March 5, 2020
Why Developer Communities are Essential for DevTools Startup Growth
As end-users and increasingly purchasing decision-makers, developers are an important audience for DevTools software teams.
Editor’s Note: Over the last couple of years, podcasting has become a booming industry, and 2020’s shift from in-person activities to digital events and community has only accelerated that growth (we launched TWO new podcast shows since July.)
For this year’s roundup of recommended podcast episodes, who better to ask than our Podcast Network Manager, Lucas Oswald. Lucas works on every show in our network, from splicing audio to producing the tweets and images you see everyday on our feed.
Although this was the only episode of Venture Confidential we’ve produced in a few years, it’s packed with great takeaways from the decades of experience that host Jesse Robbins and guest Jonathan have with venture capital, infrastructure, leading teams, and scaling.
No matter where you might be on your developer journey– be it a junior programmer or a seasoned founder– the chemistry between these two highly-respected, yet humble, powerhouses is great and their discussion is filled with universal and accessible lessons.
I didn’t know much about devrel prior to this show and as a non-programmer, I enjoy how much this show focuses on the non-coding aspects of the developer world, such as empathy and inclusivity. It’s changed the way I look at the developer tools space and gives me hope that all industries would benefit from taking note of the “human” aspects that devrel communities are addressing.
Despite being new to hosting, Patrick Woods is a total natural and the caliber of guests (like Tim O’Reilly) that he’s featuring is not only remarkable, it shows just how important relationships have become to the success of businesses and the industry as a whole. Patrick’s conversation with Joyce captures the fresh insights and valuable additions that Developer Love brings to the Heavybit network, all in one episode.
If you caught episodes 14 and 15 of Demuxed on low-latency video, perhaps it was a little too technical for you but continue onto episode 16 and it’ll culminate nicely. The Heavybit community is full of admirable people who are simply passionate about devtools but sometimes they can get too into the weeds and it’s refreshing to have a guest who can unpack and breakdown.
Kwindla was a fascinating guest who had tons of insight from the industry but at the same time, was able to articulate some heady information in a way that was approachable for folks less familiar with video tech. There’s also some truly stimulating discussion about the future of this technology, especially during this time of COVID and WFH.
Host Grant Miller’s episodes are a lot longer than most episodes that I work on but every minute is filled with equally great content that can’t be cut. This episode about Shishir’s life story in particular, takes you on a journey and you have to experience it from beginning to end.
It’s hard to summarize a 2-hour interview, but they talk at length about the explosion of YouTube after Google acquired it, which is super lesson-laden. My favorite stories were about a negotiation trick he learned from an advisor and the account of how he came up with Youtube’s ubiquitous ‘skip ad’ button.
I want to point out that this year, JAMstack Radio has done a commendable job of using its platform to feature POC voices in the JAMstack space, many of whom are early in their developer journeys. This episode is about Jerome’s laudable experience teaching veterans to code so that they can find gainful employment.
The allure of this episode is how host Brian Douglas and Jerome approach the all-too-common challenge developers face when leveling up their toolkits. Especially for novice developers, it’s better to focus on building a ‘product’ over a ‘project’ because projects are inherently easy to abandon, while a product is tangible and has defined goals. That simple reframing of how someone approaches their work can really motivate a developer to not give up and improve their technical skills.
Although only 3 episodes have been released this year, this talk about what is a healthy and productive workload for humans is both incredibly timely and evergreen. Hosts Paul Biggar and Edith Harbaugh share their own personal stories of facing burnout over the years, across various stages in their respective careers. They talk about the 996 working hour concept as well as other various attempts companies and/or industries have made to modify the typical 9-5 structure. It makes you reflect on all the drastic changes we went through this year and how to best sustain ourselves moving forward.
We publish new episodes weekly so follow us on Twitter to find out when they drop. Thinking about starting your own show? We’ll be back with another post on remote podcasting and setup tips so make sure you’re subscribed for Library updates.