I’ve now been a Developer Evangelist (or as I call it, a Devangelist) for 29 months. I’ve admittedly been close to burn out twice, but bounced back from both close-to-burnouts with the knowledge to keep myself from doing it again. I’ve been all over the world, spoken at some of the best conferences, attended some of the best hackathons, learned an unbelievable amount, mentored some of the finest minds I’ve ever come across, and enjoyed every minute of it.
To document my ongoing experience as a Devangelist, I thought I’d throw together this pictorial blog to tell my story. So, here are my 10 reasons in pictures, why I love being a Developer Evangelist. This was originally an Ignite talk I gave, but I figured I’d turn it into a blog!
I love hacking.
This goes without saying. I’ve loved writing software since I first started when I was 13/14. I especially love hacking together apps from various components and APIs to create weird and wonderful Frankenstein apps.
Being a Devangelist allows me to go to some of the best hack events round the world. Whilst I can’t participate in most, as an API sponsor, I can still get involved, and hack at any chance I get!
I love hackathons.
Hackathons are some of the most inspiring and interesting environments in the world. The energy of a room of hundreds, working hard to build awesome hacks is mind blowing. Not only are hackathons a great environment for fun, but they’re primarily a learning experience, in my eyes.
Hackathons are great for pretty much everything I love about my job. Teaching, learning, socialising, and evangelising. If you’ve never been to a hackathon before, give it a go. There are thousands around the world, and they truly are a brilliant experience!
I love teaching.
I’ve said this since I first became an Devangelist. The absolute favourite part of my job is teaching. I absolutely adore sharing knowledge. I truly do believe, if we have knowledge of any level, we should share it.
There are tonnes of ways to do this. My favourites being speaking at conferences, writing technical articles, writing blogs like this, attending meet ups, speaking at meet ups, sharing open source code, and contributing to open source communities.
I don’t consider myself an expert in any topic (other than making cups of tea), but I try to share any knowledge I have at any opportunity.
I love learning.
I have an insatiable want for knowledge. I never stop learning. Every day I try to learn something new, and every day I do. Every person I meet teaches me something and every event I attend, I return from with knowledge I previously didn’t have.
I genuinely believe learning is as important as teaching. We should take every opportunity we can to learn something new. Be it a new library we haven’t previously used, a new design pattern, a new language, a new technology or anything in between!
I love speaking.
When I say speaking, I mean it in every sense of the word. The picture shows me speaking at a conference, but communication in every form is mega important to me. I don’t think I could go a day without conversation.
When speaking at conferences, I like to speak on topics I am passionate about. This past year, my Value of Open Source talk has been a hot topic. I’ve given the talk multiple times now, and everybody seems to really like it. It’s one of the most important topics to me, and I love sharing it.
I love being the centre of attention.
This is a selfish love. Being a Developer Evangelist means I get to get up on stage and command the attention of hundreds of people at a time. Whilst nerve-wracking at first, this becomes almost like an addiction.
Maybe it’s because I’ll never make it as a musician, and this is my way of filling that void? Who knows?
What I do know is that being up on stage feels amazing. Couple that with the fact that I am sharing knowledge whilst doing so, and it’s an incredibly empowering feeling.
I love meeting new people.
One of the most awesome parts of my job is that I encounter new people everywhere I travel. This affords me the opportunity to learn a lot.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve met thousands of new people, and made a lot of new friends. In my jobs of old, sitting behind a desk all day certainly doesn’t make this an easy thing to achieve. Being a Devangelist means meeting new people is a part of your daily activities. I absolutely love it.
(Especially when I can swag them all out in SendGrid shirts!)
I love traveling.
Granted, traveling hardly ever entails the beautiful beach-office I had the privilege of working from in Mexico in January, but nonetheless, traveling is a HUGE part of my life.
In March, I was only in London for around 6 days. I visited New York, Bulgaria, Rome and Malta; all in the space of 4 weeks. This is not an uncommon occurrence. In 2013, I was doing 3 countries a week.
Traveling is a massive part of what we do because developers all around the world need empowering. Not just the local ones!
I love the company I work for.
Being passionate about the company you work for is more important than anything. SendGrid has been my home (figuratively) since late–2013, and I’ve never stopped loving it.
I love everything from the people, to our culture, to our technology. Working for a company you are genuinely passionate about changes everything. It’s no longer a job, but a hobby that you just-so-happen to get paid to do. What could be better?
And moreso than that….
I love my team.
There is no way I’d be able to enjoy my work if I didn’t have the best team in the world around me.
Obviously, I realise that not everyone on that photo is part of my current team anymore. That changes nothing. These guys have been the best team I’ve ever worked with. We have incredible memories, and I’ll always cherish them.
Colleagues or not, they will always be my friends. And more than that, my family.