AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers

Twitter Space: Getting into iOS Developer Relations

February 25, 2022 Jeroen Leenarts
AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers
Twitter Space: Getting into iOS Developer Relations
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this Twitter Space, Rudrank and I talk about our respective journey of going from software engineering to Developer Relations.We talk about the challenges faced, what our week looks like, where we work, and what makes a good DevRel.

(Pretty much a copy paste from Rudrank’s newsletter.)

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Jeroen Leenarts:

Welcome to trailspace with with Rudrank and me. And normally I do this Twitter space with Stefan. But Stefan has some other obligations that he has to take care of he has knee injury, and I hope that he is recovering well, because he's not working this week. So all the best to Stefan, first of all, welcome everybody. This is an interesting thing that Rudrank and I are doing because Rudrank and I, we got together on this idea, like yesterday, and because of the people in my network that are familiar with Rudrank, I felt totally comfortable with just going ahead and just doing a bit of a crazy thing here, just do a trip to space with somebody, I don't know, because this is the actual first time that I am talking to drunk I know a little bit of a backstory. But I know there's a lot more to what he's actually doing. The common thing that both of us share is that we both got into developer relations kind of work quite recently. And yep, we're going to dig into that a little bit how this worked out for us how we got into developer relations, and also what our personal journeys were and the things that we noticed along the way. And hopefully, based on that, we can come to some conclusions and share some ideas or tips on how people can get into developer relations. If they click, it's an interesting role to get into as a software developer. So first of all, welcome, everybody. And yeah, I just introduced row drunk. And can you talk a little bit about yourself? What are you doing day to day right now.

Rudrank Riyam:

So hi, everyone, my name is Rudrank. And right now I am working as the developer relations engineer at Code magic, which is a mobile CI CD platform. And right now, I was experimenting with an issue related to the App Store connect API. And I got involved in developer relations in December last year, I think I will, it will be my I'm, I will finish my third month in the first week of March.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So that's quite recently that you that you got involved with developer relations. And but the same thing holds true for me as well, because I started working at stream, which is a chat SDK. Software as a Service Provider. So you integrate with the SDK, and then you have a fully fledged chat implementation in your product. But I got started there at the start of November last year. So that's like one month before rug had a different company, of course. And for me, that was also the first time that I was into a role as a developer relations, individual. And within a month, more team members were added. And I got, like, moved up the ladder a little bit. So I'm now the iOS lead developer relations engineer. So already a lot of things has happened in those last four months for me. And it's an interesting journey. And if you would have asked me like, a year ago, that I would actually be in developer relations at the start of 2022, I wouldn't have said that would be possible. But yeah, still, it happened. And we'll have to drink as well. And I think it is interesting to just compare notes between the two of us of how we actually got into this role. And what made us actually decide on exactly a role like this. So rather than how did you get into developer relations yourself?

Rudrank Riyam:

If I have to be honest, in 2021, I had no idea about this term developer relations. And if but if I look back to 2019, I realized that I have been unofficially advocating for the Apple platforms like I gave a talk on accessibility is related to voice control, voiceover and dynamic type. And I realized that I enjoyed this field a lot when I'm blogging or giving presentations. And in late 2020, I worked with a startup where I was working on the widgets. And when we were finished, I realized I really wanted to write about it. And I wanted, I realized that the I wanted to work right on the feature more than I wrote the code itself, because I wanted the developers out there to know how we achieved building two different kinds of widgets. So that was the starting journey of understanding this new field.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So And was it the case that you basically were doing this kind of work and at some point, you notice that this is something that I enjoy? And did you start actively looking for positions like this, or did somebody suggested that it might be fit for you.

Rudrank Riyam:

So in 2020, I actively got into technical writing, and freelancing as a technical writer, and I even wrote for stream, two articles for stream. And I really, really enjoyed working as a technical writer compared to an iOS engineer. And then code magic reach out reached out to me for this developer relations position. And during the interview process, the it was an assignment. And I really enjoyed the process of giving that interview. So I realized that this is the field that I want to go through in my next few years.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay, so it was something that you sort of organically started doing. And then you started looking for a position that would fulfill these, these these topics in your day to day work with you.

Rudrank Riyam:

Exactly. And it just panned out automatically for me. And I'm just I think I was just lucky that everything just fell into place where I wanted it to be. And like, as you said, if you look back to one year, I don't think I can imagine myself as a developer relations person. In 21. My goal was to become an iOS engineer and climb up the ladder with just one year change everything.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, I can imagine that it's big change, really, so So but if you look at your average week, in the role that you're now fulfilling, what does it look like? Because you already mentioned that it is quite different compared to being an iOS engineer. So what's the main differences between how you spent your time during the week when you were like an iOS developer, and now that you're a developer relations person.

Rudrank Riyam:

So for the iOS engineer part, the week usually was filled with either it was working on a feature, or working on a bug that has happened with the app. And usually you are not bombarded but you have JIRA tickets on your head. And that it was fine working as an iOS engineer. But if I compare it to developer relations, it's because of the pandemic. It's mostly content heavy role right now, because we cannot go out and give presentations out in the world. Yeah. So it's mostly related to content right now. So it's mostly arguments.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So you mentioned the pandemic? And what do you expect to change in the coming year? Because it seems like both conditions are allowing for more in person events to happen again. So what do you expect that 2022 will bring you in your new job?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think what I'm looking forward to is trying to educate to more people because of this culture where we can. So if I talk about an event that is happening online, you can reach a lot of more people compared to an in person event. But I still miss that touch when you're talking to a person and in person, like you're partying and you understand, right?

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, that being in person, you have a much easier time just getting your message across just sharing your ideas on a specific topic and making sure that you can actually tell what people are thinking about what you are sharing with them. And also just go to conferences, a lot of fun, in the sense that you get to just interact with people on a more social level, really just not it's the focus is much less on only the technology.

Rudrank Riyam:

And yeah, that's not the same compared to a zoom call or a Google meet call are

Jeroen Leenarts:

definitely not. But do you have any concrete plans are ready for 2022 select some events that you're already planning on going to?

Rudrank Riyam:

So one of my right now it's not. I have applied to a lot of conferences, and I'm hoping to get in the Swift heroes one, and I plan to apply to Swift leads as well. And died for Coca heads. Neither Lance. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And yeah, definitely, Coco Chanel is always looking for speakers, because I'm intimately aware of, of them. And that's also part of my origin story into developer relations. But we'll dig into that a little bit later. So if you look at your role as a developer relations person, and now the things that you're doing, would you ever consider if you have the choice to go back to being a software developer or not?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think that's a great question. And I'm still pondering over it. Because right now, like one of the reasons I switched from that role, because I wasn't enjoying writing code for living, and now I can easily experiment with my own apps and write code for myself. So as of now, I don't want to go and see back to an iOS engineer, and I'm loving the experience of a different person. Because when I share your article, and someone tweets about it that this was really helpful for them. I just smiled all the day. And that feeling is just, I wasn't getting as an iOS engineer.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So but you're still engaging with technical topics every day, right? Because you need to develop the samples you need to develop based on the technology that you're working with, to be able to write about it. So you're still working with with code every day, right?

Rudrank Riyam:

Yes, exactly. But it's not at the level that you are shipping to production, or you have this chance of breaking the production.

Jeroen Leenarts:

That's always status, like getting your pull request approved. The other big feature. So we talked a little bit about about your role and how you got into developer relations, what do you think are some of the things that people can do to investigate whether or not Developer Relations is something that they might like, and if they think they like how they can get into a similar position?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think the first start can be if you are working on something, talk about it in a local swift meetup, or have a nice Twitter space, or write about it on medium or your own blog, and just publish it out in on Twitter, because Twitter is such an amazing community, especially when we talk about our use community, the people are really helpful and want to read what you are writing.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So you mentioned yourself that you got started with writing blog articles, and that, that led from one thing to another. So how long have you been writing blog content on iOS developer topics before that got you moving into a new position. So as a content writer, at other companies, and also in the end in a developer relations role.

Rudrank Riyam:

So I started out writing on medium in 2020. It was something I learned about combine, I was reading a book on combine. And I found a way to create a grid layout using Swift UI. So I just thought, let's share it with everyone out there. And that was my first article. And when I got a good response on that I just couldn't control and just write more about it. In my breakthrough came when I wrote about this article on accessibility in widgets, and it caught a decent traction. And in March last year, someone reached out to me that they love writing love reading this article. And they want me to write for them and get paid for it. And I was like, this is a dream job, right? I love writing and I'm getting paid for it as well. And what goes through?

Jeroen Leenarts:

Were those two articles that you did for stream?

Rudrank Riyam:

No sort of scheme? Was this my second article?

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay. So but that's, that's a nice, sort of like, confirmation that, that you're doing stuff that you enjoy doing. And then somebody reaches out and says, Okay, do you want to write something for me and get paid while you're doing it? Which is, which is always good, because, yeah, in the end, getting appreciation is nice. But getting paid for something is even higher appraisal, I always say,

Rudrank Riyam:

I think in all the articles I have written, I wrote one on music, creating a music chat app using the iOS SDK of stream. And I think I had the most fun writing that article.

Jeroen Leenarts:

That's always good to combine like non obvious things together and build something that is a little bit out there. But still, it's meaningful, and it works. So yeah, I also enjoy doing that. So anything else that we should share your journey before we dive into another topic?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think I won. Let's, let's talk about how you got into developer relations.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay. That's a bit of a story, actually. Yeah, where should I start? I've been doing local meetups in the Netherlands for nine or 10 years now. So I basically run the Dutch Cocottes in in Amsterdam. And I got started with that just because at a meetup, which I enjoyed going to the meetup, organizers said I need some help. Can somebody like help me out every once in a while, and I just so happened to raise my hand and he agreed that it would be a good idea for me to have my hand at a couple of the next meetups. Think things went all right. And at some point, he decided to move back to his home country because he was from the United States. And he basically He said, Yeah, I'm leaving the Netherlands and I need somebody to take over everything. So here is everything. These are the logins and good luck with that, a month from now I'm, I'm back in New York, and you're on your own. So that was a bit of a tense moment there, I immediately got a couple of people from the community involved to help me organize it. And one of these persons is still with me running the Dutch coke ads nowadays. In the meantime, we incorporated it as a as a nonprofit, so that it's a legal entity entity. And it's much easier to get sponsorships for the old thing that we're doing. And hopefully next month, we're going to be back in person, again, with events, no worries for people online, because we're always live streaming the events. So we can still share that. And you people can still participate if they're not in the Netherlands. And so basically, I got started with like, organizing things, getting into contact with people making it so knowing that it's not just about the technical work, but also the people that you're doing it with. And that's sharing knowledge and sharing, this is actually an interesting thing to do, and very much interesting to facilitate. So I've been doing that for a couple years. And also, I've been trying my hand at writing blog articles every now and then. But for some reason, writing blogs, on my spare time, it was just not working for me because writing a good blog article is, is a decent amount of work. And just doing that in the evening hours and not being able to spend the time on it that I would want, made it very hard for me to, to keep at it. And I was able to write these blog articles. But yeah, just keeping a consistent pace going was the hard thing for me. So at some point, tried that a couple of times didn't work out, switched a couple jobs here and there. At some point, there's this thing that happened, that's maybe you've heard of it. That's like the COVID pandemic. It's like something that happened two years ago that has really hit home. I've been doing some online talks, I've been doing some workshops in person with with other educators. So work together with a couple of people organizing homeworks, you've been putting that together. But then when Corona hit, I couldn't do those things anymore. And also the meetup things that I was doing was also switching from offline to online. So if somebody needs to do a talk, it had to be done online. And right at that time, there was this moment that we didn't have a speaker. And what's the thing if you're a meetup organizer, if you don't have a speaker, you as an organizer, if you have some talk in the back of your mind, you execute on that talk, and you just give a talk, because you want to keep the meetup going. But this was for me the first time that I had to do a meetup online, record myself, and basically just doing a presentation without any audience. And this really felt so uncomfortable for me. And I was totally awkward, at least, the end result was fine. But to me doing it, it felt like totally uncomfortable. And I thought, okay, what can I do to get more comfortable with this setting? You know, you're in front of a camera, and nobody's watching. And you just need to keep talking and make sure that the conversation that you're presenting, you're still one person talking, but it's still a conversation, because you're talking to an audience? How can I get more comfortable and more capable at it. So that's, there's one thing that I came up with, and that was, well, let's try a podcast. So like a little little under two years ago, I started the podcast at first one still running today. And that's been going great. And it's done wonders for me as a speaker without a visible audience. So I can now in a tradespace have a reasonable monologue ongoing without feeling too uncomfortable about that. And that's all thanks to just doing it. Quite often just exercising really. And the thing with this podcast was that it was like slow growing like the first month I had like 300 downloads of my episodes, and it's been slowly growing ever since. So I'm now in the 1000s of downloads every month. But what it did do is it really increased my online profile. So people on Twitter, if they follow me, they quite often see a tweet on my podcast and things in that regards. And at some point, I was, again, looking for another job. And stream was one of the companies that I sort of like they piqued my interest because they have an interesting technology. And it was something that I was looking at. And so I decided to put in my resume and see if I could become I think it was an architectural within the iOS developer team. And I went into these conversations and then at some point, the person doing the recruitment within stream and start as you mentioned, yeah, but we also have this open position within Developer Relations and looking at your profile You're running meetups, you actually organize conferences, you ran workshops, you created workshops, you did talks, you tried blogging, you do podcasts, it seems like doing Developer Relations might actually be a great fit for you. So would you consider next to the current application yet, Jeff ongoing to also apply yourself to seeing if this other position within Developer Relations might be a fit for you. So I did that on her advice. And it was also a good set of compensation. So I ended up with two offers from stream. And I just had to decide, do I go left? Or do I go right? Going right and add me up in the team of, of Adam rush. And I see that these in the Twitter space as well. So he's probably very sorry for the decision that I made. Because I didn't go right into the developer team. I went left into the IOS Developer Relations team. And that basically got me started in November as developer relations. person within stream. And pretty much that was my first inroads into developer relations as a as a profession, making sure that you have a plan that you have a content plan that you have to work with other people, editors, and authorized all these people that support the developer relations process of getting content out there to interested individuals. And making sure the test mix in the content, you know, you have to make sure that you talk on product. But you also want to make sure that you provide content that's not so much on product, but just interesting content for the community. Because, like this week, we put out a video by Stefan. It's a swift UI based video. And it is very much about some interesting things that you can do with Swift UI to recreate a iMessage like experience with the SDK by stream. So yes, we do use this to Stream SDK, but the whole content is about, okay, how can you style these small elements on your screen to really make sure that they look like what Apple has done in the iMessage cloud? So the fun bit in that content is the actual styling and tweaking of a swift UI layout. So that's doing that process. It's very fun. And now with 2022, looking like things are opening up going to conferences, I already have a few things planned for myself, I'm actually going to Swift arrows, I know that already. So hopefully Rudra and you can go there as well. And we get to meet in person, because that would be awesome, because I'm sure looking so much forward to just meeting the people that are in my online network nowadays. And that's pretty much how I got into developer relations. Do you have any questions on that regard?

Rudrank Riyam:

That was an amazing story. I wonder when you took that decision of going to the left, instead of going to write what was like, what made you made that decision?

Jeroen Leenarts:

That's a good one, because I felt very apprehensive when I made the decision. Because being an iOS developer, you know, working every day on on the chunk of code, that's what I've been doing for, I don't know, in some capacity, the last 20 years now have a software developer since 2002. So I've kept creeping up on 20 years already. But making that decision, Reena was basically talk to my wife a lot about that, because the reason I actually was looking for a new job was that she noticed that I was stuck in a way. And she suggested, hey, maybe what you're dealing with is like a bore out. So it's not that you're burnt out, but that the work that you're doing is not engaging or interesting enough for you. And I was working at a big big insurance company, as a lead developer on on the team of nine iOS developers. And we did great things in those three years that I worked there. But she noticed that probably also a little bit due to the pandemic and being at home a lot of because I'm a very outgoing person and like interacting with people. Something was not clicking for me anymore. And in that conversation, she mentioned that you can start working in stream, work in your home office because I work remote with stream and just be focused on the code alone? Or do you want us to do something that is more about interacting with people in a non team type setting, because if you're in the development team, but pretty much half the time it's about communicating and getting ideas across and making sure that that you're aligned with everybody so that you can move forward with the technical challenge that you're dealing with. But she suggested that I would be looking more into developer relations because that's a role that you're very much focused on outside of the company. So the the number of interactions that you have with and the types of interactions that you actually have are very, very wide and broad. Because it could be like a workshop that you'd like a teacher, it could be that you are actually helping a client. So then you're more like a support role. Sometimes it's more that you're talking or engaging with somebody on the on a more peer to peer, like level. So you have like a challenge, and you want to be discussing something with somebody on their level, and that you then come to a conclusion in some way could be on content could be on getting a project going to have something available that you can then build some other content on again. So it's really about the interactions much more as a developer relations person. And yeah, in hindsight, I'm doing it for almost four months now. I don't have any regrets. yet. So and I think that's a good sign. Right?

Rudrank Riyam:

It is, it is, I think, having no, even if I look back at having no regrets is the best thing.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So but what are the what, according to you? What are the hard things about developer relations? What are the things that you're struggling with, because it's not all easy mode, right? Because I know with being a software developer, sometimes you have these challenges, these bits of code and things that you need to fix. And you just cannot fix it, you kind of break through. So it takes like a couple of weeks, and then all of a sudden you have like a breakthrough where you can fix things and make things create again. But I recognize the same challenges as well, in a different way with developer relations as well, right?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think when we talk about is engineering, we know that if you're working on a feature, we ship that feature, and there are bug fixes. There's a definite path as an iOS engineer. But when we talk about a campaign, our when you're working as a developer relations, having that clear path is a lot different compared to when you're working as an app. Right?

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. Yeah. Because what I noticed with Developer Relations is that if you compare that to just software development, you as soft develop your work experience. So yeah, for much, you have a much clearer goal on what you are working towards, right, it's like at the end of the week, you basically want to finish your sprint, and plan ahead for the next iteration. And of course, there is this overarching plan, that's more product level, or maybe company level. So there's like a goal that that the company wants to move to, and you just align with that and make sure that you're different, deliver the features that get your product closer to that goal. But with developer relations, you're also working on that goal, because what good is any product if people are not using it, and with developer relations, a big part of what you're doing is, first of all, figuring out what the market what the community what software developers would want for me products. So that's like the engaging parts are getting the conversation going. And the other part is making sure that you deliver stuff, content, that makes sure that people actually start checking out what you as a company are creating. And then you get into all these things like search engine optimization, and the funnel and the number of talks internally at stream that you have about the funnel. Sometimes it's been exhausting, because basically, the whole goal that I see with Developer Relations is that you want to, you want to put out content there in the world that people think, Oh, that's interesting, I'm going to check that out. They're going to have fun with it. And if that's all that they do, they have an interesting time, because you wrote something about shift UI, that's great, because at least had a good positive experience and the Attach you and the company that you're working for, to that positive experience, because that's something that you can build upon into the future, right. And at some point, you also want to make sure that if that positive five is going that people actually start thinking, yeah, it would actually be cool to get myself like this chat feature in my in my app, or in your case, to get this convenient way of doing CI CD with my product. So maybe I started looking into that. And I read something about this from this and these persons, and they so happen to work at the company that creates a product in this area. So let's check them out. Right. And Ken

Rudrank Riyam:

exactly, and getting that developers excitement, is that feeling of getting that developers excitement is just unreal.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. If it works, then if you get feedback from people, yeah, I read your article, and it made me check out your product. And I look at what I created using your products. If you get that feedback, that's that's pretty much the best feedback that you can get as a as a developer relations person. And if I compare it to the podcast that around, the best feedback I can get there is that people actually have listened to it. And that's it. And if they just give me some feedback that tells me that yes, they actually listened to what I was talking about that That's the best part. So it just, it's, it's, it's, I think what little kids on the playground find important as well, they just want to be, they just want to be part of the group they want to be seen, they want to do. They want to be the cool kids, so to speak. So that the things that you're doing that people find that interesting, right. And I think that's also immediately the biggest challenge with, with developer relations, because it's always a day to day, week to week thing, because the weird thing is, if you you think you found something that works well, with your potential audience, and then yes, the first time it works well, the second time, it works reasonably well. And the third time doesn't work at all anymore. So you have to come up with something new again to, to change things up a little bit, and make sure that the excitement is back again. And it's it's different compared to having a clear goal, and that the challenge really is getting to that goal, because I've been a software developer for many years. And I also love working on a product and like, having a team going heads down for like a couple of weeks, working diligently, diligently and making sure that you deliver as promised, and that you're on time. And basically, also, I really like to Scotty principle, Scotty is like the engineer of the old Star Trek. And when he always does that, he says that it will take a week, but then he delivers it in three days. And then you're like a superstar. Good pro tip there. If you're a software developer always say that it takes ages, but then deliver in time. People will love you for that. But just being able to do that, as a software engineer, it's also very exciting. And that's the one thing that I might miss, of being a developer relations right now.

Rudrank Riyam:

I think I will have to agree with you on that, that having that when you're shipping something into the product that the feeling like when you get as an iOS engineer that has been missing a little as a developer person. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So just to recap, because for people listening, what are ways to get into developer relations, I think the first thing is, as you already mentioned earlier, is getting started with something that you enjoy doing. So that could be speaking at your local meetup, spreading calls for papers at at conference, either online or offline. Maybe even start a YouTube channel, because I see Vincent predialysis, also in the audience, and he has this excellent YouTube channel that you should definitely check out because it's awesome that he creates. And also there's Tibor, he's a blogger, and he's more on the server side, Swift side of things. And probably if I start crawling, there will be people in there that do similar things that's equally great. Just start doing something that's publicly visible, that you just enjoy doing. Because you will quickly discover if that's something that you really enjoy doing. Because if you find that little thing that you enjoy, then you can start building on that. Because then you can do it more. And you can do it more and more and start iterating and improving what you're doing and finding what works and what doesn't work. And if you have that ongoing for a little while, then I recommend that you quite easily can, at some point, have an online profile, you have some followers on Twitter, maybe you have LinkedIn following or whatever social platform that you use, then you can really start looking for roles in the developer relations field, I guess I'd say. And sometimes you just have companies out there that really just they just open up a role for a junior member on the Developer Relations team. And their profile that they're looking for is just somebody who's a software developer. I'm saying just but being software developers already quite hard. And developer relations. It's it's, it's equally hard, but it's just different. And then just apply for those things. Because doing the things that you love. Basically, as a software developer, you can do a lot of developer relations yourself as well. Because if your company sends you to a conference, then hey, by all means, enjoy yourself, interact with people. And organically, you'll probably start sharing on what you're working on day to day. And just doing that is also a form of developer relations. That's also very worthwhile. So to keep it concise, start doing something that you enjoy. That's public, physical, I think that's the most important thing that you can do if you want to look into getting into developer relations, I think so what do you think?

Rudrank Riyam:

I think one key major that I do right now is just documenting everything I experiment with, like let's say I was exploring TV us this month and the first month. So I have been writing about exploring TV was development on a blog regularly. And I see that people are also interested in that. So that's that it's a win win for both of us, the audience as well. And me documenting my journey.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, that's true. Just just doing things that you enjoy writing about that. The fact that there's enjoyment there, it changes the style of what you're writing and what you're sharing. And I don't know. But if people write about something get excited about, it just shows in the content or video about that, just just be excited about something and share it. And people will pick up on that. I also want to give people the opportunity to ask any questions that they might have. So please, request the microphone, if you have any questions. And yeah, just if there's anybody with questions, I'd like to answer those with Ron, and if there's not anything else, yet, and I think we've pretty much covered what we needed to cover. And I hope it's been a valuable lesson for the people in the audience.

Rudrank Riyam:

In the meanwhile, I have a question for you like, we have been in this role for a couple of months now. So what do you think makes a good developer relations engineer?

Jeroen Leenarts:

Whoa,

Rudrank Riyam:

that was one? That's a hard question right?

Jeroen Leenarts:

There. That's really hard, because I think you have to, first of all, be excited about what you're working on. So that you basically have the enjoyment thing going, you have to be able to, you have to be able to say no, every once in a while, because at some point, everything sounds interesting. And there's just a limit to how much work that you can do. And, yeah, there's also a little bit of a creative aspect in there, so that you that you are able to, to come up with some ideas that are not really on the beaten path, so that you can just say like, Okay, well, I would be interesting if, for instance, in the CI CD thing, how could you make sure that people can use CI CD, but also integrated with something else than slack, for example. So I could imagine the two of us doing a co op at some point that how you can plug in the CI CD workflow and make sure that it publishes something to a chat that's backed by a stream. So back end, just binding things in different ways. And yeah, I think, yeah, of course, you have to have some decent knowledge on software development, because you are writing sample code. And yeah, people really,

Rudrank Riyam:

for good practices, because the hundreds and 1000s of developers may be reading your sample project.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. And basically, people engaging with your content and becoming a customer, they will use your content as as a template for how they should integrate with, with the product that you're advocating for. So making sure that it is, yeah, good stuff that you're writing. So that there's that there's enough quality in there in the basic sense, but also, if it's more complex thing, that you have some unit testing going on, and other typical architectural patterns in place that are good ways to set up an iOS code base, that that's very worthwhile to make sure that you are capable of doing that. So I think you have to be a decent software developer, you don't have to be like the 10x engineer or anything, but you have to at least be able to tell what are good practices within software development? And what else do you need? Yeah, you don't have to be afraid of interacting with people, I think, because of our jobs. Yeah, yeah, it's interacting by by video and interacting by written content right now. But especially if you go back to in person events, you will be spending a lot of time just chatting with people and sharing with them what you're working on and listening to whatever going on. And then just having this casual conversation going with a lot of different people, I think that's also very important to be capable of doing that as a developer relations individual.

Rudrank Riyam:

And I think when you are solving unique problems for the community, like for example, I'm advocating to the native iOS community, and have been working on this topic on remote caching, so that you can speed up your local builds, I think solving unique problems out there is also a great way to be a good developer relations person.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, definitely. Because you want to pick up on the challenges that people in your audience are dealing with. And I know that for instance, the caching of intermediate built artifacts is one of the best ways to optimize the compilation time of big code bases right? And I know if you have a decent CI CD product in place that can facilitate such thing then that's that's a productivity productivity boots booster for any team out there really, because not have to wait for a compiler is it's kind of efficient, you know, especially if, if the tooling that you use is good at picking up when it in fact does need to recompile something. So just finding those nuggets in the, in your audience so that you can also bring that back to the developer team is also very, very important if you can do that as a developer relations. So you have to, also when you're engaging with people, when you're talking to people online, offline, you have to be able to pick up on these things that, hey, I'm hearing a trend here, I've talked to like three or four people that are dealing with similar situation a similar problem, and then be able to bring that back to the development team and say, Hey, I heard this while I was at such and such conference, and they heard back there as well. So maybe there's something that we could like, implement or add to our product that would make our solution even better compared to what it is right now.

Rudrank Riyam:

That's a great example, like, this was the exact case a few months ago. So we realized that people were struggling with Mac with UI testing on their devices, like it was working fine on the machine. But on the CI CD platform, it wasn't because you have to give certain permissions. And you cannot give it on us headless machine and new to you need to have si P disabled. So I bought that feedback into the developer team. We worked on that feature and then shipped it to the user. And I think that's a great way where you go from the developers community, and we become the middle person, for your company and the community out there.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, definitely. So just to compare notes a bit drunk, how is Developer Relations defined within your place of work?

Rudrank Riyam:

So before I joined, we already had a great support team. CST mme marketing team in place. So I joined as a person to advocate on the native iOS side. So right now, it is just mean that is working as a developer relations person. But as I don't have to work on the support side much, or the marketing or the sales side, I have going clear goal of helping the community and promoting the CI CD, mobile CI CD to the iOS platform.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So that's very much your one person doing most of the developer relations for iOS related technologies. Where I work, we have like a lead team, with a stack based group of people doing the developer relations for that, because we have SDKs for flutter, react native Android Jetpack, compose Swift, Swift UI, all kinds of different things. And, and we grouped those activities with specific individuals. So we have a flutter developer relations person, we have a team of people working on the iOS developer relations, we have somebody dedicated to the Android stuff. So we actually have a developer relations department. And we all work together on our own technologies to make sure that the outreach is ongoing, and we create content. But we're also able to link back on the back end with each other. Okay, what is working for you, hey, maybe that's something we can replicate for our second technology and audience as well. And so that's a little bit more involved and a little bit larger group of people. The developer relations is part of the of the of the marketing budget. So I think if I could follow the organic organization graph, I would report to the fresh president of marketing within stream. So that's kind of weird, because if I interact with development, that's like a different departments. But we just try to bridge that, that gap as good as possible. And it's working out for us. But it's very different, because it's been more developed already, even though that the company that I'm working at is relatively still quite young. It's like five years or six years old now, I think. So a big difference there already in how it's being set up. And that's also a bit of the fun with, with my role as within stream is that the company is just growing and developing. So quickly. I'm seeing like new colleagues, every week, really. And it's just, it's just sometimes hard to keep up who you need to talk to, to get like some design work done for your social image on your next blog article, for example.

Rudrank Riyam:

So that's, that's crazy. Like I have seen the growth of steam in the past one year.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. The stream was a lot smaller than back then I think, because it's now over 150 people and when you were involved with stream, doing like the guest riding, I think it was not even half that number.

Rudrank Riyam:

I think it was around 50. But then just crazy, crazy growth.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So to wrap things up a little bit, because I'm seeing that we're getting up to time and I have some other arrangements that I need to take care of today as well. What are your plans for this year?

Rudrank Riyam:

So far? Now my plan is to experiment with working as a CI CD platform and advocate to the native eyes community and get into this role for the next few years. And let's see how it goes. Like being a head of developer relations in the future, that works out well.

Jeroen Leenarts:

That would be really cool. Just growing in your role and doing new things every month. What I'm planning to do in 2022, is just figuring out what my exact audiences and knowing better what works and what doesn't work for them. Because I want to make sure that things I'm doing is really working for them so that they engage based on the content and that it's really from that point on easier to, to entice them to step into the sorry for the word sales funnel of of our company. And, but I want to make sure that they're engaging with the sales trajectory is something that they very much do on their own on their own terms, so that they decide to engage on that level with stream because they really like what they've seen about the company and the content that they consumed that was produced by the company, that that's what I'm really looking for. So that basically the it's this it's this internet meme with this, this guy with orange hair than holding a handful of cash and yelling take my money. I really want to do things that makes people act more in that sense, because they're just excited and they want to they just want to sign up because they know they'll get like an excellent result if they do and if I can achieve that. I think I'll make my goals for 2022

Rudrank Riyam:

That's awesome.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay, well, I'm gonna close off the the Twitter space. Thanks everybody, for listening. Please follow me and Lubyanka online if you if you like this content, and you want to see more of the things that we're doing and also I will make sure that I will request the recording of this Twitter space after the event and our process that in my podcast feed and hopefully evening I will also add some show notes to the to the episode so that anything that we discussed if there's something that we needed to link have to review of course the content that that's also there. So again, thanks for your time everybody and if you are in the Central European timezone, enjoy your lunch and in a different timezone. Enjoy a coffee break or your evening, whatever works for you. And I hope to talk to you again in the future.

Rudrank Riyam:

Thank you so much, everyone, and thank you for hosting me

(Cont.) Twitter Space: Getting into iOS Developer Relations