On devrel ecosystem, the good side, the bad side, the grifters and the hustlers

DevRel positions are still new, but they are widely used at Amazon, google, FB and other web2 companies. These positions really took off during 2021 bull run where you'd see a lot of devs moving to devrel, and a lot of them hyped the position for beginners in web3.

The hype was rather interesting. Devs who understood JS/TS stack and a bit of solidity hyped the position as something where you are engaging with community, going to events, being a speaker, and earning a 6 fig salary while sitting in your home country and doing minimum coding. Any new dev coming to the web3 space or a college student will think that they are qualified after hosting a few events and building basic dapps and doing some basic coding. However, I think the reality is far from it. We will break down both good and bad.

Some good things: a basic DevRel job is to engage with the devs, projects, and companies to foster good relationships, take feedback and give it to engineering team. it's also fascinating because you get to organise events, speak at them and get content for your twitter. But this also involves some bad points: -Companies and teams don't know what they want -you don't have real KPIs and metrics -You are not coding "actively" -you are part of marketing team, content creation and other 10 billion things. the issue: it creates more grifters.

ouch. Naruto wdym grifters? How can a real job at a real company have grifters? Let me break it down for u. a lot of times, companies are looking for a face on twitter for their company. The problem is that they are trying to find a needle in a haystack.

A lot of these devrels either dont get time to code or willingly dont code at all. It depends on the company's needs and wants ofcourse, but devrels look at the job position from a BD POV rather than a dev POV. your number one job as a devrel is to code. At least 50% of the time. If you're engaging with community 100% of the time and going to an event every month, are you even a dev? Sure, you are not getting the time, and you tell the world that you wanna code more, but have you told this to your company? Hence, Deciding weather devrel is a BD or tech is imp.

In 2023, a devrel told me that he has been in crypto/web3 for 5 years. And my inner thought was, "doing what?" Were you coding? talking to people? managing projects? trading? I stalked them, and the answer was: nothing. If you are coding for 5 years in crypto, you are a dev. if you are talking to people, you are a BD/community manager. if you are managing projects, you are a PM if you are trading, a trader. Very simple dynamics. I look up their github, and they have 12 repos. Grift. I have seen college students having more web3 repos than someone with 5 years in crypto, This is true for a lot of devrels that I have seen in the course of 4 years. There are devrels who's github has minimal activity, and the ones who don't understand solidity well.

This doesnt mean everyone is like this though. I have seen some great devrels, who i respect and am friends with. Wouldnt name or show favoritism, but there exists a true class of devrels. The hustlers, everything doers, builder mindset and kind. I admire them. So essentially, the whole devrel grift comes to two certain questions: 1) Are you a dev? 2)Do we expect devrels to code? Then the whole events shenanigans is a different topic. Should devrels be in charge of hosting events? Why do you have marketin/ops team then?

Events is a fun thing and need a separate thread in itself. But if devrels take events as their main persona, then it's a red flag. You cant be doing 20 events a year, and portray that u can ship. But maybe that's part of the job? Where do you draw the line? In essence, the whole devrel ecosystem needs have huge reforms. From devrels to companies to community's expectations, there needs to be a clear path and vision. For me an ideal devrel would be: someone who codes 60% of the time, and puts other 40% in everything else. This does overwork people though. I agree. You can't be doing content creation + videos + blogs + events + codes + engaging with projects and community. But you can also not have either one or two of them and make all of it your persona. There needs to be a balance.

And regardless, the balance needs to be inclined towards coding. Because if you lose your coding skills, and the second you are not needed at a company, you'll find yourself in a tough job market. Regardless, I still think it's a great position. Just very wrongfully hyped. I am not pointing out anyone specifically. Never. All of the devrels put in their best according to their best abilities. I like everyone's work in the space. But, I still believe that there needs to be more focus on coding and researching part for devrels.

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