From Public Relations to Developer Relations

In a few hours we will be entering a new year and, a new decade.

Now usually I would post stuff like new year’s resolutions and new promises for a ‘new year, new me’ but this time I have decided to do put together a unique post that is a reflection on my career and how I went all the way from Public Relations to Developer Relations and how it shaped me into who I am today.

Honestly if someone told me in uni that I would be working in roles which have anything and everything to do with relationship building I would have laughed it off but as someone great said “you can’t connect the dots looking forward”, so now it all makes sense.

Public Relations vs Developer Relations

There is much common in Public Relations and Developer Relations but if you really look at the core, its about building relationships. Here I want to share a few reflections and learnings from my experience in working in these roles that might come handy for others.

Its about building trust

Whether you are in PR or DevRel you can’t go far without winning the trust of your community and the only way to do that is to tell authentic stories, build narratives that resonate with them and maintain a positive long-term relationship with your stakeholders while not losing sight of your organisational objectives.

Advocate for your community

You are the voice of your company in front of the world as much as you are the voice of your community inside your company. The best way to live that is to treat your community like your family and advocate for them and their needs wherever possible and at the same time do not hesitate to advocate for your company and take a stand for it.

Give critics the front seat

Vulnerability is your friend. Be open to listening to feedback from critics who don’t like a product, service or a process and work with them to understand their point of view and along the way not only will you build a healthy relationship but also you will get to learn key insights about your business from a user’s lens.

Build long-lasting relationships

Its one thing to build relationships for the time being and its another one to genuinely put in the time and effort to build long-lasting relationships that will outlive your job. Only one of these two kinds will open new doors for you in your career and I will leave you guessing which one that is.

Start building relationships

My takeaway for anyone reading this is to start building relationships. If you are about to kickoff your career, great, this is the best time to start building relationships with your peers, mentors or anyone who you think could contribute to your success and if you are already midway in your career maybe having this new lens on relationship building can give you a fresh start.

It might actually turn out to be your best career shortcut.

As a new decade starts, I am personally thankful to all my managers, mentors, coaches, friends, family and specially people from my community who have given me the opportunity to build not just amazing relationships but wake up everyday with a new hope to build more of them.