A lot of folks ask me that question. Developers ask me that. Friends and family ask me that. The Wall Street Journal just published one of the best descriptions I’ve seen of what our developer evangelism team does:
Twilio participated in more than 500 developer events last year to grow its community. The company now counts nearly 560,000 developers in its community–or roughly double the number registered a year ago–thanks in large part to participating at university hackathons, educational conferences, workshops, meetups and other social events.
During these events, Twilio employees act more as a technical resource and teacher and less as a branch of the marketing group.
“When we are really doing our best work, we create a moment when a developer learns they can do something they didn’t know they could do before,” Twilio Head of Developer Evangelism Rob Spectre said.
Mr. Spectre said the hope is that by helping a developer solve a tricky technical problem, regardless of whether it involves Twilio’s API, the developer will feel loyal to Twilio. So when the time comes to build communication capabilities in an app, the developer will remember Twilio fondly and use its technology.
Also loved this quote from our CEO, Jeff Lawson:
You can acquire a developer (as a customer) like a consumer, but they have the spend of an enterprise behind them,“ Mr. Lawson said.
As all companies trend towards becoming a software company, and as the executive suite continues to leave implementation details up to the developers, developers are increasingly determining where a large chunk of corporate expenditures go.
It’s pretty awesome to see an old school publication like the Wall Street Journal acknowledge the power and importance of developer outreach.
For more on developer evangelism, check out:
- How we prevent burnout amongst our developer evangelists
- When I accepted the Twilio Developer Evangelist role
- Carter Rabasa’s Balancing Hustling and Family
- Matt Makai’s Typical day as a Developer Evangelist
- Ricky Robinett’s answers “Should I become a developer evangelist?”
- Kevin Whinnery’s Thoughts on Developer Evangelism