Tips and Tricks for a Beginner Developer Evangelist (Part 2)


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tip-imageIn my previous post, I talked to a few colleagues about the tips and tricks they would give me as a beginning Developer Evangelist. The first tips were from evangelists outside of SendGrid, while this set is from my fellow SendGrid team members.

Whether it’s about attitude, tech, travel, or life in general, I gathered some great input that you can check out below:

Tim Falls – Director of Developer Relations at SendGrid

  • Always be charging and have internet. Phone is your best friend.
  • Always have data when international.
  • Enjoy yourself and look up!

Brandon West – Manager of Developer Relations at SendGrid

  • The best advice usually comes with a book or blog post recommendation.
  • Twitter follows or emails are way stickier than business cards. “I just gave out my last card, but I’ll send you a quick email.”
  • Make sure to build relationships within the company as well. An effective dev rel team needs to work horizontally across departments.
  • Try to have a product-centric view and be an advocate for developer experience. The best source of evangelism is a great product.

Nick Quinlan – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Take time when you need to.
  • Jump onto projects that you feel are interesting.
  • Be as awesome as possible — random acts of kindness are greatly appreciated.
  • Being loud and myself really works for me, for some the style doesn’t work as well, but having a style that jives with who you are is awesome.

Scott Motte – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Pick an airline and stick with it. It’s very important to start racking up miles with their rewards program.
  • Pick a credit card and use it. We have a good amount of expenses with all the traveling we do, and it’s important to turn those into rewards!
  • Always bring a bathing suit even if you don’t think you’ll use it.

Martyn Davies – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Burton Sleeper Hoodie, Grid-It Organizer, and TP-Link Access Point.
  • Always buy the beer. If the thought even remotely crosses your mind while you’re out with others, say after an event, just do it. Such a small act can have a huge impact on others.
  • If you mess up while speaking or presenting, keep it flowing. Shit happens and people won’t judge you for it. Keep things going as smoothly as possible.
  • When picking prizes to give out at an event, choose things people wouldn’t normally buy themselves.

Robin Johnson – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • It’s ok to say “no” when asked to participate in an event with a full schedule. Don’t overload yourself.
  • Travel light and look out for yourself.
  • Write code everyday.

Elmer Thomas – Hacker in Residence at SendGrid

  • Have checklists for before, during, and after an event. Things can get hectic and it’s good to have a plan to reference.
  • Schedule and structure your “normal day.” We have far from normal days, but find the best way to make use of your time.
  • Leverage your resources. Never be afraid to reach out for help on anything. Chances are someone has had to deal with a similar scenario.

Kunal Batra – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Host events. This is a great way to meet people.
  • It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. (One of the best tips I’ve received.)
  • Scale with content. One of the best things we can do as evangelists is create content. It benefits yourself, the company, and everyone else.

Yamil Asusta – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Spacebags.
  • Don’t stop doing what you love. Find time to do it.
  • Always be friendly. Someone you meet in an elevator could be a future relationship. Smile back and don’t be afraid to talk to them.

Heitor (Burger) Sergent – Developer Evangelist at SendGrid

  • Don’t forget about your family and friends. It’s important to make time for them.
  • When booking trips, try to arrive one day early and leave one day late. Going from airport -> event -> hotel -> airport can be very tiring.
  • Don’t overbook yourself! In the beginning, it’s very easy to say “yes” to everything, but that can quickly pile up. Always make sure you have free time on your calendar to focus on the things you want to do.

I think both of these posts provide great lists of things to keep in mind. Some are more practical and provide tangible items for me to take to events. Other tips are designed more toward attitude and how to do my job well. Do you have other must-haves for a beginner evangelist? Let me know on twitter at @eddiezane !


Eddie is a NYC based Developer Evangelist at SendGrid.

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