Why I Parted Ways With DevRel

October 20, 2023
#devrel #career
A man facing away

My history in Developer Relations

For two years, I was immersed in the exciting world of DevRel. At Vue Storefront and WeAreDevelopers, my roles didn't entail heavy coding, as might be the case for some other professionals.

DevRel can bring about a diverse set of roles. The prominence of coding in each role can vary significantly.

That's where the first hiccup arose for me: the absence of coding. Don’t get me wrong—I adored the experiences I had while supporting the events and generating content. Every stunning moment was filled with learning and excitement.

But my passion for coding took a hit, and I started missing the thrill of solving coding problems or testing new technology. In a nutshell, I wanted to return to the flame that stoked my enthusiasm for the tech world in the first place—programming.

The Darker Sides of DevRel

Now, it might seem that DevRel is all about jet-setting and attending conferences. While all that may sound dreamy—a glamorous lifestyle jetting from one conference to another—it's not quite sunshine and rainbows.

Frequent travel and constant engagement can actually be physically and mentally exhausting. But the most crucial aspect was that I was representing companies at these conferences.

Yes, you read that right — I was there on behalf of Vue Storefront and WeAreDevelopers, not as an individual. I had to be vigilant about my speeches and conduct, given that I was a professional ambassador for my employing company.

In DevRel, we are called to constantly bear the company's image in mind. This can sometimes be stifling for personal expression.

I started realizing that I wanted to interact as myself, to voice my thoughts and share my knowledge with the community. Therefore, the second reason I left DevRel was my longing for personal representation.

Creativity: A Double-Edged Sword

This brings me to the third and equally daunting reason I decided to step back. Surprisingly, it involves creativity. Apparently, the higher the demand for your creativity, the smaller its supply seems to become.

In DevRel, when your job involves constant content creation, your personal project pursuits can gradually fall to the wayside due to drained creative resources.

Even though my employers never restricted me from exploring my creative avenues and even encouraged me to do so, I felt too drained at the end. It was as if I lost the passion and motivation to go beyond my assignments and to venture into personal podcasts, videos or new coding challenges.

In a Nutshell...

Transferring my DevRel musings to this blog gives me a fresh perspective—maybe it isn't for everyone. The field is rewarding and challenging in its unique way. But for die-hard coding enthusiasts like me who crave more and more engagement with the tech world from their own individual perspective, another path might be a better fit.

Remember, this recounting of my experience is not a one-size-fits-all tale. It's only a peek into my personal journey which I hope will help those contemplating a career in DevRel to better understand its pros and cons, and to make an informed decision.

So there you have it, my reasons for leaving DevRel! Thanks for hearing me out and, until next time, bye.

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📸 Photo by Midjourney (prompts by Marc Backes)