As a relatively new profession, developer advocacy/evangelism lacks the norms, structures and shared understanding enjoyed by many professions.
What is the right salary for someone starting out in dev rel? How are developer relations teams measured? Who do they report to?
Earlier this year, I set up a survey to better understand what the answers to these questions look like. The results are interesting, if not scientific.
Here are the stand-out results:
Let’s dive into the detail.
Salary seems to vary widely. To preserve anonymity, no location data was recorded so it’s not possible to say whether the wide range was due to regional variations.
Here’s how the responses stack up:
|Salary range||Percentage of respondents|
|£80 – £90k ($114k – $141k)||46%|
|£60k – £79k ($85k – $112k)||14%|
|£40k – £59k ($57k – $84k)||14%|
|£39k or below ($55k or below)||10%|
As a new discipline, developer relations falls into different departments from organisation to organisation.
For the respondents of our survey, there was a spread among several departments:
|Department||Percentage of respondents|
|Dedicated dev rel or community department||25%|
|Engineering or research||20%|
It’s not a surprise that producing content and attending events takes up the majority of the working week for those people who responded.
|Activity||75%-100%||50%-74%||25%-49%||1%-24%||None at all|
|Travel (meet-ups, conferences, etc)||3%||13%||30%||54%||0%|
2016 has seen some turbulence for developer relations teams: companies known for having large developer outreach efforts cut entire programmes while others either founded new efforts or added to existing investment.
So, do the survey’s respondents feel they have job security?
This survey was a trial run for what will be a regular survey of people working in developer relations. This time the number of respondents was a little low (40), and some of the meta information lacking, for us to draw too many conclusions.
However, it’s fair to say that we have the beginnings of a picture of what it’s like to work in developer relations in 2016. Later this year I’ll follow up with a deeper and broader survey.
Ana Bahr shares the history and strategy of Target’s engineer community building program in this talk from DevRelCon San Francisco 2019.
Dev rel and community management often come together. But does that mean they’re the same thing?
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