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Introducing DevRel(ish) - a show about Developer Relations

Join Erin Makail Staples and Brian Rinaldi as they introduce a new show all about careers in Developer Relations (aka DevRel) and DevRel adjacent roles.

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Erin Mikail Staples is a very online individual passionate about facilitating better connections online and off. She’s forever thinking about how we can communicate, educate and elevate others through collaborative experiences.

Currently, Erin builds community and thinks about the philosophy and tooling of the community and developer advocate world. Much of her day is spent empowering individuals to build, foster, and embrace healthy communities. Outside of her day-job, Erin is a comedian, graduate technical advisor, no-code content creator, triathlete, avid reader, and cat parent.

Most importantly, she believes in the power of being unabashedly “into things” and works to help friends, strangers, colleagues, community builders, students, and whoever else might cross her path find their thing.

Brian Rinaldi is a Developer Experience Engineer at LaunchDarkly. Brian has worked for a decade focused on developer community and developer relations at companies like Progress Software and Adobe. Brian has been a developer for over 20 years, working with front-end and back-end technologies mostly focused on the web. He is heavily involved in the community including running developer meetups and events via and serving on the board of and organizing meetups for Orlando Devs. serves as the editor of the Jamstacked newsletter.


Brian Rinaldi 0:05
Hello, everyone, thank you all. I’m glad to see like, we’ve got, like 10 people here already. And some folks we know, like, joining us for the first ever episode of DevRel(ish). Oh, rachel is here. Great to hear you see, Rachel.

Erin Mikail Staples 0:19
So, um, let’s just get to it. Like, what’s this show about? Since this is the first time we’re doing this, we’re going to talk a little bit about what can you expect from this show from Aaron and I, and then a little bit about why we’re talking about Dev Rel, and, and all that. So anyway, we’ll get to it. So first of all, Erin, what let’s talk about like, what, why, why we came up with Dev Rel ish. Like, why why Dev Rel ish? Not? It all started back when we had a fond love of sandwiches pickle. Just kidding. Just kidding. Just kidding. Um, but first off, thank you so much. I see a lot of friendly, familiar faces in the comments. So it’s very exciting to see here. Love the people here love working kind of collaborating with you, Brian, it’s got it wasn’t the first time I’ve been very excited about this. But both of us realize it’s kind of a long, arduous, different, not linear journey into the world of DevRel. That involves a lot of general ish

to get there, and it’s usually your day to day in DevRel, Dev Rel adjacent of REL related doesn’t really have a one size fits all agenda. Much like a plethora of pickles. I don’t know, we’re gonna go with this analogy. But

Brian Rinaldi 1:45
so yeah, you know, I agree with that. So, I’ve had a will get a little bit to our backgrounds in dev rel, but like, I mean, I’ve had a long journey in dev rel, and not all my titles were Dev Rel, and, and I’ve seen a lot of companies who do Dev Rel, who have lots of people who are like community managers and or, you know, I had Content Manager, and things like that they were the titles were not dev rel. But the roles. Actually, were Dev Rel ish that were, you know, they were dev adjacent, I like to call them. And I’ve been always saying like Dev Rel ish, because it describes my career. And that was for like, where I came up with the name. And yes, and we kind of went with the, the relish. We had fun with the relic part of it. So yeah, so let’s let’s, let’s actually talk, in that sense, like a little bit about our backgrounds, and like why we’re talking about Dev Rel, what what we do in dev rel. So just like a little bit about me, for those of you, I know a bunch of you are in the audience. But my background in dev rel I started in a dev rel ish, was a community manager role. But at Adobe, and that was like 12 years ago, Dev Rel was kind of something relatively new, Rachel was who’s watching was there. She and I work together at Adobe at the time. So anyway, that was kind of my start. But I got to kind of came to it because I was already doing like, running conferences and local user groups and writing articles. And it just kind of seemed like, like, that was what I love to do. And well, this is an opportunity to maybe make a career out of that. And I’ve wound through a number of jobs, only a couple of them actually, were a Developer Advocate. Every other all the others had a variety of titles that were not necessarily Developer Advocate, or currently, I’m developer experience engineer, whatever. You know, these are, we kind of throw lots of fancy titles at Dev Rel roles, but I’ve had a bunch of them. Very few being just Developer Advocate. What about you?

Erin Mikail Staples 4:14
Yeah, so I dropped it in chat, my direction into the community. DevRel space literally was on accident. Um, I joke about this a lot. I’ve told it in a few conferences. My career trajectory literally was I was a product manager. This was 2020. I was at an open source ecommerce platform and was getting called in it was like, hey, remember that like beta testing community that you were working on? And I was like, Yeah, you’re doing a really great job of that. And I was like, Cool, awesome job boss. And I was like, he’s like, I’ve great news for you. We need to hire a community person. And I was like, awesome. That sounds great. Let me know how it goes when you’re hiring that community person, because I don’t know what to do with the community. I’m just running this beta testing group. And they’re like, Yeah, I think you’d be a great person for our Head of Community. And I was like cool, I guess. Um, and no, I did not get a pay raise or any updates, but I was the head of community and promptly after that I Googled what does the community person do in an open source ecommerce platform and Googled, and then found myself into this world. So needless to say, um, I didn’t even know it was a real job, my first job into the space and very quickly fell into the space, this role, the exciting world of it. Currently, now, I am a senior developer community advocate at label studio, which is a open source machine learning and data labeling platform. So I get to work in a very cool, exciting tech stack, I really enjoy it. A lot of my background is very non linear. Fortunately, started my career in journalism product, wanted to be a political reporter, and that was actually my first internship as a court reporter. So you know, ish, here now. Yeah,

Brian Rinaldi 6:06
exactly. Exactly. So yeah, I mean, my degree was in history that led me here. So

Erin Mikail Staples 6:14
upcoming on dev relish when we talk about where’s the politics and history episode?

Brian Rinaldi 6:20
Exactly. So yeah, I think, you know, it is it is kind of a funny career in that sense. Like, I think a lot of people end up in it, like not even realizing this could be a job, right? We’re just like, it’s, it’s kind of like, you know, my trying to explain what we do. To people who don’t know about death, rattle can be often difficult, like I tell people who like are not in the field, I’m like, I’m basically paid to write about and speak about, you know, and whatever, like, others, like about our product to developers, who, who say they don’t like marketing, but I’m, like, marketing to them.

Erin Mikail Staples 7:12
Yeah, like, it’s, it’s weird, but like, not in a gross way. Like, it’s, I say that with love, I have actually been a product marketing person. So I feel that we’re not had to. And, you know, I think one of the things that when you’re in these roles, I always Stokes two years ago, my parents used to say that I spam to the internet. We’ve got them to not say that I don’t spam the internet anymore. And more recently, a year ago, they used to say I talk to strangers online for a living is what my parents said I did. But we’ve got now it’s about I mean, that’s, that’s very true. And I was like, Cool. We’ve got from spamming the internet. Now my parents think I talk to strangers online, and somehow get paid for it. And now they have moved into Aaron teaches things online, but not like an MLM.

Brian Rinaldi 8:07
Yeah. So what I also think I wanted to bring up like, it’s interesting, your career brought you also to accompany where you were, in developer relations, talking to developer relations professionals, which is must have been even especially different. You have very meta,

Erin Mikail Staples 8:30
it’s very, I’m looking back, it’s like, I, it only made me double down on the dev relish. Like, I worked for a community tooling company, and it made me double down on the devil ish, because it would be like, Okay, let’s, and that’s the hard part, right? Like, and I think I’d often talk about like, there’s this spectrum of web development even right, like, you could have a, you know, a site or a Wix site, which is very out of the box, plug and play, you’re not going to get a lot of customization, and you’re pretty sandbox in what you can do. Or you can have like, a completely built from scratch, custom code, self hosted solution. And those are two very different options. And there’s not one option that’s better than the other. It’s really depending on your circumstances, and what you need and the tooling you’re working with, and the organization and the goals that you’re trying to achieve, which, much like communities and companies and developers alike, that’s also another thing, like, I’m now working, like the tech stack I work with is Python, machine learning and data scientists, which is a very different tech stack I was working with a year ago even. Yeah.

Brian Rinaldi 9:44
So Right. And you brought up the, like, where did where do Where does even fit in the organization? I’d be curious, like if folks put in the comment, like, where if you’re in dev rel, where do you sit in the organization because like, I’ve been at a bunch of companies and the We’re always at different parts of the like, right now we report to the PMM. Team. So Dev Rel is kind of like a sub of the PMM. Team. But I’ve been like the office of the CTO was a prior one, we were in, sometimes in engineering, sometimes in, you know, reporting into, like, you know, marketing directly. I mean, it’s like, it really seems to be. And this is why I think the experience of being a different kind of, can adjust to different, basically different organizations is like, is not only just does the scope of the job change, but also like, even just the reporting structure changes, like, you know, I’ve, I can tell you for certain that your job tends to be different as a demo person, if you’re, if you’re in marketing, versus if you’re reporting it to engineering, you know, so so that even that aspect can really change what it means to be a detail.

Erin Mikail Staples 11:06
I’m loving all these different posts that are coming in, like Rachel even putting, like, currently, I live in customer support. And I’ve been in roles where community and several was customer support, you just didn’t hire customer support. And that was part of your job extension, when I was on this most recent job search, that was something very intentionally, internal and external. And several, I’ve heard about that happening before. And that’s, yeah, like, my brain would be like exploding. It’s really interesting, like, and one of the things I’m really enjoying right now is like, we have Word open source products, like, I don’t largely like, it’s not that I don’t work with our enterprise users. But like my day to day, largely spent with our open source audience and open source users, like it doesn’t mean I don’t like my initiatives are largely around what benefits the open source community. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about our enterprise users. But that’s not my primary goal, like my primary targets, objectives, initiatives, and what my success metrics are determined on those open source community, which means that changes the scope of work very differently, like they have different processes for enterprise users. And that’s okay. But it also like, with open source, your kind of your field of work can also do this and expand very quickly. I remember at my old job, I was working a lot with like, what integration do we build next? And I think very specifically, about there is one instance, like, we were working with a lot like different tools you could measure community activity in and someone every week would ask me, What are you going to integrate with Google Docs? And I was like, what? I have no idea why I like this makes no sense. But it because we were a community driven organization. Like each week, you had like the lobbying campaign for when is Google Docs coming out? When is like, what is this integration cool coming out, which is cool. But you definitely have to kind of go back to what does that mean for the larger organization?

Brian Rinaldi 13:08
Yep, yeah. And I saw some people like lots of people talking about the different groups that they report into. And you mentioned even having like an internal an extra, I’ve even seen like, when I joined LaunchDarkly, we had two teams. I was technically the beginning of the developer experience team, which was, again, it was dev rally, Dev relish. And, and then we had a DevRel team. And they literally had distinguished between Dev Rel for external like, basically thought leadership type Dev Rel versus devil that was more like about, you know, actually, like digging into the code and showing how to use the product and stuff like that. And so those teams are now merged. But I’ve heard I’ve seen other companies where like, you have a team, that several reports, reports into engineering, and then you have a team that’s different reports into the PMM, or marketing, or like even other places, like, folks, I know at AWS, when I’ve even I’ve interviewed there and talk to other people work there. And they have like multiple different teams to report into sometimes, like they have a larger Dev Rel team, and then they have smaller Dev Rel individuals who will report directly into the product that they’re representing. So yeah, it’s I think it makes for it’s one of the things about the role of different like, I can say, having been an engineer at multiple companies, was always the experience was often similar, like the companies were different, but the job was not that different. In Devereaux, like, really, every company you go to, it can be a completely different type of job. So yeah, and oh, just want

Erin Mikail Staples 14:52
to call it sorry, I was gonna say I want to do one last thing before we switch topics I know. But one more thing. I don’t have a developer background. I have never been a developer are, and so very, very clear. And I want to like make that explicitly clear as you do not have to be a developer to be in general, however, I will give the caveat of one of my pet peeves and the thing that I’m starting as I start to move more and senior senior in my career is I do strongly believe you should have an understanding of the tech stack that you’re working with, and feel confident speaking, and at least reading documentation or writing documentation, because being able to troubleshoot the tech stack that you are working with, is a really great way to gain confidence in your organization. I don’t remember who gave me this advice, but it was a mentor. I believe it was actually Matty Stratton that actually gave this to me, I believe, I hope I’m quoting this right. If I gave you give this advice to me, thanks. And I do use it. But it was like kind of the minute that someone else in an organization assigns you your job, you’re out as a dev role. And it’s like, a one reason that that’s kind of cost people their role is because if you’re asking 100 questions about the tech stack, you don’t have the confidence and you will be kind of written off as just another influencer, or a creator or someone who’s just playing around while the engineers do the quote unquote, real work. So being familiar with a tech stack, and being able to decipher a tech stack is really important. And so, yes, you can come into that role without an engineering background. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be non technical.

Brian Rinaldi 16:24
Right? Okay. Yeah, I wouldn’t agree with you. I think, you know, it’s changed a lot. In the 12 years, I’ve been doing this back 12 years ago, you had to be, you had to come in as like a known entity, and, which is why I kind of snuck in through like, being a community manager. Because like, there wasn’t a lot of different roles. So everybody who was like, Deborah was like, you know, a big, big, you know, big name, we already knew them from some other work they were doing so like, and I love the fact that now that deferrals expanded, we have all different kinds of roles, and different kinds of backgrounds and experience. And it’s, it’s really changed. And I think it’s a much more dynamic role than it was before. And, and to me a much more interesting role. So. Okay, so real quick. We, before we move on, to actually what we’re going to talk about today, I want to just kind of give a quick rundown like, so because we got a lot of folks here, and I’m really excited about that. Just for kind of like let you know what we’re going to do with this show going forward. Today, we’re going to just kind of hit on some topics that we were interested in, because this is our first show, and we just wanted to kind of introduce ourselves to you. But like going forward, we do plan on having we’re going to talk hot topics for different folks, as well as have some really great guests and 40 got Once signed up for our next show, I hope. So we’ll mask that soon we, and really excited about some of the names. So like, we also some of you all in the audience, our dev rel folks who we’d love to have on the show. So if you’re interested, just reach out to us. But that’s kind of like what we’re going to do with the show going forward. But today, we are just going to talk about a couple of posts that we read. And and kind of the topics that they bring up. So we’re gonna start with this one. The Dev Rel influencer trend, I don’t know if anybody in the audience read this one. I saw it it was um, I know a lot of a lot of folks here already familiar with the the devil’s slack, I’m blanking on the name all of a sudden, but the overall collective slack, which I that’s where I caught this one. And, and we just kind of want to talk a little bit about our thoughts on this. I think I thought this was a little bit of a to use your term from earlier spicy take. Right? So and I have mixed feelings about it, but I want to hear your thoughts first.

Erin Mikail Staples 19:00
Oh, my thoughts? I’m so sorry. I know like, oh, like he’s like, let’s, let’s see spicy takes let’s put Aaron right on the spot on that one. So going through this post, one of the things that I first off, and I say this as someone who has actually wrangled influencers, for a random freelance contract, actually in the beauty industry, again, when you do random things to pay for graduate school. It’s like very, and going back to my post about credibility as a developer advocate and or general engineer, whatever the title is. And again, I do not mean this to say that you cannot be non technical and work in tech or in developer relations or that you need to have a formally taught explicit background. What I mean to say is, you will lose a lot of credibility with working with developers or technical individuals. If you don’t know the language to speak. There is a tweet or a meme or a tick tock floating around. I don’t remember where it was the other day That was like, it said something along the lines of like, you know, CLI tools. It was like developer influencer equals CLI tools. Yes. And then that was the whole tweet. But it was like, you know, actual developer, here’s cool tips of how to use this and like actual, like actual help there. And you can see the difference for someone’s just using a keyword. And then someone’s actually providing help. I don’t know if you’ve ever read documentation that sucks. And you’re like, wow, I actually no, never read documentation, documentation that sucks. All Doc’s are wonderful. But I think the big thing to acknowledge here is that technical expertise and not just doing it, for the sake of doing it, but actually knowing what you’re talking about. And I think that’s also comes down to Deborah, like, again, I mentioned, I joined a new company in late November, early December. Part of it was a new tech stock, I haven’t been very versed in the machine learning space, but I have written sequel, I have written Python, I had data science backgrounds, I had done some other things, but was getting up to speed and other elements. It’s okay for you to say, I don’t know this right now. Let me get back up, it’s okay for you to call in someone else. But you better be busting your butt to get up to speed. And I think that’s kind of the difference that they’re talking about here.

Brian Rinaldi 21:17
Well, yeah, and that I will say like, that’s a little bit of my worry. So for folks who didn’t read the article, it kind of talks, it talks a little bit about this idea that that she feels like some companies are just hiring people for their social media reach, who really are not, you know, that’s kind of their primary job is and so like, it’s a little more of a salesy marketing job than Dev Rel, and that she worries that the confusion between those people and devil might under value, what actual devil? A person does. And, you know, and I think there is some truth to that, I also worry about being like, I’m not trying to say this is was her intent, but I worry about that you could take this, this perspective, and become kind of gatekeeping. And it’s like, well, you know, I can’t let somebody say, with your background, kind of, like, you know, your original background, say, like, okay, you know, you can’t have this devil role, because we need, you know, this would be the, that was the demo, I came from 12 years ago, where, like, you had to be like, the well known expert in whatever it was you’re talking about, before you could even get that role. And guess but by the way, guess who got that role? It was, you know, it wasn’t, it was not a very diverse group of people, let’s just say, and so, I think, you know, I’m, I’m just, I worry that sometimes we kind of put these barriers in place, like, you know, I think you can come into it. Because, you know, you’re particularly good at talking to developers on social media and have that, that ability to influence how, you know, their, bring them on to, like, bring their interest into the product, and not necessarily be a deep expert in that product. Or even a deep, like a deeply experienced developer. But I agree with you that like, you would have, you should evolve in that role, and take on more of that, that, you know, spend your time learning the product, spend your time, you know, beefing up your, your ability to code and things like that. This just, you can’t just in the end be like, Okay, I’m just a social media influencer kind of thing.

Erin Mikail Staples 23:45
Yeah, and I love what Black Girl bites puts in the comment. I think we are marketers and influencers in the sense that we have a lot of influence over the products users. I know, we steer away from that saying, because it undermines our skill. But we also have to say that like technical individuals with strong communication skills, and this is something I want to reiterate, reiterate, reiterate, like DevRel isn’t just development in general isn’t just communication, there’s not you don’t get a or b, you have to have both skill sets. And I have actually seen and worked with folks that are, you know, developers that didn’t have the communication skills that, you know, weren’t a great fit as a devil and they didn’t make it very long. I’ve also worked with, you know, people who had great communication skills that didn’t have the relevant technical expertise. And so and exactly what you said, Brian, I, you know, so I was laid off from my job in August, I came from a very privileged position where I was working in academia part time, I’m a professor on the side. And so I was able to take four or five months off from a full time role in consulting, freelance and teach and research live my double life in academia. And one of the things I actually had four or five jobs upse rejected me because I didn’t have a developer. I had never been a developer before. And they were like, unless you have developer, and that was the one thing I asked, what is the thing that I was not qualified for this job. And they were like, You have not been explicitly a developer or have a computer science background. And we cannot that is like our company policy. We cannot hire it. I had one company, I begged them to let me take the tech exam, just and I was like, can I just take your tech exam to practice? And they gave it to me and I passed, and they still would not hire me. And I was like, Are you kidding me like, and so be aware that that does exist. But on my end, I did have to learn because I was doing a pretty bored, poor job. And this is something I’m working on now in this role, is I did a pretty crappy job of posting my technical content on my own site, like I had posted it in written technical content for the company. I was working for it, but I didn’t really update it on my own site. So lessons learned, make sure you’re cross posting that stuff on your own site.

Brian Rinaldi 26:00
Yeah, I have two quick things to say on this. And then maybe we’ll move on to the next post. But those are all excellent points. And I would say, first of all, just because you’re a good developer doesn’t also doesn’t mean you’re going to be good at this job. Right. So like, I’ve, I’ve actually known lots of people who were really good, excellent developers, who did not do well at this, in fact, didn’t like the job, because I used to warn them, like, Hey, by the way, they’re like, you know, this isn’t really a job. That’s all about coding. Like, if you really love to sit and code all the time, this probably isn’t the job for you. I’m like, you know, I, like I spend a lot of my time not actually coding stuff. And so and I think most folks that I’ve talked to, it’s it’s very similar. But then the second point is that you can also in that windy path of DEV relish, find yourself outside on the outside, kind of having to prove yourself all over again, like when I wanted, I had taken a role, I kind of gotten promoted for a while, and I was like a director level role. And it was, you know, in Title wise, especially, it was more of a management role. And then I had to kind of, I wanted to get back to Deborah kind of want to take a step back into like, actual dev roll stuff. And, and I met the way I kept interviewing, and people were like, you’ve been a manager, I’ve only been doing this world for like, a year. And they’re like, Well, you’re not your manager. You’re not really like a dev rel can you actually code anymore? It’s like, it’s like I was a developer for 20 some odd years. Come on, like, right, I still code even it was hard to read and prove that to them that I did that. So I sit there, I sat there and like, the way I got my next role was I just, I started posting on dev two and on my blog, like every single week, for I think it was like 40 weeks that I went on. Every single week, I posted something without fail, even when I was on vacation, because I’m like, you know, this is gonna like I need to just kind of beef up my resume, in terms of like, what have I done lately? Like, okay, so yeah, I’m a manager at my job. But I’m also doing all this stuff. So. So I was looking at Cody’s talk, because the guy he’s the guy who does a conference talk, and it disappears for an hour or two to recharge it. So yeah, I hear that. So it’s better than being the ones like I used to go to a lot of conferences where there was people who, just the different folks who showed up for the talk, and then left. I’m not a fan of that, to be honest. It’s like you gotta be there. Gotta be the part of the speaking of conferences. Hey, yeah, yeah, speaking of conferences, so we’re gonna talk real quick, our last topic for the day. It’s actually about a post that I wrote that, like, shocked me that it kind of caught on. Like, I’ve I gotten so much so many comments about this post, and it’s showed up all over the place. Yeah, yes, Cody. I’m Self plugging myself. But we were, we were talking about topics in this. This was one that like, seemed to be a very strong had a lot of impact on people like, in the DevRel community who came back and said, like, yes, I’ve seen the same thing. Because I mean, one thing is about DevRel folks that first of all, a lot of us, we’re not just speaking at events, a lot of us actually actively running events too. So. So I think that you know, it, including myself, I’ve run events for, I guess, like 15 years now, in various capacities, both online and in person and big company events and small, you know, community conferences and stuff like that. And, you know, and so it’s difficult, folks, were Like, never at least folks, we are involved in events all the time, like events are a big, big part of our role. And I, you know, I wrote this post kind of like, after the past year or so, since events opened back up going to them and being like, yeah, thanks. So look really good. And, and, and I talked to the organizers at almost every event I’d go to, and just kind of validate some of what I was seeing. And, and, you know, I mean, I’ve talked to a number of organizers and just kind of seeing also other events that just called it quits. There’s been a few big events that called it quits in this this year already. And so I’m worried about about developer conferences, I think. I don’t know, I think that, you know, the reinvents in the builds are going to kind of survive. Oh, yeah. I’ll share that link. So

Erin Mikail Staples 31:04
you dropped it in for you.

Brian Rinaldi 31:05
Oh, you did? Okay. Okay. Sorry. So, yeah, I just I don’t know that the, you know, outside of the reinvents and all this stuff, like how many of these community event run events that we’ve kind of been used to are necessarily going to survive? 2023? So, I don’t know. I mean, do you? What’s your feeling on on events?

Erin Mikail Staples 31:32
I have a I have a ghost pepper take I think we discussed earlier pickled ghost pepper earlier in the chat. pickled jalapeno? Pepper? Yeah, maybe some of them shouldn’t survive. And I don’t mean that in a I wish that these events should die off sort of phase. I mean, were these events ever inclusive to the audience’s that they should be inclusive to in the first place? Where are these events? You

Brian Rinaldi 31:59
know, I? I know, I know, quite a few of them. And I think they were inclusive. So I don’t know that that was the issue. Like, it’s just like they advance across the board. In any conference, regardless, like almost any conference, regardless of how great or not great they are down like 40%. Pre from pre COVID. Time. So but like, that’s

Erin Mikail Staples 32:25
is it? Are we getting new people there? Are we getting I attended API Days, New York last year, and it was like I there was a few great talks. But the attendance was really, really, really, really, really far down. And, like, even this year, like we’re looking at our event schedule, and it was very hard to justify, you know, as a DevRel, part of my job is to justify the cost to spend on a conference. And part of it is like, Okay, if we’re not speaking or we’re not, what is worthless going? And like, what conferences are worthless, which is a hard question to answer. But then it’s like you get in it sounds terrible to say that, because then you’re like, Okay, if we’re not speaking, you know, is that a very selfish way to look at a conference?

Brian Rinaldi 33:16
Yeah. Sue’s has an interesting point, which is, she says that if they were not if they were in person, only they weren’t inclusive. And I would say, you know, I, I wrote about that part, too, because it’s easy to like, I think there’s a, there’s some truth to that. But it’s also, I’d say it’s tough, because doing hybrid events is actually really not just difficult, it’s expensive. And so that, like that costs, only adds to the cost. And often really doesn’t bring in enough revenue to justify doing both. From you know, like, it’s, it’s much easier for like, say, you know, Amazon and AWS reinvent to do broadcasts or stuff or like build, I mean, they they’ve got, these are money losing events to begin with, but your community event that like, you know, the AV equipment to do that is expensive, the internet to do that is often expensive. And close, this window is bright. You know, so like, an unnecessarily reliable, so like, it’s, it’s not it’s, I hear you Suze, but I’d say it’s not so simple from an organizer standpoint to say, hey, we’re just gonna go hybrid. It’s, it’s actually a very difficult and expensive thing to do, and, and doesn’t like it adds a lot of costs in oftentimes that cost isn’t made up in the ticket sales that you’d have by adding hype, you know, a virtual version An update event.

Erin Mikail Staples 35:01
One thing I think is interesting to think about, and I think, cuz we can all admit like, it’s a downturn, we’ve seen our peers suffer layoffs, whether they’re fair or not, or I think we’re all kind of feeling it. Insert current crisis of everything going on points to universal cries a little bit. But I wonder if it’s a shift from the conference, because you’re right, I don’t really see like an AWS canceling, you know, reignite or use on it so much. But like, I do see potentially a rise of a smaller meet up, or those smaller groups potentially, like a more grassroots venture. And like, personally, I like those more a little bit, maybe, because I’m an awkward human. And that’s more my speed, but like, I can be my own little awkward self again, and, or, like, we’re going to have a little bit more creative approaches. And, to your point, at hybrid events, I actually had experienced one good hybrid event and the person who has ran, it has actually been the most unique person that I would never have thought would have ran it. And it’s come from the world of academia. So during, like, the last semesters, and why you actually has a policy of where all of your events and all of your classes have to be available hybrid, because of COVID. And so if anybody has been exposed to COVID, or is feeling sick, they have to stay home, you’re not allowed him to the buildings, despite class being offered in person. And we have these like owl things in the middle of a classroom, and everybody pulls up class on their zoom. And so everybody has zoom up on their laptops, and you bring laptops in. And again, like, I recognize, like the privilege, like this is a graduate student environment where it’s 3040, sometimes 50 people. But it actually allows and using tools like notion and figma. And having 360 cameras allow it for an unique take on the hybrid space. So I’m curious to see or like, I spoke at Moz fest, and I volunteered at Moz fest, which is ran by Mozilla, and they’ve done some really cool things remotely. So I don’t know, I want to see more creative approaches here.

Brian Rinaldi 37:16
I mean, I think I agree, that’s, I think that’s kind of where we’re at, that’s where I left it, like, I don’t have any answers to saving it, I think we’re in a phase where like, we just need to see some experimentation. And just, you know, somebody’s going to kind of figure out what the future of, of in person and virtual events look like. And I think I lean towards the future in person events is going to be more, because I’ve noticed that people who go to them in person now really want that connection with with people. And so I think it’s, it’s, we focus so much before on content. And I think, you know, the contents always going to be important, but I think maybe putting as much focus on that kind of connection and piece of it is, is going to be the way we kind of fix those because, and also maybe to shrink the events a little bit. Part of it is there’s a bit of a COVID Hangover as well, which is hurting a lot of these events, which is that they have contracts that you signed with to save money sign with a hotel, and you sign this multi year contract. And now you postponed it a year or two for two couple years for COVID. And now you’re you’re back and you’re paying this year on the same contract. You were pre COVID. But you’re down 40% and attendees. You know, the hotel’s not that understanding anymore, et cetera, et cetera. So it’s, it’s complicated. But I do think there’s, we’re gonna see some innovation here. And hopefully not just good events disappearing. So on that note, I am gonna, on that note, we are on to the final final thing, which is super important, which is

Erin Mikail Staples 39:12
the most the most questionably most important thing of this entire

Brian Rinaldi 39:18
event, unquestionably

Erin Mikail Staples 39:20

Um, so I think we should kick us off with a little bit of literacy since we were both some liberal or liberal arts folks here in the world of difference, you know, to keep it on there ish trend. So fun fact, today, if you were to say, if you’re say that you’re in a pickle, so it’s kind of a way to say that you’re in a troublesome situation like the state of developer events. They’re a little bit of a pickle, or you’ve gotten us in a pretty pickle here with developer events, but 400 years ago, modern English actually borrowed that from the Dutch, which they express predicament but the phrase into pickles didna probably butchered that. So for Dutch I’m so sorry.

Brian Rinaldi 40:11
I’m sure that’s 100% Correct. That’s the way

Erin Mikail Staples 40:14
that was 100% Correct. Like, take me back 400 years, no one’s time has a time machine. If you do hit me up, that’d be pretty dope. Let’s go explore some things. which literally translates to sit in a salty solution used to preserve meats and vegetables. And this was found in Shakespeare’s Tempest, which when Alonzo asked turncoat, how Caymus vow in this pickle, and Lord Byron’s Don, one, the Turkish veterans thrashed them in a fail, or like a good boxer into a sad pickles. And first off, there’s got to be a devilish hot ones crossover. Let’s make that happen. I do agree. Episode One, and we’re setting our sights higher for the season.

Brian Rinaldi 41:05
Yeah, I think you know, I love it. I think this is why I was so glad that you agreed to host this show with me if you were willing to like lean into the relish aspect of DEV relish.

Erin Mikail Staples 41:19
I mean, I have pitched and submitted a CFP multiple times to a couple of conferences about how Developer Relations is like fermentation. And knowing so weird fact about me, I don’t know if you do this, Brian, when we agreed on the pickle theme. Instead of baking bread during the pandemic, I actually did get into fermentation. I make kimchi and there’s actually homemade pickles in my fridge, right? This instant.

Brian Rinaldi 41:45
Did not know this. So it’s just kind of

Erin Mikail Staples 41:50
it all just came together. But I do ferment things. And I have submitted a CFP that has been rejected twice. So if you need someone, there’s the entire CFP and prep already ready to go. So somebody invite me to your conference. So I can talk about fermentation and several.

Brian Rinaldi 42:07
I mean, I’m, I’m not obsessed with pickles or relish. hotdog, but I like that with sauerkraut, which is I guess, you know, pickled something, but pickled cabbage. But yeah, so but apparently I have a like an obsession with food thing things like I was, you know, Certified Fresh events started out like the logo was off of like, fruit. You know, like you see like little stickers on fruit. We are first, you know, this. I had a the first podcast we started on the site was was code sandwich hour. And I have another site that another project I’ve been working on called, which was the whole enchilada. So you know, it’s like, apparently, I like food themed things for developers. So that’s, I didn’t really know, I just somebody pointed out to me, actually, Sean, who hosts the other show. He’s like, you know, you kind of love these food themed things, like, I guess I do. So, anyway, with that, we will we will wrap it up. Yeah. So I really, yeah, it’s been so exciting to see like all these comments and just it you know, for our first show, I am excited about our first guest, if you know, so just kind of keep your eyes on CFE dot Dev, for who that’s going to be. We’ll be announcing that soon. So and hopefully you’ll all join us again. So, thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Aaron. This was great to keep this going. And we’ll see you all again next time.

Erin Mikail Staples 43:45
Yeah, well put a lid on it. I guess I’m gonna steal that from the neck. Thank you very much. And if you have any comments, questions, concerns, feedback. Want to shamelessly promote your blog post drop it into CFE dot Dev. Discord I dropped the link above but you can also find it right here. I’m gonna copy it in the chat right here and just find me on the interwebs and we’ll keep it going. By