It’s been nearly a year since I made the move from developer to developer evangelist. As I see it, I get paid to do what I’d been doing anyway: hacking on projects and helping developers across Europe do the same. There are now more of my brethren on this continent, as I shared in The Rise and Rise of Developer Evangelism in Europe on The Next Web. Let’s look at why we’re seeing growth in Europe and what it takes to hire an evangelist or be hired as one.
Why Evangelism is Growing in Europe
Most current evangelists in Europe represent US-based companies. My fellow evangelists and I have noted a trend toward European startups looking to hire. Why now?
- Europe’s startup scene is growing rapidly
- The job is attractive and can help land technical candidates
- There’s high turnover due to burnout
- We finally have a label for what many were doing already
Ok, want in on the trend?
How to Hire a Developer Evangelist
Developer evangelists fit best when a company has a product that is developer-focused. After all, there must be something to evangelize. Even if you’re the right type of company, good candidates are hard to find. You need a technical person with speaking experience and a high energy personality. And they also need to have a flexible travel schedule.
Finding an evangelist is best done through the developer community. In Europe you can talk to a current developer evangelist, because chances are they’re tapped into the relatively small community. Go to a hackathon and seek out the sponsor representatives.
A hackathon is also a great place to find new people coming through the ranks. You can gauge genuine interest and see who is using your APIs or product in a cool way.
How to be a Developer Evangelist
How do you know if you’re a good candidate to become a developer evangelist? You need to combine your development skills with an interest in community-building, marketing, speaking, writing, product and travel. And be ready to collect frequent flier miles.
Most importantly, future developer evangelists should already be passionate about creating with technology. You don’t need to sell anything but your passion: show possibilities, and get people excited about the technologies. Have an endless appetite for innovation. The more you tinker and test, the more you’ll learn and the more you’ll be able to share with your fellow developers.
When you’re ready to try your hand at evangelism, attend a hackathon and ask around about open positions. Or have a look at SendGrid’s open positions.