What is a Developer Evangelist?

Recently I’ve discovered a few startups have been hiring for a role titled “Developer Evangelist”. Being curious, I decided to learn what this role entailed.

B2D (Business to Developer) startups have been trending lately due to increased API developments and a need for products built for developers. The Developer Evangelist role melds Engineering and Marketing to help promote a technical product to developers. This means improving the awareness of APIs through documentation, developer support, and community outreach at startup events.

 I recently had a chat with Vidyard and regarding what a Developer Evangelist does for these two companies.

Carter Rabasa is a Developer Evangelist Manager at Twilio. He mentioned their Evangelist role consists of 1) Event participation 2) Community engagement and 3) Writing technical content related to the different uses for their API. In a nutshell, inspiring devs to build interesting things, and reaching out to them via the web or at community events. Becoming a genuine member of the community is important he mentioned, because you don’t want to come off as a leechy salesman type. This is one reason why Twilio helps sponsors many startup events. As you could imagine, this role requires travel (up to 40%) to help engage developers in different cities.

Vidyard, a video marketing and analytics company, mentioned one of the most important characteristics of this role is patience. It would require customer support skills and an ability to relate to the customer. For Vidyard, their Evangelist role focused on API documentation and support.

General requirements for a Developer Evangelist

Developer Background – To be able to communicate with devs regarding APIs and usage. An understanding of multiple languages is important to communicate with all sorts of devs.

Interpersonal Skills – Developer Evangelists must be comfortable socializing with devs and joining communities!

Patience – Ability to clearly explain and be patient when dealing with questions or concerns.