps that’s obvious. Even within a developer community, there are many types of people. To embrace this community, you have to care about the people and your relationship with them.

  • You Don’t Have to Write Code to Be Part of the Developer Community
    Be you. Know your role. Provide value.
  • Marketing to Developers: Relationships Over Leads
    A handshake is worth more than a click.
  • Long Live the Informal Hackathon
    Among the advantages, you can easily organize one yourself.
  • Nine Principles to Communicating With Your Community
    Human, engaging, relatable, transparent, …

It’s Not About Money

Yes, if your developer community is built around a company, a company is built to make money. But that’s the wrong way to approach your community. Yet, enough companies are doing it that big budget events have made some communities seem like it is about the money.

  • You’re Pricing Out The Evangelist
    New hackathon pricing models put too much emphasis on recruiting and not enough on community.
  • An Atypical Hackathon That Did It Right
    It’s not the size of the event, the production, nor the million dollar prize that matters.

It’s Definitely About Documentation

You can’t be with your developer community at all times. Your website, and especially its documentation, should take over when you can’t be in person.

  • Cheat Codes for Good Documentation
    Docs are, in a way, your marketing materials for developers.
  • Why We Open Sourced Our Documentation
    Good documentation allows feedback from readers that is addressed quickly.

If you enjoy putting community first, perhaps you’ll also be interested to hear how SendGrid’s lead evangelist evaluates candidates.


Adam DuVander speaks fluent "developer" while serving as Developer Communications Director. He helps SendGrid connect to coders of all stripes. Previously Adam wrote for Wired, Webmonkey and edited ProgrammableWeb, the leading resource for APIs.

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