Florian Gilcher is an open source contributor and community person.
He started the Berlin Users Group, the RustFest and Oxidize Conferences and is one of the initial members of the community team. Before that, he created eurucamp and several other meetups. He’s currently an observer to Rust Core. He also managing director of Ferrous Systems and asquera.
How dev rel is failing communities
The uptake of developer relationship strategies has brought a lot of good. Tech companies are actively talking to people using (or potentially using) their technologies instead of only to the people buying them (usually managers). DevRel as a marketing strategy is a definite move in the right direction.
DevRel people are also usually responsible to uphold relationships with notable figures in their target communities and foster contacts. Now, contact is quick, personal and relaxed.
But for community workers, it also comes with a lot of issues. Plainly stated, this happens because individuals interact with individuals, but the relationship of companies to communities or larger projects doesn’t happen on an individual level. This talk gives an overview of how DevRel is successful on the individual level, but failing communities, mostly due to structural issues of their setup themselves and how this replicates issues already present in the FOSS community.
This talk takes experiences from a decade of running meetups and 15 conferences, as well as being on the board of multiple foundations. It then tries to categorize them and work out potential solutions.